Friday, February 27, 2009

Bailey's head tilt

She's so funny. We noticed her doing this a week or so ago. Now when I do it, she'll copy me and do it over and over. While I'm holding the camera, I'm tilting my head to the side and she copies me.

Caiden's letter to Henry

As noted in this post, Caiden's Hamster Henry passed away. He wrote this letter before burying him.

letter to henry

Caiden's a cub scout

02.24.09 Caiden Scouts

I know he's 9 years old, but he finally got his bobcat and is about to earn his Bear. I really feel badly that I don't spend more time with him on scouts and helping him advance. Alene does such a great job as our ward den leader. She wants so badly to see the boys advance and get's so frustrated when the parents just don't seem to care. She sends the kids home with a list of things to do with their families, only to see them not completed. That can be frustrating for sure.

I really hope Caiden takes to scouting. I loved it when I was younger and I advanced pretty quickly. I was a life scout by the time I was 14 and only 6-7 merit badges away from my Eagle, but I got involved in sports and considered scouts "nerdy" after that. I hope Caiden doesn't take that approach and I'll do my best to encourage him to finish.

02.24.06 Caiden Scouts

Went to Sundance last weekend

Check out the latest on my outdoor adventures blog:


Saturday, February 14, 2009


Henry Root
Fall 2007 - February 12, 2009

You will be missed....



So, this last Thursday I had put in a long day at work and had came home in time to grab something to eat, study for my math exam and head out the door. Just as I was getting ready to leave, Alene was getting Bailey down for bed and Caiden came up to me with a concerned look on his face. He said he was checking on Henry (as he does nightly before bed) and he said Henry was not moving or responding to anything. He also said, "and I can't see his head".

I was already late for my exam, but I ran down there with him to check. Sure enough Henry was stiff as a board and Caiden was right, you couldn't see his head because it was burried in his little bedding. I think Caiden thought his head had fallen off and that's how he died. This was the first time I had had to deal with the death of an animal with Caiden. I looked down at him and just told him I'm so sorry, but Henry has passed away. Caiden started to cry and asked how he died. I just told him that hamsters don't live more than 2 years, so Henry must have been really old and in pain, so he's better now.

It was tough. I gave Caiden a big hug, then told him Alene would be down in a bit. She finished consoling him and talked about how they could bury him, etc.

When I got back from my math exam, my brother Russ was over and he gave ideas about having a 6-gun salute for Henry, and even possibly laying an American flag over his body. We were cracking up at Russ' suggestions, but still felt bad for Caiden.

Rest in peace Henry.

Here is a letter Caiden wrote to him: Caiden's letter

Here are a few more pictures of our beloved Henry.



This was a memorable incident
Missing Henry

Thursday, February 12, 2009


I'm whining like a baby, but I'm tired.

I worked 10 hrs today, which most people actually do every day. I normally wouldn't be tired after working 10 hrs, but considering my brain is trying to absorb a TON of information, it makes me ten times more worn out.

I'm excited for my new job, but it's definitely 10 times harder than I thought it would be. There are so many intricate and dynamic things about watching how much we spend, making the right decisions, reading leases/contracts, dealing with our customer requests, etc. Just a ton to learn.

Some of the stuff I'm getting, while some of the stuff I get about 1/2 of, and some of the stuff I'm completely lost on.

My boss is leaving town to go home for the weekend on Friday, so I will have that day to try to get organized and come up with a clean list of questions about everything he's taught me.

This is still a tough transition. I've gone from a job where I could roll in between 8am and 10am, and take off between 3pm and 5pm, all while I'm wearing jeans, a tee shirt, and my Keens. This job requires me to wear a shirt and tie, suit coat, be in the office before 8am and stick around until 5-6. Lunches have been about 20-30 minutes, then it's back to work.

I'm totally confident I can get into a "groove", but it's going to take a while. My biggest deal of stress comes from the fact that I DON'T want to make a mistake, even though my boss even expects me to. I just don't want to and it stresses the crap out of me just thinking about it.

Add to all of this, my ONE math class I'm taking, but it usually requires 4 sections of homework every week (roughly 10-15 questions per section) and each question has long formulas (interest savings, compound interest, etc.) and may day went like this: 6:30am, wake up; 7:15am, leave for work; 8am-6pm, work; 6:30-8:30pm, eat, try to get a few personal things done and pay attention to my family; 8:30-9:30, watch Lost while trying to do homework (I only did 2 questions during Lost because I had to read the friggin' sub-titles); 9:30pm to midnight, do my homework and study for exam tomorrow.

So I'm tired and I should be in bed, but I'm writing this while I brush my teeth.....oh yeah, I'm also sick (sore throat, sinus problems).

Monday, February 09, 2009

Bailey can TALK!!!!

I swear she's trying to say "momma". She's been saying it the past few days now and will repeat it when I say it. Alene said she read that it will sound like she's saying it, but she doesn't mean it as a reference to her mommy, it's just a sound she makes.

I really don't care what professionals say :-). My daughter loves her mommy and she IS saying "momma" :-).

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Whoops, forgot to add one car

As I referenced at the bottom of this post, if I were a millionaire, I'd also have a 1969 Chevy Camero SS:

1969 Camaro SS

Friday, February 06, 2009

Saying goodbye to my old job

So, as I referenced in this post I am no longer employed by CompuCredit and I will be starting a new job with US Bank on Monday. I'm really anxious/nervous/excited to be starting this new job.

Anyway, with it being my last day today, I was actually busier than I've been in a long time. It's like moving out of a house, but I actually didn't have much to take with me (just a box full of stuff). Since we didn't have anyone hired to fill my job yet, I spent this week typing up a 15 page "manual" on how to perform my job. I finished it this morning, then spent part of the day just taking care of any last-minute things that needed to be fixed.

A few of my co-workers pitched in and bought me lunch today and they also had a card made for me, which was signed by a lot of people. I thought it was all so thoughtful.

I ended up working later than I have in a LONG time on a Friday. In fact, I ended up working an hour past the time we closed! I was trying to get a bunch of files moved for the next person taking over the job, but it was taking FOREVER.

Finally I decided to bag it. I sent an email to the IT guy telling him that it needs to be finished. I then de-activated my own badge (I was the person that created and deactivated keycard badges for access to the building). I did a little glance around my area, waited to see if I'd shed a tear or feel bad (I didn't) then I walked out of the building.

It was kind of odd. I've driven to this place for over 10 years. I started off working here as a phone "sales and service" representative for Providian Financial (which has since folded as a company). Here is a cool picture of me doing what I did. I had 40 "sales" in one week, so my boss took my picture and posted it somewhere:

Tyler First months on job

After 3.5 months of that phone stuff, I couldn't stand it and as I stated earlier, I applied for a Facilities coordinator job. I didn't get it the first time, but I got it the second time. I worked my butt off, but had a lot of fun. Eventually I was promoted to a manager position and I had some great people join my staff and as co-workers.

When I was a manager, I had my own private cubicle. Someone at work took my picture (I think it was Damon) and made my hair look funny:

Tyler's first year on the job

Damon was the one that made things interesting. Sometimes he would be sitting at his desk and then start grabbing wads of scotch tape off the dispenser and taping them to his face, distorting his eyes, nose, mouth, etc. then turn around and look at us as if it was totally normal. Other times you would hear a loud "bang" in his office and you would run in there and he would be on the floor. He was famous for falling over in his chair. One time he made cool masks for me and him and we took this picture:

tyler and damon (at work)

Yes, that was work :).

Eventually Providian closed their operations here and I was fortunate to get a job with CompuCredit. I learned a ton and had some great times on visits out to Atlanta to spend time with my co-workers. One time we toured the CNN building and we all got this photo-op with Mr. Ted Turner himself:

Tyler and co-workers with Ted Turner

Another time we went on a tour of the Atlanta Braves stadium, which was a lot of fun. We got to go in the locker room and in the dugouts too:

Tyler in the Atlanta Braves dugout

On another visit we went Striper (Bass) fishing on Lake Lanier with some of the guys in my department. That was a lot of fun.


Other times our site manager's boss would come out and he'd invite us all to go Skiing with him. Those were fun times too:

Feb Ski Day 07

Am I sad I'm leaving this job? I'm not sure, but I know one thing is that I'll have great memories of working in the same building for 10+ years. I know it's not common to find people that have worked at one place that long, so I think I kind of wear it like a badge of honor. I hope to make my next job last just as long, if not longer.

My only worry now is that I don't drive to my old work on Monday out of habit.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Endurance....., to the month, it's been 10 years since I started in the field I'm currently working in. I had moved to Utah in July of 1998. I saved around $1200 to come here and "live" off of until I could find a job. I lived in my Aunt's basement while looking for a job and a more permanent place to stay. I spent the first month living here not really sure what I wanted to do for work. I had done mostly manual labor stuff, but I really wanted to get out of that line of work and be "someone important" if that makes any sense. I wanted to start looking into business-type stuff, but I had no idea where to start.

As Alene and I sat in the hot tub last night, we were talking about experience with job interviewing. I found it kind of funny that I hadn't considered the fact that there was such a thing as "experience gained" while interviewing for a job. I just assumed you go in, you answer questions, then you leave. I've recently learned that there is a preparation side to it all and that basically every company asks the same questions.

When I moved here, I did interview for a phone customer service job with a credit card company. It was pretty cool and exciting to be a part of that company because they were growing so quickly and everyone was being promoted right and left. I started in late August of 1998. A part of our job requirement was to "sell" products at the end of the call (stuff to add on to your credit card like insurance and other scams). One month I was one of the top 3 in our whole site (close to 800 people) in add-on sales and I just figured it was only time before I'd be promoted to a team assistant, then maybe a team supervisor and the sky was the limit.

However, after about 2.5 months or so I started to dread the life of coming in and sitting at your computer for 8 hours, being tied down to a phone. I noticed a job posting for "facilities coordinator" for our company. I figured it wouldn't hurt to inquire. I asked the manager about the position and he said it covered a broad-range of things like simply helping to set up a meeting, to helping with managing a construction project. I was intrigued at the time because I could tell it was a job that required knowledge and ability to do manual labor, but it wasn't necessarily a part of the job.

I applied, interviewed, and was turned down for the job (they hired a GIRL of all people :) ). I had given up on that idea pretty quickly. I just figured the manager didn't like me. A month or so goes by and it's December. I'm getting really tired of the phone job and my stats start slacking really bad. late December rolls around and I'm walking to my car. The girl they hired over me stops me in the parking lot and said they were opening up another position to add to the department and she though I should re-apply. I was stoked that she would go to that length to tell me about it. We hadn't said more than 2 words to each other prior to that. I interviewed for the job and close to New Years Day, I was told I was accepted. It even came with a plus 10% raise (I went from a whopping $9/hr to $10/hr). I started just after New Years in 1999.

I worked my tail off that whole year. I eventually found out the girl that was hired before me was hired because of her skill-set with security (she was an Army reservist and had some background in security stuff), so that was her main responsibility within the department. I was the "manual labor" guy, but it wasn't too bad or dirty for me. Still, I wanted to prove myself capable and by the end of the summer our department added many more people and we needed to create a manager position as kind of a go-between between the coordinators and my boss, who had other responsibilities within the bank. My boss said I should apply. I did and I was promoted to manager over the team of coordinators. The promotion came with a 25% raise. I was so excited and felt like I had "made it" in some ways over the course of the year I had lived in Utah.

Things were going really well. Just after that Caiden was born, but I was having serious marriage issues already and that was soon affecting my job performance in some ways. I was sometimes late to work (my boss was pretty adamant on being on time to the minute). I maintained my job still and I continued to learn a lot though.

Eventually I started to consider school and what to do with my life. My boss had started off at a community college, then transferred his credits to the University of Phoenix. I thought the idea of school being one night a week for 4 hrs, then another night a week with your study group as a pretty neat thing for your schedule. I went there and applied and started pretty quickly.

I was going to be a business major. I wasn't quite sure which area, but I was considering Business Administration (which is what my boss had done). After 4-5 classes though, my marriage broke apart and I took a hiatus from school. I had to get a second job to make ends meet on my own. I had kind of given up on school and had no idea when I would return. After a while my boss had left the company, so I was kind of "given" his job with all the additional responsibility and no pay increase. In fact, things got so bad for the company that I went 2 years without a pay raise.

In the Summer of 2002 I had figured out a way for me to be able to go back to school. By then I started considering what I really loved and decided I wanted to major in History and teach. My friends at work convinced me to enroll at SLCC and get my associates there. My good friend Damon had just finished his there and was going to Weber State to get his degree in Criminal Justice. He said SLCC was easy because it was close by and fairly cheap compared to a university. I enrolled there and started off going full-time. I was able to xfer 15 credits from my university of Phoenix days and I was excited about being able to finish off my Associates Degree, then decide what to do from there.

That Fall, however, it was announced that my company we worked for was going to close up shop here in Utah. They laid everyone off, but gave us a good 6 weeks notice as to when the last day would be (it could have been worse, like some companies that just put a lock on the door with a note saying "good luck"). They gave us all 8 weeks severance, paid out our vacation AND, if we had accrued any sabbatical pay (they offered a paid sabbatical) they paid that out too. Here was the great part though: A new company was interested in buying a portion of our business and setting up in the same building, although on a smaller scale (one floor as opposed to 5 floors). They needed a facility manager, but that would be it (no coordinators or people working under me). I interviewed with my current boss and was offered the job at my same pay. From there I grew into my position more and learned a ton. It's been 7 great years and as I stated in my previous post, I'm moving onto a new job, but I really am going to miss this job and those I work with.

I'm getting off track (this post was supposed to be about school). Over the first few semesters at SLCC, with full-time school, work changes, and having Caiden part of the time, I burned myself out pretty quickly. Along the way I failed 3-4 classes, didn't go at all during some semesters, re-took the failed classes, and here I am, almost 7 years later, finally taking my last class at SLCC. I know it sounds lame to know that it took me 7 years to get a stupid Associates, but I'm still going to be proud of it. I know I could have done better, but I should be able to pull off close to a 3.0 GPA when it's all said and done. That is better than what I finished with in high school (closer to a 2.5 while taking non-challenging classes), so despite failing classes and re-taking them, I know I've actually applied myself on a higher level.

The last class I'm taking is Math 1030. I just don't like Math and I'm trying my best to endure it. So far I'm staying on task, although I did miss one class because I just "forgot" I had class. My classes are on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 8:30pm to 10pm, so it's easy to forget when you have a class that late. Google Calendar and their SMS reminders are a great thing now :).

I'm really not sure where I'm going to go from here. I do think it's important to further your education as much as possible and as much as needed. In my field of work, there are always things that would be good to learn and know about. I'm going to give a lot of attention to my new job, then this summer sometime, explore areas of my job where education could help it and maybe finish off my bachelors in that area. I still want to teach History someday, but I think that will be more for my retirement years, or at least my near-retirement years. I'm not in a rush to get all that taken care of. Right now I'm just excited for this new phase in my life and my career and I'm going to make the most of it.