Feb 28, 2011

Random Ramblings: Bob the Badger

Kristy has unfortunately been quite sick the last couple of days (she has Strep Throat) so my sleeping schedule has been a little off as well. Now I am not complaining, I would rather have a strange sleep schedule over having a Hulk-sized throat. I usually wake up when she does during the night and that has led to me remember some strange dreams.

Enter Bob the Badger.

I dreamt that my dad and I were at my sister's house and for some reason she had a vicious pet badger named Bob that stayed in the back yard. My dad and I were teasing this poor badger, banging on the window and yelling at it and it was certainly mad. It was trying its best to claw and chew through the glass and my dad and I just mocked it. And then we realized that we left the back door open. We ran to the back door and the badger was opening the door and pushing itself in. My dad shut the door on Bob and it was still trying to claw its way in. I ran to the kitchen and grabbed some spaghetti tongs and used them to shut the badger's mouth closed. We barely survived!

So where the crap did that come from? Does the badger symbolize something? Do I really want to know? And how the heck did I know that his name was Bob the Badger?

Feb 25, 2011

Friday Flashback: Case Cousins

I am having a hoot scanning in all these old slides. I cannot wait to get my hands on more of them!

I look just like Logan in this picture. Our mannerisms are so alike it is scary!

I like how we can barely see any one's face. And I absolutely love the old vintage Pop Shop bottles.

Same photo only retouched. It is definitely clearer.

Boy do I look unhappy here. I think it has to do with my dad making me take pictures when I would rather be playing.

Feb 23, 2011

Junior Jazz

It's funny. I didn't think that Logan would like basketball as much as he did soccer but he definitely likes playing basketball more.

So why is that funny?

Well, I thought his soccer coach was heads and tails better than his current lazy basketball coach. His coach last year taught him a lot and talked with him and us many, many times. But Logan just didn't get into soccer as much as he has gotten into basketball. But Logan's basketball coach (and I am really biting my tongue here) as probably said no more than three words to Logan and less to us. He doesn't seem very excited to coach and to be with the kids. If I had known that, Kristy and I would have coached. I don't want to seem cocky or toot my own horn (but I am) the kids would have learned much, much more with us coaching. We would at least would like to be with the kids and to share their enthusiasm.

But enough of me bootching and moaning about our current crappy coach. At least Logan is having fun and he does seem to improve all on his own.

One of the more annoying aspects of Logan and his "skills" is that he plays basketball on the floor.

Logan also likes to incorporate ballet when he plays.

At least Logan wants the ball.

He is a pretty good rebounder... ...when he wants to be.

Logan walked up the court after he scored like he has done it thousands of times before. What a showboat! ;)

I love pictures like this. Only a few kids are interested that Logan has the ball.

This shot does go in. He certainly has quite the arc.

We have noticed that Logan has a kick to him when he shoots.

Logan does enjoy basketball and I am sure he will play next year. Hopefully Kristy and I will have a better time next year than we did this year.

Feb 22, 2011

Tuesday Tunes

There are just some days where I don't feel like talking blogging. So let's see what my iPod will come up with when I hit shuffle.

Crush - Megadeth

I am not a huge fan of Megadeth since I only own a few of their songs but this one I just love because it gets me going. Whenever I have had a hard day and I am frustrated, I listen to this song in particular. There are times when I would just love to crush my opposition. This song also takes me back to when I coached 9th Grade Girl's Basketball. This was often our cheer before games and after timeouts. CRUSH 'EM! Now I am pumped.

In This Together - Apoptygma Berzerk

This is one of my favorite bands. My sister introduced them to me and I have been hooked ever since. This song was panned by critics saying that the sold out by adding guitars and sounding more "pop" but I like the new sound as much as I like their old sound.

Spread Your Wings - Queen

One thing for sure is that I need to get me a pair of sunglasses like Freddie's in this video. This is one of my favorite Queen songs. Whenever I am blue I listen to this song and I feel the same way as Sammy does. I just need to spread my wings and fly away and do what I need to do to make me happy. I guess when you have every Queen song out there, the chances of them coming up on my shuffle is good.

Sunshine - John Murphy

I am a huge fan of movie scores and this piece of music is one of my all-time favorites. You might have heard this one before since it is used in a lot of movies and movie trailers. It originally came from the underrated movie Sunshine (you will hear a clip of the movie in it ). The song evokes a lot of emotion, I feel hope while listening to this but I also feel a deep sadness. In case you were wondering, the girl says this in the middle of the song:

"Only dream I have ever have. The surface of the sun? Every time I shut my eyes it is always the same."

Feb 18, 2011

Friday Flashback!

This new scanner gives me the perfect excuse to do some blogging. I have started scanning in the old slides that my dad found and I am going to share them here on the blog every Friday.

These bunch of slides/pictures are some of my all-time favorites. This is a picture of all the existing cousins on my mom's side of the family. It was taken in the back of Grandma and Grandpa Anhder's house in their beautiful backyard.

This must have been frustrating for our parents in trying to get all the kids to look and smile at the same time. And especially with an old camera so you don't even know if you got a good one or not! This is the best of the three that I found on these slides. You can tell a lot about the kids from this picture. I like to pose (and I will let you in on a secret at the end of this blog as to why I am posed like I am). I love how Brad is in the background, how Jaimee is folding her arms (apparently a pro at picture time) and how Angie is laughing.

Here is the same pic only this time the color has been restored.

The only one that is still posing is Brad and I.

Retouched again.

At least our parents got half of us ready for the picture!

Jennifer, Emily, Angie, Wyatt, Katie Jo, Misty, Matt, Jeremy, Jaimee, Josh, Wes, Blake with Brad in the background. I think I got it right, feel free to correct me.

I do like both versions of each slide. The retouched pictures definitely add some detail to the picture. But the untouched ones adds a certain old-school look to them. More than likely I will scan both types.

So why am I posing like that? Two words.

Forbidden Crush.

I had a major crush on my cousin Katie Jo. Notice that I am standing right beside her? That is no coincidence. And I thought I would pose with my hands on my hips to look tough and serious. And I made sure I held this pose in every take so she would know how good I was. Yeah, I was trying to impress her.

I had a old school picture of hers that I used to take to school with me when I was living in Canada. I would show all the boys and claim that she was my American girlfriend. I cannot believe that I just admitted that. I know that I am not the only one who has had a crush on their cousin. Don't judge me!

Feb 17, 2011

Winter Comeback

One of the things that I love about February is that it is the last month of winter. Don't get me wrong, I do like winter but by the time February rolls around I am ready for the Spring.

Yesterday it was so nice and warm outside. It was a joy to work outside on Lynn's house since all I needed was just a jacket.

Oh yeah... ...it is still winter. I thought for sure that we were only going get a skiff of snow. Boy was I in a surprise this morning. We got about six inches of snow!

But the best part is that it is already starting to melt away. I do love February.

Feb 16, 2011

The Lost Mission Pictures

This new scanner is very, very cool. I was plum happy the way it scanned in old slides and I was eager to see how it handled old negatives. So I dug out my old mission negatives and looked and found some that I have never seen before! One of them I knew I had (I gave my only copy to my companion) but the other ones were brand new! At least I don't remember them at all and they did not come home with me when I returned from my mission.

This is Elder Browning looking calm with a snake crawling up his arm.

I have no idea where this came from. I am kinda glad this photo really never existed since I have a goofy look on my face. I don't remember this at all.

Now I remember this one. I gave my only copy to my companion Elder Hardy. But I have never seen it since then!

This was taken in my first area right outside of our apartment in Bensonhurst.

This scanner is really paying off. It is so cool that it can rescue photos from negatives.

Feb 15, 2011

New Scanner!

So my dad and I got a new scanner. This scanner will scan photos but will also scan old slides and old negatives. Well, we did a test run and I have to admit that I am more than thrilled to how the slides turned out.

This was a slide and we scanned it without the dust cleanup and the color restoration. I wasn't disappointed in this at all and would be happy just to have this lost photo of my Grandpa Papoo (taken back in the late 70's/early 80's).

Here is the same slide scanned again only this time we choose the dust cleanup and the color restoration.
I am very happy how this turned out. The colors are sharp and the photo looks like it was just taken days ago instead of decades!

The slides took about a minute each to scan. The software and hardware of this scanner is incredibly easy to use and I cannot wait to find a ton of old "lost" photos. We couldn't find any film negatives to try out so I will have to find when I get home.

I am not sure if I will use the color restoration on all of them though. I do like how some of the old photos look aged. I will probably do that on a picture by picture basis.

Feb 12, 2011

What is your Bid?

Last night was the annual Young Men/Young Women Dinner and silent auction. This is a fun activity for the ward (church) that I am in. The youth make and serve a delicious dinner in a nicely decorated gym for the adults and they also provide dinner and babysitting too. At the dinner is a silent auction where the youth auction off services or baked goods.

Last year I assisted at what is called the Money Table since Kristy was helping the youth in the kitchen. I collected the money that is made off the auctions and all the donations that are made for the dinner. I volunteered to do the same job this time around as well since I was already familiar with how to do it and more importantly, I was dateless. Kristy is the Young Women President so she was basically in charge of the whole thing so she was way busy in making sure everything was running well.

I really don't mind working at the Money Table. I get to talk with a lot of people and I don't mind not being part of the main festivities. I get to people watch (one of my favorite things to do) and I get to be around some fun people who also work at the Money Table. But what impresses me the most is the generosity of my neighbors. We do not live in a well-to-do neighborhood, we don't live on a hill with very influential people. But I live among some of the most generous people I have ever met.

Kristy and I were talking about this today and I think we came to a conclusion. I think the reason that this event is so successful is because of the youth and who they are.

The other day I was walking home with Logan from school when I ran into two of the Young Women, Rossy and Taylor. They stopped me (by yelling out Dr. Pepper; my nickname)  and we spoke for a little bit. I asked teased them that one of their assignments for the silent auction was to supply me with Dr. Pepper since I would be at the table the whole night and needed it. Later that evening they dropped by our house to deliver some brownies they had made for the silent auction and they told me that they would definitely get me a Dr. Pepper. I thought it was cute that they wanted to do that for me.

I didn't think about it again until I was sitting at the table and the girls came over and delivered a nice cold Dr. Pepper. I was really thankful for it because I really needed the pick-me-up but I was more touched that they would do that for me. I know a lot of people were jealous that I had a Dr. Pepper!

This is the EXACT reason why this fundraiser works. The youth here are so great. They work hard and they don't complain. They serve with a smile. I want to be around these kids because of who they are. They are great examples for my family and I. It works both ways, the more I am around them, the more I want to serve them. And the more I serve them, the more they want to serve me. I just love these kids and especially the Young Women. I want to be a good example for them since they are a good example to me.

Okay, I am getting close to crossing over the Cheesy Border

I won quite a few things at the silent auction. I won some cheap babysitting from Kara and Brandon. I won an Indian dinner from the Singh Family (I got beat out last year with this one) and I cannot wait to finally eat some authentic Indian food. Mmmmmm.... ....curry and roti! Kristy also bid and won some homemade jewelry. I also purchased an art print from one of the girls.

I don't want to share how much I paid for this Indian dinner. But I am sure it will be worth every penny!

Logan was excited for the silent auction as well. Right before we left he ran upstairs and got some of his own money so he could buy a pie or cookies. I told him I would bid for him and after it was done he was so happy that I scored him some tasty cookies baked by Taylor.

If you ever go to a silent auction like this, make sure you use your kid. No one will want to outbid a child! Although I did have some stiff competition.


Logan knows the girls and looks up to them. So he wanted to show that he loved them by buying some of their stuff. So I am right.

And they were goooood!

I am so thankful; I am so blessed for living here in this neighborhood and being surrounded by fantastic people. I am glad that I have people around me that make me want to be a better person.

Feb 11, 2011

School Daze: Logan's 2nd Grade Class

When I was in 2nd Grade, I thought I knew a lot. I thought that I can be my own boss and that I am smart enough to do it all. Now I look at Logan in the 2nd grade and I think that while he is a bright kid, he don't know nothing!  He is just a kid!

I wish I had class pictures like this. I would have loved to remember the names of my fellow classmates.

What impresses me about my kid is that he will play with anyone in his class. It doesn't matter who they are, it doesn't matter what they look like, it doesn't matter what makes them different. I am extremely grateful for this, I know looking back in my life, I am glad that I grew up with lots of variety. Logan will even play with girls (and I told him that this will pay off...  ...more on that tomorrow) and he always has a good time.

He confided in me the other day (luckily he doesn't read my blog or else he would find out that most of what he does is blogged for everyone to see) that there are a couple of girls in his class that he thinks is cute. I asked him if he would marry a cute girl and he said he would and then I asked him what he thought "cute" was. And that is when he told me that there are two girls in his class that he thinks are cute. And then he told me, right at the last second (I was putting him to bed) that they think he is cute too. I have my suspicions on who they are but I may never know, he won't tell me.

I don't know whether to be proud of my boy or worry that this could be a sign of trouble for the future.

Feb 10, 2011

I'm Back!

First of all, I appreciate all the comments of support. I don't want to stop blogging, I just have lost the motivation for doing so. My cousin Josh gave me a lot of ideas to blog about and that got my mind going and hopefully that will get me going.

Jaimee mentioned that she was surprised that I didn't blog about the Superbowl. I was going to but I forgot to take pictures of the event so I decided it was not worth the effort. But now looking back, I wish I did so here it is a few days late and a few dollars short.

Superbowl Sunday was a lot of fun though. It was a long day, I was out and about doing Church-related assignments all up until the game. My mom came over for the festivities and we made a whole lot of food. Kristy made her famous stuffed mushrooms, we had a sweet shredded beef in the crock pot for sandwiches, I had some boneless buffalo chicken strips and we had an ice cream bar and eclairs for desert. That and a ton of other candy (Bottlecaps!) and soda. Yeah, I was stuffed and I am sure I have gained some weight. But hey, it is the Superbowl!

The game was great. The halftime show...  ...not that great. I am not that familiar with the Black Eyed Peas but I came away unimpressed. The lights and special effects were pretty good but the music was just not that. I really think AC/DC or Paul Rodgers + Queen would be awesome halftime shows. Can you imagine everyone in the stadium doing We Will Rock You? The commercials were pretty good, Pepsi Max was the worst offender. I guess crotch shots and sex will help you sell Pepsi. The game though was amazing. I am a Green Bay Packer fan, they are my 2nd favorite team behind the Jets. I was a little worried when all the injuries for the Packers began to pile up but I was glad that a former USU Aggie made some key plays in place for injured Charles Woodson.

When I became a Packer fan there was hardly any merchandise out there. Remember that this was before the Internet. My Aunt Julie found this sweatshirt out in Colorado and sent it to my Mom so she could give it to me. Thanks Julie!

I am happy for Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay. I have to admit that I was not a fan of the Packers when they let Brett Favre go and I stopped rooting for them while he was with the Jets.

This is a real authentic Cheesehead. My mom's friend Julie Shipley took a trip to Wisconsin and my mom asked her to buy one for me for Christmas. So Julie did and she came home on the plane with this Cheesehead on her lap. Thanks Julie!
(I'm very lucky and blessed to have such good Julies' in my life!)

But as a true Packer fan, I will forgive and forget and support the Pack. I became a Packers fan back in the late 80's. And it was one player that sealed the deal for me. He was #84, wide receiver Sterling Sharpe (older brother of Shannon Sharpe). That guy was truly talented and was looking like he was going to become a receiver like Jerry Rice. And then came Brett Favre. And then came Reggie White. And thus a Packer fan was born!

Ah the wonders of eBay and the Internet. I got an old Sharpe jersey and I found his rookie card from a street dealer in New York.

Since then I have followed the Pack and a few years later I was cheering them in the Superbowl. Since I didn't want to be counted as a bandwagon fan, I became a fan of the Jets.

Feb 9, 2011

I've Lost It....

I think I have lost that Blogging Feeling.

I just don't know what to blog about and more importantly I just don't want to sit down and blog anymore.

What I really need to do is sit down and brainstorm. Make a list of things that I would like to blog about and then plow through a bunch.

Tomorrow I will have a better blog. Promise.

Feb 5, 2011

Upon Further Review: Superbowl!

I cannot wait for tomorrow.

This season certainly has gone by rather quickly. It seems just like it was last month when I started this column. And that was a full EIGHT weeks before the NFL season even got under way!

I originally picked the New York Jets to win the Superbowl over the Vikings. So close and yet so far!

While I am still saddened over my Jets loss to the Steelers two weeks ago, I am comforted to know that my 2nd favorite team in the NFL is playing in the big game. And not only will I be in for a good game, I have a ton of Mountain Dew and lots of snacks and goodies to take me through the pregame, game and postgame!

Pittsburgh vs Green Bay:
This should be a great game. It could go either way, it could be all defensive or we could have an offensive explosion. The biggest key to the game will be if the Steelers can slow down the Packers fast and explosive offense. I do believe that the Packers defense can match up with the Steelers offense but I am unsure how the Steelers can control the Packers offense. If the Steelers can stop the run, I think they have a good chance and I think the Packers know that. So watch for the Packers to use the pass to setup the run. It will be close and the Steelers will take an early lead but in the 3rd quarter the Packers will take the lead for good.
Winner: Green Bay Packers

And I am pretty excited to watch the trailer for the new Captain America film. Yeah, I am still a geek.

Feb 4, 2011

Quick Pic

For those that don't know, I have been working with my dad for the last two years or so. I have been extremely blessed that I have this cool and fun opportunity to get to know my dad more.

And best of all, I can post these pics that I find and he doesn't read my blog regularly so I can get away with posting this one!

The other day I was at work and my dad told me that he found a couple of sets of old slides. I went through them and found a lot of photos that I don't even remember having. There are some pictures of my grandparents (Papoo and Yaya) when we went to Jasper/Banff National Park. There are some pictures of us and my mom's side of the family when we would come down from Canada to Utah to visit.

We looked up a few places and found some that can digitally transfer the slides to a DVD. But with just the amount of slides that my dad has it would cost around $70 to do it. My mom also has a ton of slides at her house so we are looking at probably another couple of hundred of dollars. In surfing online, I found a scanner that can do all of that and is only around a hundred bucks. I would have to do it all myself and it would be a lot of work but I thought how that would be a good Sunday afternoon project. Hopefully I will have this new scanner at my house soon and I can share what I have found.

Feb 3, 2011

Queen and Superman?

A few years ago DC Comics published an epic 4-issue series written by Mark Waid with the gorgeous art of Alex Ross called Kingdom Come.

Set some twenty years into the future, it deals with a growing conflict between traditional superheroes, like Superman, Wonder Woman, and the Justice League, and the growing population of largely amoral and dangerously irresponsible new vigilantes. Between these two groups is Batman and his assembled team, who attempt to contain the escalating disaster, foil the machinations of Lex Luthor, and prevent a world-ending superhuman war.

This was a fantastic series. Not only does the comics feature exceptional writing and breathtaking art, it also includes the best Easter Eggs (A virtual Easter egg is an intentional hidden message, in-joke or feature in an object such as a movie, book, CD, DVD, computer program, web page or video game) of ANY comic book. It is filled with references from Fat Albert to the Village People.

My favorite egg was this one:

I knew I have seen this before and it didn't take me long to find it. I grabbed Queen's News of the World CD and looked through the liner notes and found this:

Recognize those two people running for their lives? Alex Ross must be a Queen fan and I know that for sure since he was the artist for the cover of the Flash Gordon DVD.

Feb 1, 2011

List-Mania: Queen Songs Part II

Back on Day 90 (which was almost a year ago to the day... ...strange) I posted my all-time favorite Queen songs. This time around I would like to share some other favorite Queen songs in no particular order.


If I could only reach you
If I could make you smile
If I could only reach you
That would really be a breakthru
Two separate songs were combined into Breakthru. This is one of my favorite Queen songs because of that. The beginning is much slower, very much a Freddie song and then turns into a faster and harder song. When I feel down, this song picks me up.

Under Pressure

'Cause love's such an old fashioned word
And love dares you to care for
The people on the (People on streets) edge of the night
And loves (People on streets) dares you to change our way of 
Caring about ourselves

I just love how simple this song and its message is. We are all feeling under pressure at times and we all should remember to help out each other when we are. 

Too Much Love Will Kill You

Too much love will kill you
Just as sure as none at all
It'll drain the power that's in you
Make you plead and scream and crawl
And the pain will make you crazy
You're the victim of your crime
Too much love will kill you - every time

This was originally a song written by Brian May for his solo album but after Freddie passed away, the surviving members of Queen put together a new album featuring some of Freddie's last recordings including this one. This song is just so beautiful and Freddie just nailed it. 

Say It's Not True

With the wonders of science
All the knowledge we've stored
Magic cocktails for lives
People just can't afford

A lot of critics bashed Queen's collaboration with Paul Rodgers saying it is not Queen. Of course, it is not the original Queen. That is why they named the band Queen + Paul Rodgers. Paul is not replacing Freddie at all, he is merely playing with Queen. And I have no problem with this collaboration, I appreciate what Paul had to offer. This song off their album is definitely the best one. It is a song that makes me think and makes me appreciate what I have been blessed with. My life could definitely be worse; I could be suffering from such a horrible thing like AIDS. I need to be more thankful for what I have.

Orge Battle

He gives a great big cry and he can swallow up the ocean
With a mighty tongue he catches flies - the palm of a hand incredible size
One great big eye - has a focus in your direction
Now the battle is on

I just love this song. I love the guitar riffs and I just love how absurd, strange and over-the-top Queen can be. At first I hated this song and I hated the whole Queen II album but now it is one of my favorites.

The one thing that really attracts me to Queen is how different their music is. They seem to have a song for any occasion and with almost every musical style.