Saturday, May 30, 2009

I was in awe of my surroundings today

As I sat at Caiden's baseball game today, I was blown away by the view we have at his games. (click on the picture, then "all sizes" for a larger version)


Also, the clouds were out and full force today. VERY white and bright



Bailey is learning

She has finally started to reject her veggies. We knew it was only time. Alene was very good about starting her off with eating just veggies and rice, then introducing fruits, however now she will only eat the rice and fruits.

She knows how to tell us "no" now.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Alene is amazing

Every night she puts bailey to sleep with the most beautiful songs only a mother could sing to her children. Alene thinks she has a horrible voice, but when I hear Alene sing, I hear the most beautiful voice coming from a mother who loves her child so much. I know Alene's voice is the most beautiful voice in the world to Bailey.

I love this picture of Bailey hanging out in mommy's lap.

05.21.09 Crack Canyon

Monday, May 25, 2009

San Rafael Swell camping trip

Be sure to check out these posts from our most recent trip to the San Rafael Swell. We had a great time, despite the rain sending us home a day early.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Sunday, May 17, 2009

UVU Car show at Thanksgiving point

When I was growing up my dad and mom would always take us to classic car shows. I developed a love for old cars when I was young but it has been a while since I've really been into older cars. Recently my brother purchased an old '51 Chevy and is restoring it from the ground up. He's literally taking it all apart (the engine, the frame, drive shaft, etc.) and re-building it. He bought a sand blaster and has been blasting the engine compartment and frame back to it's original finish. He has the engine torn apart and getting re-machined. He bought a HUGE compressor (the kind you have to bolt down to the ground) and paint gun and plans on painting it in his garage.

Anyway, I'm kind of getting back into those older cars and a lot of great memories have re-surfaced from my youth. I remember just being enamored with older cars and just loving going to "Auto-Rama" with my dad and brothers every year. This year was just as great as me, my dad, my brother's Russ, Jeff, and Billy, and my brother in-law Nate all went. I took a few pictures of my favorite cars.

I don't know what kind of car this was, but it looks like they dipped the body in some sort of copper finish. It was amazing and you could see yourself in the reflection.

05.16.09 UVU Car show

(L-R) Russ in the black shirt, my dad, Jeff, me, Billy

05.16.09 UVU Car show

This old buick was like something out of Mad Max. It had a converted diesel engine in it and it was LOUD. Loved it.

05.16.09 UVU Car show

'69 Chevy Camero - my dream classic car (except I want one in black)

05.16.09 UVU Car show

This is the first car my dad owned when he was 15/16

05.16.09 UVU Car show

I was tempted to take it all off.

05.16.09 UVU Car show

Growing up my parents bought Russ and I one of these mini-bikes. We LOVED it. It looked just like this.

05.16.09 UVU Car show


Me & Russ 1983

Jeff found this old Russian motorcycle in the swap meet section and is in the process of buying it.

05.16.09 UVU Car show

We had a great time and I can't wait to go back.

Week in pictures

I had a pretty busy week. I started of the week heading up to Idaho Falls for work. We recently aquired a failing bank that included 7 branches. I was part of a group that went around to inspect the buildings and evaluate their condition. I'll still be taking other trips to this area over the course of the next 6 months to set up contractor work on the maintenance and repairs for these properties, evaluating the existing lease contracts, etc.

I arrived at Idaho Falls on Monday night and met up that morning with another property manager from Boise and the project manager out of Minnnesota. We drove out to branches at Victor and Driggs, Idaho. Both branches were spectacular and from what our project manager said, the most beautiful branches we now own. They spared no expense at every detail (which is likely a part of the reason they went under). We then went over the Teton mountains (which were beautiful) and into Jackson, Wyoming to inspect another beautiful branch. From there we headed back to Idaho Falls and I high-tailed it back to SLC that evening.

On Wednesday afternoon I drove down to Grand Junction, Colorado. I am taking over 10 additional properties along the Colorado western slope from Grand Junction down to Telluride. I met up with my boss and the out-going property manager Thursday morning and we did a tour of 7 of my properties on the way down to Telluride. We ate dinner in Telluride and then got a hotel about 15 miles outside the town. This hotel was VERY nice and cheap considering the area ($105/night). The next day we went back into Telluride to tour 2 branches, then headed out in the middle of nowhere to Norwood to tour the last branch. My boss brought me back to Grand Junction to get my rental car and I sped on back to Utah.

Along the way I stopped at a cool "ghost town" called Thompson Springs, UT. I use the term Ghost town loosely because there were still residents there (mostly in random trailers), but the town itself was either boarded up, or vandalized. The town itself once sat on the old Highway 50, which was the main road on your way from Utah to Colorado. Then I-70 was built and this town obviously died off from lack of business. It kind of reminded me of the cartoon "Cars", however this was a much scarier place as the locals obviously stared at me, an outsider, with a bit of bitter curiosity.

Below are some pictures from my trip. I don't really have much from the Idaho trip.

This is one of my branches in Grand Junction (my largest as it's over 50k sf). I liked it because of how the mirrored exterior reflects the sky so well. In fact, it's so good that we have common issues with birds flying into the building.

Grand Junction

Driving toward Telluride

05.14.09 Telluride

At the end of Telluride is a road that switches back up to the peak of this mountain and drops down into another highway. It's a single-lane road for half the way up to the top, however it's a two-way road up to Tesla's old power plant (which is now a wedding/reception castle).

05.14.09 Telluride

Close up of the castle

05.14.09 Telluride

Close up of a water fall

05.14.09 Telluride

Looking back toward Telluride

05.14.09 Telluride

Notice I didn't get any pictures of the actual town. I was in a hurry :-).

Thompson Springs, UT

Old Highway 50 with I-70 running parallel (look on the right for some faint vehicles) looking East

05.15.09 Thompson Springs, UT

Looking West

05.15.09 Thompson Springs, UT

Thompson Springs Motel. This place must have been the place to stay at one point. All the rooms had doors kicked in and they were all destroyed.

05.15.09 Thompson Springs, UT

05.15.09 Thompson Springs, UT

Across the street you have these 3 dead buildings

05.15.09 Thompson Springs, UT

An old railroad stop??

05.15.09 Thompson Springs, UT

The only active business around

05.15.09 Thompson Springs, UT


(No, this is not a futuristic picture of Alene and I)


Alene and I went to Tepanyaki for the first time last night for our Anniversary date. I LOVE that place and can't wait to go back. I was so glad Alene was able to eat some sushi. I, of course, got a beef dish.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I'm finally done with my Associates Degree

Honestly, I feel like it's a huge accomplishment for me, but at the same time I'm embarassed to blog about it.

I started school 9 years ago at the University of Phoenix. I was able to finish 5 classes there and then my divorce forced me to put school on hold a couple of years. I had to work a part time job at night to make ends meet and on the nights I wasn't working, I had Caiden. Eventually I got caught up financially and was considering my options. My friends at work had all done the SLCC thing and encouraged me to give it a try.

I started off taking a mix of 2 on-campus classes and 2 on-line classes. My first semester I finished with 3 A's and a B. I thought I was a genius and that I'd be done with the JC thing in no time.

Then I got lazy.

I'm still lazy.

The on-line classes were super easy, but I can be a natural procrastinator, so sometimes I didn't do so well. Eventually the classes I could take became on-campus only, so it was harder to fit in more than 2 classes a semester. Then I started coaching football, so school was out during the fall, which left only Spring/Summer to take classes. I skipped a few of those Summer/Spring semesters here and there....

But, here I am. I had one class left this past semester (Math 1030). In order to take this class I had to get a "C" or better in Math 1010. I had a C-. I lied to my teacher that I did have a "C", but I coudln't register on-line because it had been over 2 semesters since I took Math 1010 (I lied again, it had been 2 years). I promised him I would take this class very serious and he won't have a problem with me. He added me to his class manually. I finished his class this semester with an "A".

I'm very proud of that grade. I've also struggled with Math. Sure, when I pay attention I "get it", but I forget it quite quickly and I still find it one of the most boring topics I've ever taken in school.

So here I am now....I'm not sure when I want to start my bachelors degree and what I want to major in. I was so slow to finish my associates because I had a career field already established. I'm making decent enough money to support my family and I really like my job and the "sky is the limit" with my career (no dead ends). I know that if I want to advance to executive-type levels, I at least need to have my degree, but now I'm not sure what to do.

At first I was going to get my degree in History, get accredited as a teacher and teach high school history. Well, that can't support a family, but I still thought I could get my degree in History, retire early, and teach (and maybe it's a possibility), but I'm really thinking to lean toward something oriented to my field of work. Decisions, Decisions. Still, it's great to know that the sky is the limit and I have control over my future.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Jack Kemp said it best about this election

While I disagree with a lot of Obama's policies, Jack Kemp (RIP) made some great points about this election of Obama.

A Letter to my Grandchildren