Tuesday, March 31, 2009


It snowed yesterday. After a super long warm spree. I can't think of a worse false start than a fake Spring before getting smacked in the face again by Winter.

I wish I had the creativity to vent my frustrations effectively, but since I don't I'll have to let my friend do the talking for me.

All I can say is, AMEN!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Morbidity repeated

A coworker of mine shared this quote with me, and I thought it was fitting in light of my post about death.

I laughed really hard, so I thought someone else might too.

"When I die, I want to go peacefully like my grandfather did, in his sleep -- not screaming, like the passengers in his car." ~ Unknown

**Now, the paralyzing fear I have is that someone reading this will come back to tell me this actually happened. In that case, it is definitely no longer funny.**

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

For my wife

First, my wife is an amazing cook, but she doesn't always believe it. She always talks about how her food is plain and she never does anything fancy (except for cupcakes and other fun treats).

I just noticed a blog for this company called Shirley J that sells soup bases and seasonings.

Note to wife: Don't read the next part unless you want a future birthday to be a little less surprising.

I know there is nothing better than to have people compliment your food and ask for the recipe. While people do this anyway for my wife, I think some of their mixes might make a nice gift for her and help her feel a little better about the food she makes.

As it turns out, they opened a new store in Orem, Utah and are having an open house, so I may need to stop by for a look (15 East 400 South in Orem, starting Monday, March 30 through Saturday, April 11).

Their story is kind of cool too. It turns out the company was started by a food scientist who wanted to sell some of his creations.

I think I'm most interested in the cheese soup mix, but some of the dutch oven stuff looks pretty enticing too.

The side benefit? Maybe if I actually used something like this, people would be able to stomach the stuff I whip up in the kitchen.


My friend Julie tagged me. I'm supposed to post the 4th picture in my 4th folder. Like Julie, I'm not a huge tag participator, but like her, I figured I'd give it a shot.

Here's mine.

Those who know me will immediately see the irony in this picture because I never voluntarily pick up a basketball. I refrain as a favor to basketball players everywhere who would rather not see their sport defiled by a guy who only has enough coordination to blink.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

My friend thinks I'm morbid

My friend is appalled because I freely talk about death.
  1. I joke with my wife that I've made a deal that I will go first. (She can go 30 seconds after me, but I'm first.)
  2. My wife and I know what we will do if the other one dies. (She'll move in with her parents, and I'll go live with my sister.)

I guess it's all because I'm not afraid of it. I know it's coming and I know there is something better on the other side of it.

That said, I really don't want to leave my wife alone and I don't want to be left alone, but I know it's just part of ... wait for it ...

The Circle of Life. (There's your Lion King reference for the day.)

You're welcome.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

She's a looker.

My wife gets checked out a lot. I noticed all the way back when we first started dating.

Logic would say I should be jealous, get in the guy's face and try to punch him out.

However, I must have broken something in the part of the male brain that is supposed to love guns, watch football, grunt and crave steak.

Instead of reacting like a normal person, my first impulse is to give my wife a high five (which I usually end up doing).

Disclaimer: These pictures will probably get me in trouble with someone who feels they raised me to be better than this, but I couldn't help it. It fit perfectly.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Is it Friday yet?

Work is killing me.

It will ease up eventually, but right now I'm pretty much just a walking zombie.

The end.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Either our kid is weird, or we're doing something wrong ...

Since I'm her father, the former is probably more likely.

I'm an uncle to many, MANY nieces and nephews. I've been one since I was 6 years old. Every time one of them has started to learn words, one of them has always been "up." That's the word that gets them into the comfort and safety of their parents' arms.

What has our daughter learned? Aside from "no" and "don't," she has also learned "down."

She uses "down" interchangeably for asking to get down and asking to get up.

I'm starting to wonder what she has planned for the teenage years.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A poet and I didn't even know it

I've never claimed poetry as one of my skills.

... but I don't have anything else constructive to say, so I thought I'd try my hand at a limerick.

Once, a boy loved to sing.
The bathtub made his voice ring.
His mom made a tape
So he couldn't escape
The reminder so embarrassing.

That's 30 seconds of your life you're never going to get back.

Still, that's a true story. My mom has a tape of me singing Christmas songs in the tub. I belted "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" for a full 20 minutes. I was fascinated with the way my voice sounded when my ears were underwater.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

How To Article of the Week

This week: How to Build an Igloo

However, the only thing worse to me than living in a snowy climate is living IN the snow (although the picture below makes it look pretty cool).

Friday, March 20, 2009

You'll have to pardon my friend ... he's a little slow.

I have often said that the process of natural selection somehow missed our cat. He has a few quirks that make him seem a little on the slow side. This is his preferred method of getting up on the window ledge (he does this every time).

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Slow Motion

It's amazing what happens when something moves this fast.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Help! I'm talking and I can't shut up!

Here are two examples of how I talk WAY too much. Fortunately for me, it's genetic, so I have an excuse:

  1. When I was little, I would regularly quote full episodes of He-Man. The entire thing. I did this repeatedly for my mom, who gave me every impression that she loved it. Yep. She's a saint.
  2. This was also when I was little. I had been yapping without taking a breath for what must have been 20 minutes when my brother finally threw up his hands and yelled, "Nathan! You don't have to say everything that comes into your head!" My response: "Oh, but I don't! There is so much more that I want to say, but my mouth just can't keep up." Sad, but true.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Home Improvement Projects

Winter is ending, and I'm going to have to face the inevitable soon.

Home improvement projects.

I've come to realize a few universal constants when tackling any kind of project at home:
  1. The amount of time estimated to complete the project only cover 25% of the project. The remaining 75% will eat into the rest of your day and will remind you of all the bad words you learned on the school playground. (Note: This ratio is even more pronounced if the project involves something that can't be spread out over multiple days, like fixing a toilet.)
  2. You may only think you need a few tools ... you may even have directions that list the required tools for the job, but these will never be enough. Without fail, you will make at least 20 more trips to the garage to get additional tools you thought were unnecessary. (Note: Beware of bringing the entire toolbox to prevent this. It will just mean that the project will suddenly require a garden hose or the spare tire out of your trunk.)
  3. Trying to DIY (do it yourself for those not "in the know") will reveal all kinds of quirky stuff about your house or your possessions. If you had someone else deal with it, you would still be blissfully ignorant. (Note: Refer to Tom Hanks in "The Money Pit.")

Monday, March 16, 2009

"How was school?"

But first ... I have to tell you that I have awesome parents. They are the ones that put up with me despite my weirdness (referenced in previous posts). There are a few stories I would love to tell that feature them, and I just want to make sure people know they are wonderful and I love them.

Parental Unit Story #1

When I was little, you already know what a chatterbox I was.

My dad would come home from work and ask, "Hi Nathan. How was school?"

I would launch into a story about all the things that happened during school. At first, I had my dad's full attention. However, he would start to look at the paper in his hands, which would turn from fleeting glances to full absorption pretty quick. Inevitably, he would walk out on me while I was in mid sentence.

It used to make me feel a little bad that my dad wasn't interested in my full report.

But then I realized ...

He probably asked his other eight children the same question when they were growing up and probably got responses like "fine," "pretty good," "average," etc.

I don't think he ever got used to my responses: "Oh, it was pretty good. I got to school five minutes earlier than normal and had enough time to play on the jungle jim before the bell rang. In class we drew pictures of the earth, and my teacher made me describe my picture to her because she said it looked nothing like the assignment. I told her my earth still had dinosaurs on it ... and can you believe that the Tyrannosaurus Rex had such small arms? My friend and I wish WE had longer arms too. We want to build a fort in the backyard for our clubhouse, but we think we need more than just longer arms to do it ..."

Did this discovery help me condense my stories? Nope. I'm still working on that one.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I want a 4-day work week

I would LOVE a 4-day work week. I would totally put in 10-hour days if it meant three days on the weekends.

However, there are two main flaws in this plan (for me anyway).

First, my industry doesn't take breaks like that. Adding a few hours to some days would still leave gaping holes in the days our office would be closed.

Second, I end up working 10 hours per day more than I would like to think about (without the bonus of a day off).

So, my lazy dream will have to stay just that ... a dream.

I'm just glad to have a job in the first place. My family would be messed over big time without it.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

How To Article of the Week

This week: How to Create Circular Bubbles While Diving

Originally, this looked really weird to me because I thought it said "How to Create Circular Bubbles While Driving."

I didn't even know you could do this.

Friday, March 13, 2009


I don't know why, but I really get sucked into this video. For some reason it's fascinating to watch.

Of course, that might be because I'm the kind of person who gets distracted by shiny objects and would probably end up wearing a foil helmet if I didn't have a wife to keep me in check and help me retain some semblance of normalcy.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sweet Tooth

I love chocolate, particularly Reese's peanut butter cups. I can eat a whole bag of these things and not even flinch. I can't think of anything I'd rather eat more.

In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that the correct translation for manna is "Reese's peanut butter cups."

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bahbie Nubby

I've mentioned before how my daughter is obsessed with Barbie movies.

Her vocabulary is also growing exponentially.

Combine these together, and you have our daily lives. As soon as she sees a TV, she points at it and says, "Bahbie? Nubby?"

Translation: Barbie Movie

In other news, Barbie's birthday was yesterday. She was debuted on March 9, 1959. I know this because of a random Google widget on my homepage, not because I'm obsessed with dolls.

I have a feeling this will be a birthday my daughter will insist on celebrating in our house in the future ...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Half Marathon and the High School Track Team

I was talking to a friend who is training for a half marathon. He said he ran 11 miles the other day.

That got me thinking. I can safely say I have never walked, run, rollerskated or biked 11 miles at one time in my life.

It got me all fired up to start doing something about it ... until I remembered how much I hate running.

Story time:

My four older brothers were all track stars in high school. Some even set records. They all did it because my oldest brother did it. And then came the black sheep of the family. Yep, me. And I'm allergic to running.

So, I was standing next to my locker in 9th Grade, and the track coach came up to me. "Hey," he said. "You're a *Insert my last name here*, right?"

"Yep," I replied. (Feeling a little self conscious, because I knew who this guy was and I didn't want to have anything to do with him.)

"So, do you think you're going to try out for the track team?"

(Uncomfortably long pause as I tried desperately to figure out how to let him down easily.)

"Um, nope." (As you can see, I failed miserably.)

(Another uncomfortably long pause, as I tried to figure out how to end the conversation.)

(I failed again.)

So, I just walked away, leaving him dumbfounded that a guy like me with gangly giraffe legs wouldn't be interested in putting them to good use.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

My Birthday

Not too long ago, I had a birthday. I figured, what better time than to tell the story of my birth (don't worry, there's nothing gross involved).

I'm the youngest of nine kids. As a result, my mom pretty much had it all figured out when it came to childbirth. When she got to the hospital, I guess my doctor wasn't expecting me because he was at a cocktail party. My mom kept feeling like she should start pushing, and when she told the nurses, they said, "Oh, I don't think you are. Just wait until the doctor gets here."

The doctor wasn't in there because he was out with my dad in the waiting room recovering from his slight alcoholic overindulgence.

Finally after hearing she should wait for the 10th time, she decided she was just going to push anyway. Thankfully, everything was already set up because I didn't end up on the floor.

I came right out in one push. One Push. Just one.

The nurses realized what happened when they heard a baby start crying. I was 7 lbs. 11 oz. and 20 inches. That "little" push brought me into the world at 4:14 a.m.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

How To Article of the Week

This week: How to Get Your Car Out of the Snow

I hadn't heard of the floor mat idea before. While I hope no one gets stuck, if you do, hopefully this will help. Otherwise, your car can hibernate until spring.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The universe decided to pick on me.

Do you ever have those mornings when a bunch of little stuff keeps going wrong? When that happens, I start to wonder if I should just crawl under my bed and wait it out.

Yesterday was one of those mornings. Here is the list:

  1. When I turned on the car the "you need to get gas now" light came on.
  2. I got stopped at the train tracks right when the train first went through the intersection.
  3. After waiting for about 5 minutes, the train came to a stop (still blocking the road).
  4. At the gas station, I was out of my car with the fuel cap unscrewed before realizing the pump wasn't working (there was no "out of order" sign anywhere).
  5. Getting back in the car, I realized the safety on the pump shut off prematurely and I only have about 1/2 a tank full of gas.
  6. I hit EVERY red light.
  7. The guy in front of me only started signaling left AFTER I committed to getting behind him (I was going straight).
  8. At work, my computer wouldn't come out of hibernate mode, and I lost everything on my desktop I was working on the day before.

I know these are little things, but they all combined to make a pretty interesting morning.

The best image I can think of for this story is Captain Planet. (By your powers combined ... this was Nathan's crappy morning.)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Train Wreck

Someone in my neighborhood was planning to move this week. I volunteered to help and showed up on the appropriate evening.

When I couldn't find anyone there, I called the guy in charge of organizing the volunteers, and here is what he told me:

  1. The renter (the one moving) has a dispute with the owner over who owns some of the items in the house.
  2. The renter owes about $2,000 in back rent.
  3. The renter and her family trashed the place, so the owner needs to assess the damage.

Needless to say, we didn't move them out.

How do people get like that? Aside from trying to skip out on the owed money, who trashes a home that isn't theirs?

Self respect? ... Anyone?

Here is the best descriptor I have for these people:

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Trauma in Biology

I'm scarred for life. All because of 9th Grade Biology.

It all started with an innocent handout.

We were on the Neanderthal section. My teacher (who could arguably have been old enough to live in the Stone Age), passed out an illustration of a typical caveman skull. After we all had one, he went through it, highlighting the differences between the diagram and our own skulls.

At first, I didn't notice, but every time he brought up a new feature, I would think to myself, "Oh, I have that too."

As the list of similarities grew longer and longer, I started to panic. Here is the full list (at least everything I can remember):
  1. Elongated skull - You should see me try to wear a helmet. Without fail, It pinches at the front and back and has room for me to store a few snacks on the sides.

  2. Bump at the back of the skull - My wife cuts my hair, and I'm sure she struggles to work around my giant knobby bone on the back of my head.

  3. Lump on the top of the skull - Yet another bump my wife has to work around.

  4. Prominent brow ridge - I always tell people that my brow ridge is so prominent that my eyes are still in shadow, even when I stare directly at the sun.

  5. Pointed canine teeth - In school, people used to call me a vampire. Part of it probably had to do with my pasty white skin, but a lot had to do with my pointy teeth.

Bottom line: I'm the missing link.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Double Digits!

I honestly never thought this would happen, but I have 11 followers. According to the AP Style Guide, I can now start writing the number of followers I have in numerical form rather than spelling it out. (Geek much?)

I'm in a precarious place, though. with only 11, it only takes two to throw me back into the single digits again.

While I'm utterly confused why anyone would actually spend time reading my drivel, I welcome you.

I'd offer you a cookie, but I don't want to pay the shipping.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

German Coast Guard

I don't have much to say today. Instead, here's another video you all have probably already seen.