Monthly Archives: December 2007

Till Next Time Salt Lake

Well, I’m home. I didn’t really do much today once i got home, but I did finish the season of 24. I had a pretty much not so interesting morning. I did breakfast at the hotel and then packed up and headed to the airport. The security line was long, but we made it through it. I wasn’t selected for any additional security measures and didn’t have to go through the puffing machine. The flight was full and I was squished in the middle. I spent most of the time in the airport and on the plane reading “The Wednesday Letters.” I also spent a good amount of time at the airport text messaging, but of course that had to stop when we got on the plane.

I found that it was disturbingly hot when I returned to Ontario. I knew it wasn’t going to be as nice as it was in Salt Lake, but I wasn’t expecting it to be in the 70s. I understand it is going to be warm through Thursday, so I’m thinking that maybe I should have stayed in the snow longer.

I finished the season of 24 and haven’t been able to decide if I should watch the preview for season seven. I also don’t know if I’m just loosing interest because it has been going on for a while now, if my love for the show has changed, or if the writers are having a hard time keeping the show compelling enough, but i didn’t find myself as stuck to the TV as I have been with previous seasons. Something tells me that it may be a combination of all three.

I spent a little more time reading this evening and I think I am going to head to sleep early tonight to try and get back to a reasonable deficit amount. I’ve been thinking about writing letters recently, somewhat from when I bought the book and probably more so because of Tara. In the book, the husband’s first letter to his wife was on their wedding day and he promised that every week he would write her. I had been contemplating since I got the book what he could possibly write about every week when I assumed he was with her most of the time or had already shared the stories. It sounds in fact like the letters are almost more of journal entries, but written to her instead of to no one. It’s a very interesting concept, one that I may like to pursue further. I’m about half way through the book (just started reading this morning) and am anxious to see what else the children are able to unfold.

It sounds like Marie is getting a group together for Disneyland tomorrow, so let either of us know if you’re interested in going. I think she said she was planning on leaving around 10:30 or 11.

I wonder what it would be like if we were in Switzerland tonight… That would have been one heck of a way to celebrate the new year. Maybe next year…

Tara’s Farewell

Today was interesting. I tried to sleep in, but the hotel alarm clock woke me up at 6:30 and I could not figure out how to turn the stupid thing off! I tried unplugging it from the wall, but they must have known I was coming and wrapped the cord around the bed so I couldn’t do that! Once I was fully coherent, I was finally able to figure out how to turn each of its alarms off. I was able to get back to sleep for a while and then decided that I would progress to check on the hotel breakfast buffet. I’m sure it wasn’t as good as Cheesecake, but it wasn’t horrible. The blueberry muffin was quite good, so was my cheese omelet and some of the fruit.

I came back up to the room intending on reading for a while, but I got sidetracked on facebook somehow. Before I knew it, it was time to head to pickup Shelly and get to Tara’s meetinghouse. We got there at just the right time and had a great lesson from a member of the Bountiful Utah Temple Presidency. There were a few times where it really hit me the sacrifice that people went through to build temples. He did a good job explaining timelines and other events going on at the same time as certain temples were being built. A lot of it was stuff I already knew, but hadn’t necessarily realized. It made me feel bad for not going to the temple yesterday as I was planning on at one point.

For Sunday School we talked about how to keep the spirit of Christmas with us throughout the year. Tara suggested we get her presents everyday. Seriously though, being more Christlike throughout the year would be good. One sister shared that every year on Christmas Eve, each member of her family writes down a goal for the next year and then places it in the manger. She says that the next year, before writing down the new goal(s), they open the ones from last year which have been sealed up and consider how they have done. This is supposed to be a gift for the Savior, and something that we can work on throughout the year.

The chapel (and cultural hall) was (were) nearly filed to the brim with people there to support Tara and the other sister who will be serving a mission. Tara did a good job explaining some missionary opportunities she has had and encouraged those in attendance to pick up the missionary efforts even here where 1 in 1.4 people is a member. The other sister talked about the difference between sharing the gospel and preaching the gospel. After Church was the reception at her house where it seemed most of the ward showed up. Shelly and I only stayed for about an hour and decided to move on. She was going to see another friend and I was going to get some reading in.

Gateway PlazaBut plans change. After I dropped Shelly off, I wasn’t really sure what to do. I didn’t really want to come back and sit in the hotel room alone, but I thought that some reading time would be good. I didn’t get any pictures of temple square, and since it was dark I decided to head over there and take some pictures. I did that and managed to practically freeze to death in the process. Once I finally realized this, I decided it was time to get back in the car and get to the hotel. I think I’m almost thawed out now, many hours later.

I hoped on the computer, which I don’t think has ever been frozen before. I’ve thought my computer was cold before, but never this cold! I wasn’t actually sure if it was going to work to be honest. It did, however, and I spent more time on facebook trying to catch up on what has been happening. I discovered that Shay was in Utah, so i texted her to find out where she was and what she was doing. I thought maybe she would be headed to a big party and would have some great treats, but it didn’t sound like it.

Larilyn said that practically everyone asked her where I was today. Not because I was missing, but because they had heard that I might be in Switzerland with Maegan for New Year’s! I love the rumor mill!

Well, it is after 11 and my chocolate covered strawberries still haven’t arrived. I don’t think they’re coming, so I’m going to head to bed so I am recharged for the trip home tomorrow.

P.S. The evening worked out well in the hotel room and I didn’t even have to resort to 24!

Salt Lake Tourist

I made it to Salt Lake safely this morning. I managed to wake up even 15 minutes before my alarms and was able to get out of the house on time, right about 3:30-3:45. I made it to the airport with plenty of time and all seemed to go well. Meeting Shelly at the airport worked out well. Her flight came in just after mine.

Once we got the car, we headed to temple square. We spent some time there going through the visitors centers and the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. We then decided to walk to lunch which ended up being an adventure. We were headed for Olive Garden, but they were having problem and weren’t open. Shelly shot down going across the street to Macaroni Grill because last time she ate there it wasn’t that good. We then started the search for Benihana’s. I’m thinking it was torn down or is closed for remodeling because we couldn’t find it. We decided to walk to the Gateway Center where we ate at California Pizza Kitchen.

It was pretty much too cold to do anything once we had warmed up inside CPK, so we decided to watch a movie. I Am Legend ended up working out for us, so we saw that. It was good, but kind of sad in some places. It’s an interesting story plot which I could imagine actually happening way too easily.

After the movie we went to the Church History Museum and then back to the car at the conference center. We drove to the hotel, got checked in and situated and then decided it was time for something to happen, with the obvious next step being dinner. Since I really wanted to go to the Cheesecake Factory since they finally opened one here, we went, but discovered it had a 2.5 to 3 hour wait for the two of us! We walked around the mall, but that only took 30 minutes! Shelly talked me into going to Olive Garden for dinner and we settled on Cheesecake for dessert. I think we eat too much! (We ate too much too.)

It started snowing a bit when we were coming back from the movie, but it picked up in intensity around dinner time. After dinner it was actually coming down with some volume.

I think we had a good time today. We probably could have used a break in there somewhere to take a nap or read a book, but I guess the movie kind of filled that spot. It was cold, but it didn’t seem too bad except when you had just come out of a warm building. Tomorrow should be a bit more relaxing with nothing planned in the morning, Tara’s church in the afternoon, who knows what for dinner and then I think at least Shelly and I are going to go to Temple Square to see it lit up at night. And we need to get our pictures in!

Now, I think I’m either headed straight for bed or I’m going to watch one episode of 24 and then fall dead asleep.

Packing for the Cold

Everything went well at the office today. Nathaniel and Batch got everything cleared out of 306 and into our new suite. Good job getting it done boys! It will be nice having everything back in a somewhat reachable area and actually being moved completely into the new area.

I came home tonight to get things settled for tomorrow. I was thinking about changing my flights and just going Sunday morning and coming back Sunday night after other plans for tomorrow seemed to fall through. Then I was thinking I could spend a day in the Salt Lake Temple, which would be good. I was able to convince Shelly to come down earlier than she was planning so I can spend the day with her and we can cause trouble together! I’m sure we can come up with something to entertain ourselves tomorrow.

I spent way too much time packing and considering options tonight. I booked a hotel room at the Marriott SLC Center because it offered chocolate covered strawberries! It may be a few dollars more than a Courtyard, but I’m guessing it will be worth it. I hope i get more than two or some ridiculous amount.

I think I’m going to leave it at that and get an episode of 24 out of the way so I can get to sleep and be up at 2 in the morning! If you have any suggestions of things to do in SLC, please let me know!

M&M Crisis Averted

The mint M&M crisis has been averted. We have located three bags. I may be able to ration them to get me through the year, but it will be tough. I have located them securely in the safe for the time being.

Today went fairly well. I had more time to get caught up on some bookkeeping that probably should have been done a while ago. I struck out again at Costco this evening, but did get lots of other things we needed for the office before heading over to Mens Wearhouse to pickup my new suit.

I came home, watched an episode of 24 and am thinking about heading to bed early tonight. I’m probably a bit behind in my sleep already, and I know I won’t be getting a full night’s worth tomorrow night.

No Mint M&M’s

I made it to the office practically on time again this morning! I would have been there at 8 exactly, but I decided that I needed to do a quick vacuum of my car before I left the house this morning. I decided to check the weather this morning and it was 32 in Murrieta. I decided to prepare myself with my new coat and was ready for multiple layers if necessary. Fortunately the heaters had decided to work this morning so it wasn’t necessary.

I realized mid afternoon that the real reason I was up early this morning wasn’t to get to the office on-time, but rather to get to the stores before they ran out of mint M&M’s! I completely forgot to go candy shopping this morning. I also forgot about doing it this evening after work. And the worst news of all. My shoppers that I had assigned the task of purchasing every bag of mint M&Ms they came in contact with failed miserably and couldn’t find any! We even spent some time looking on the Internet for somewhere to order them from and couldn’t make it happen.

I enjoyed some more 24 this evening. I can actually tell it is starting to get old because I find myself more interested in my text messaging than I actually am in 24. Then again, planning trips to Switzerland does involve a lot of attention.

Now here’s my discovery of the day: Not only am I ebullient about absconding to Switzerland, but it is quite disturbing that it is somehow cheaper to fly from ONT to LAX to Geneva than it is to fly from LAX to Geneva. Cheaper by the tune of somewhere in the range of up to a thousand dollars! I don’t understand this. Maybe I’m missing something here, but how is it possibly cheaper to put me on another plane and yet send me through the same airport? No wonder so many of these airlines are in distress. (i really tried to get morbidity into that first sentence somewhere, but I just couldn’t make it sound even one bit natural. Maybe it is time for bed. I’ve been trying to use my new vocab words that Maegan is teaching me from her gre studies.)

Ok, so we aren’t absconding to Geneva just to get swiss chocolate, but it sounds like a good idea. I was actually surprised that we could get a flight in three days for just over $1,000 with all the taxes. It might almost be worth doing something like that for chocolate when my mint M&M cravings get bad enough. Maybe someday I’ll just be crazy and do something like that…

Christmas Day of 24

All went well today. It was nice and relaxing. After opening presents this morning I spent most of the day watching 24. I’m just over half way through the season, so I still have quite a bit to go and am definitely interested in getting through them so I will know what happened.

All the gifts I gave ended up working out well I think.

I really don’t have much to report without leaving the house or really doing much of anything today, so I think I’m going to head to bed and try to make it to the office again tomorrow morning so i can get home early and get through some more episodes of 24!

Making the Rounds

I don’t know what planets were aligned correctly this morning, but i was in the office before eight this morning after being up late last night. We didn’t get one real phone call, as I expected, but I was able to get a lot of other little things done which I was very grateful for. I still have lots to do, but it was nice. I’m hoping that the rest of the week will be fairly quiet as well and we can get ourselves ready for the new year.

I left the office shortly after noon and went to Mens Wearhouse to get a coat for Salt Lake next week and pick up some new fun clothes. I’ve got a new suit that will be ready for me Thursday. One of the ladies that helped me was LDS, which I figured out after she asked if I was going to go to the temple in SLC. She asked me to bring her back pictures.

From Costco I just started making the rounds and dropping off pictures at the houses of people who I didn’t get to see yesterday. I got to sit and talk with Sib for quite some time and hear all about Idaho. I had forgotten that she is off track for the winter so she will be with us for a few months. It will be nice to have her around again.

I made it home around the time I probably should be home on a regular basis and realized it was time for lunch! Fortunately there were some snicker-doodles hot off the press which made a good lunch before I finished up my meatball calzone for real dinner. Matthew and I wrapped presents and then i set in to watch 24.

Oh, I spent a few hours trying to figure out the best plan for next weekend. As usual, it was mind boggling trying to decide between the different airports and flight times. I don’t understand how Ontario has become the most expensive airport. Even San Diego is somehow cheaper than it now. Burbank for some reason wants to be the cheapest for this flight, but I’m not driving all the way there just to save some money. I was seriously getting close to booking a flight out of SAN but it came down to having to get up earlier on Monday morning for my return and I didn’t want to deal with it.

I will be leaving on the first flight out Saturday morning, seeing what kind of trouble I can cause in the greater Salt Lake area (Cheesecake anyone?), will probably go to Temple Square and see it at Christmas time and then will spend Sunday with Tara and her family and of course hear her farewell speech. I’ll fly back late Monday morning, giving me enough time to still enjoy the long weekend with New Year’s.

I think I’m off to enjoy my bed for the evening now. I wonder where Norad is tracking Santa to be right now?

Pictures Make Happy People

Another late night, what the heck!?! Today was good. i got lots of pictures framed this morning and loaded them all into my car. I made it to Church way early today, even had enough time to sit outside and finish listening to a talk and still had ten minutes before sacrament was supposed to start. President Smith spent most of the day with us, and again encouraged us to take whatever steps we need to progress on our conversion and to make sure we are in the temple regularly, which he defined as at least monthly. Emily didn’t end up playing for us today, but Stephanie did sing for us. I guess Emily and Marissa did something in her home ward earlier.

I didn’t get to enjoy Stephanie’s lesson today after she got home at 3 o’clock this morning because I got sidetracked into helping with other projects and then started handing out some pictures. Everyone seemed to really enjoy them. Even Sister Dowden seemed OK with the picture i found of her. Things went well at the Dowden’s, although we had a pretty small group it seemed today.

I left after dinner to go make some rounds and drop off some pictures. I tried to stop at Sib’s house, but she wasn’t home so I went to visit Emily. I found her and her dad playing piano and guitar, gave her the pictures and then we ended up sitting there talking for hours. Next thing I knew we had long since missed branch prayer and it was almost my bedtime. I wanted to come home, but I also wanted to get Christina’s picture to her, so i went back to the Dowden’s to meet up with her.

I’m trying to decide what to do for next weekend. I’m almost liking the idea of flying out Sunday morning and returning Sunday night because that means that I won’t have to deal with packing and such – I could just get up and go basically. But, that means I’d have to travel not once, but twice on Sunday, which I would prefer not to do. I guess it will depend on if I find any other activities to do while I am there – on either end. I think I need to go coat shopping tomorrow…

Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts!

OK, so I’m up extremely late and I’m not really sure why. Oh, I guess it was because I was looking for flights to SLC for next weekend and then got sidetracked into stuff on Facebook and who knows what else. I guess I should start at the beginning.

I got up this morning and worked some more on getting the right pictures printed from Costco. I ordered a few more that I decided to add… I got that done and then Larilyn and I headed to the temple. Brooke was trying to get a group together, but just couldn’t make it happen, but we still did our part.

I went to Krispy Kreme and got pumpkin spice doughnuts. I’ve been holding myself back from eating all three dozen, but they will most definitely be gone soon. We went to Fuddruckers for lunch and by the time we got back to Fallbrook it was almost 5. I changed and went to Costco to pickup my pictures for the whatever time this is and to see what other kind of goodies I could find. I was determined to find some gifts for some people in this house. I also decided to buy season six of 24 so that I can watch it like mad over the next week and not have to wait for the discs to come in the mail from Netflix. I also picked up seasons 1-5 for my collection and managed to save $60 somehow along the way!

I stopped by the office to try and help out and also to share some of my pumpkin spice doughnuts. Bouse was very happy to see them – about as happy as I was to get them! Batch decided that it would be worth taking a chance with them since they aren’t sugar free. It was probably the right decision to make! I got the alarm reprogramed with the new zones and got a few other paperwork things done before heading out to Kristin’s party.

I stayed for about two hours and then decided to head out. i was trying to get to bed at a reasonable time so i could get lots done tomorrow morning, but that doesn’t seem to have worked out very well.

Shelly got her present today and decided to open it, even after my note that said she has been caught in the act. I guess FedEx decided it would be easier to deliver on a Saturday than to try and get all their packages out on Monday. Good for me last minute kind of guys, but bad for those who decide to open their gifts before Christmas day – or even Christmas Eve!

I’m sure I could keep going, but I need to get to sleep. Lots to do tomorrow.

Christmas Parties

I didn’t get up as early as I was half hoping for this morning, but it all worked out. I made it to the office by 8:30 and got through my paperwork as well as a few other things. There are many projects that I still need to focus on, but I am guessing that Monday will be pretty quiet and I can get some things done then.

I left in the mid afternoon to run some errands. I had to take Shelly’s gift to FedEx, make a deposit at the bank and pickup pictures and frames at Costco. I also discovered this morning the reason that i don’t wear the clothes in my closet that I don’t wear. it’s because there is a particular reason that I don’t like them. I put on this shirt this morning that I thought was festive (maroon), but I don’t wear all that often. i figured it out about the time I was half way to Temecula this morning: The darn thing is just uncomfortable. So, i decided to stop and buy a new shirt instead of going through the rest of the day wearing that one. I made it back to the office, but didn’t get much done after that and pretty much just started working on getting some of the pictures together for this evening.

It was as I was driving to dinner that I realized that there were some pictures that I just didn’t think I remembered seeing and I couldn’t find in the stacks. I was thinking at first that maybe there was a third envelope that I forgot to get somehow. When I got home tonight (right now) I figured out that they somehow didn’t get uploaded and ordered. i don’t know if I somehow didn’t click the right button or if Costco’s computer just decided it didn’t like me. In any event, I’m uploading the missing pictures now and will have prints ready tomorrow. It looks like I must have not pushed the button to get one of everything because it seems it is all the pictures that I only wanted one of that I am missing.

The office dinner went well tonight. We sat there for a while, made some people blind by taking their pictures (and it was all Bouse, not me) and ate lots of food. Some people had never experienced the chocolate chip calzone before, so we shared ours: They all seemed to like it.

After dinner we headed up to the branch Christmas party at the Mattson’s. We got there just in time for the snowball (marshmallow) fight. I got attacked with them, but didn’t throw any back. It was kind of exciting. We talked for a while and then decided to head out. I actually made it home before 10, but now it is after 11 and I’m still not in bed!

Disappointment at Costco

I headed to Costco this evening to get the pictures printed and to buy some frames. I discovered they didn’t have the 5×7 frames I was looking for, so I think I’m going to have to jump up to the next size and go with it. I’m sure it will work out fine, it was just a little disappointing. I have to go back tomorrow to get the pictures anyway…

We were supposed to go to Cheesecake Factory tonight, and look at Christmas lights or something, but as usual the plans started to fall apart. i decided that I was just going to focus on getting some other things done and try to get home at a reasonable hour. It probably would have been an absolute madhouse there tomorrow, and seeing as how we are already going to be dealing with a large group tomorrow night for dinner, once in a week is probably more than enough for me.

24 Hour Marathon?

I did watch one episode of 24 this evening. I think it is time for a good marathon from the beginning to include all the people that haven’t seen and become addicted to the show yet! We could watch all six seasons back to back and keep everything in sync with the actual time. That would give us enough time for meal breaks (cause it only takes 45 real minutes for their hour) and then we could take the time between seasons (whatever the hour difference is) and use that to sleep! I’ve got enough PTO built up to take a week off, right?

Well, without knowing what else to write about, I’m going to bed in hope that I can get some work done tomorrow and that I can shake this cold.

Fix Your Phones People

Are you ready for this? After going to sleep way too late this morning, I think I’m going to try to be asleep before 10 tonight! Seeing as how I generally get up at 6, or at least try/want to, maybe I should always try for that… Hmm, maybe I’ve stumbled upon a major finding tonight! Yeah, anyway, I got payroll done and my Christmas cards signed today at the office. We got most of them out and the remaining few should be going out here shortly. Of course, I still didn’t get as much done as i would have liked, but I’m making progress I guess.

I actually got to leave the office before 5 because we had a box that needed to be taken to FedEx. I then stopped by the bank and was home at a reasonable time! It didn’t really do too much with my time this evening, but I got some reading time in, checked in on the net and just spent some time at home.

Verizon came and installed three additional phone lines for us today. Two of them work great, but one of them also rings into Left Behind Games’ phone system! You get both systems somehow, so they are going to come back out and fix some wiring hopefully tomorrow.

The combination of their phone system and Quickooks’ last week really makes me wonder how many companies just don’t get it and are so focused on having an automated system that is wrong route calls places. Intuit kept sending my calls for Enterprise Solutions, their top of the line product to the Quicbkooks for Mac department. We pay close to $1000 a year for 24/7 support and the guy I’m talking to tells me that I’m not only talking to the wrong department, but that the people I need to talk to closed six minutes ago. He doesn’t realize that I’ve been on the phone for eight minutes, so they were open when i called. He transfers me back to the same menu i was just in and i swear I’m talking to the same Indian again the second time. A lady at Verizon asked me how many lines we had. I said 5. She replied that I was at the wrong department. I informed her that I pushed 1 when it said for residential and business customers with 1-5 lines, push 1. For business customers with 6 or more lines, push two. She said that because we were business, she couldn’t help us. She transferred me to ringing before disconnecting our call. When I called back in the next lady asked me the same question. i told her that in the interest of not being disconnected or sent to another incorrect department, I’d assure her that I had less than six lines and that the phone system directed me to her, so she could help me. When she called back the CID said asterisk, so apparently Verizon is running * as well. I guess our system works better than theirs did though because we actually answered the call.