Monday, December 28, 2009

A Young Writer...Published

I am published! Stand back for I cometh and will be heard! From the tops of the mountains shall ring my voice for all, well some, to hear and read in their minds. However insignificant my words shall be, they are forever engraved into time.
So you can take off your coat and shut off the car, No reason to hurry down to "Barnes and Noble" just yet. Although they do have good soup and great hot chocolate. Not to mention the many books for you to peruse. Just don't take one into the bathroom, it will be flagged and then you will be stuck with it. No my current book will never make it to the shelves of the great book store in the sky or to the one at Jordan Landing for that matter. My book will most likely be trashed and never be read, but it is bound and on my book shelf on this cold December evening.
I have written in a journal since I was a pimpled, still got those, teenager. Lots of meaningless words have flowed from the bottom of my pencil. Everything from those first dates, my college days and many mission experiences has made it to my precious spiral bound notebook. The last year and a half I have been enamored with ldsjournal.org. I thought lots about this online journaling tool and I decided that I needed to print it out so if something happened to me the family would know how to access it. So, I printed out from October 2008 to December 2009. It makes up 51 pages with some photos and writings all from ME! Not a huge novel, but it is fun to have.
Shameless plug for ldsjournal.com, it is easy and fun to use. Try it if you get a chance. Next time I blog that I have been published it will be for my real book. I have an outline and I am working on the rest. Someday maybe "Barnes and Noble", but not yet. sorry to disappoint, but someday.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Thanks Dad!!!!

I have come the full circle as a Man, Dad, Son and ...well Male. I am not the inexperienced prude I once was. In fact the last couple of weeks I have had the chance to think about lots of the past oh 40 years of my wonderful life. In that time I have experienced lots of embarrassing and difficult situations. It had to have started early on in my life maybe 4th grade. Mrs. Class taught health and my friends tormented me for weeks that my phalanges were showing. I was really worried that some part of my whitey tighties was poking out or something. Come to find out phalanges means fingers or toes, but from then on I have tried my best to stay on top of it.
Can you remember the racing of your heart on that first "real" date? Was a kiss or hold of the hand in the cards? Curtis Sanchez dropped me into the fire by finding the church up in the top of the avenues that looked over the entire valley. Needless to say I left that night with a little less gum and no more school ring. (See in those days that meant something if she would wear your school ring, Thank you Jostens!) Those experiences led to more "mature" chances in college and later on to marriage. Men are different from Women if you have not noticed. One week into my married life and I was at the grocery store buying bulk toilet paper so, as a yelled across the store... "Jill we can shit all we want". Needless to say I should have kept my mouth shut. I think I was well into marriage before I had to venture into the feminine hygiene section of the store. For us males this is like the bra section, it is fine to look at from a distance, but do not enter. There should be fortress walls here. We should not be allowed to enter. Heck what is the difference between wings and no wings? Who knows!!
Now that time of the month as a husband is a good thing.... No babies coming! I sweat it out quite a few months. It does weird things to the women though. I have not experienced that for sometime because Jill had one of those rip em out operations a few years ago, but I have come to find out that it is approaching me from a different angle now. As Dad, raging bull fighter, muscle man, and expert marksman. For if some boy even approaches my daughters wrong, I will unleash the fury, and I can probably be seen inside the walls of those forbidden areas at the super market. This time for my little girls. "Is there a problem in the health department?" No way, I am here super Dad!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Me... MR. ROMANTIC!!!

I know that most of you will not be able to believe this, but deep down I am quite the romantic. Ok, if you will not take my word for it just call Jill, anytime day or night and she will certainly back me up. Back me up right in front of that big school bus most likely. Now if you get her to stop her hard and uncontrollable laughing just remind her one thing. I do know what the inside of a "house of ill repute" looks like.
I do not prescribe to the giving of flowers as a regular item. "Flowers" are an admission of guilt. Fran from Tulip Tree Floral will probably kill me on Monday when I get to see her, but they are. When do I arrive home with flowers? When I have done something wrong. I almost hate going over to Smiths anymore because they have placed the floral section right there by the front doors. Can I get the guilty feeling just a little later in my shopping experience? Not at the front doors.
Jill and I celebrated 17 years of non-flower giving marriage today. (actually yesterday, but the 17th is the actual day). Of those 17 years the anniversary usually involves some dreaded Christmas shopping. Heck, I think we did that the day after our wedding too (when we came out for fresh air). Last year I took the day off and we went to see the "Body Worlds" exhibit, romantic eh? We have done the Armstrong Mansion in the past so Jill set it up again this year. After some heavy panting (carrying the packages back to the car, get your mind out of the gutter!) We checked into the February room at the "house". Rodizio Grill was the dinner spot and then back to the room to relax with NO kids!
EXPLICIT WARNING...... Jill and I have 3 kids, so we have done the mamba a couple of times. There I said it, but we got the biggest laugh after talking so much last night, at one of the notes in the room diary. It included lots of wedding nights and wedding anniversary notes. One caught ours and many other peoples attention in that book and I quote "This was a fabulous room and me and my wife had a great time.. In the tub, on the stairs, on the bed, on the floor and in the shower...... signed ".....LOL. A house of ill repute and a wonderful romantic get away. I love you, Jill and thanks for the good years and the bad ones. I would not trade any of it.... UNLESS you could find me some autographed baseball cards, then I would trade it all. Next year can we go to that monster truck rally in Vegas???

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Rivalry

One who attempts to equal or surpass another, or who pursues the same object as another; a competitor. To strive against, compete, contend, contest, challenge, approach, approximate, or emulate. The Rival has a long list of definitions. Friends and even family can be rivals. Hatred, love, and a fair or or uneven spirit of competition is part of a a rivalries attributes. I can't imagine this world without conflict. What are we to do when the Millennium arrives and there is no more rivals. No conflict, no war, no contention.....no "Holy War"!!!

Where does BYU-Utah rank? Lets think for a moment about some of the great world wide rivalries. Iran-Iraq, Brasil-Guatamala, USA-Russia. Hmmm ... Not in the shadow I suppose. I have never seen militia and guns pointed at the Cougars down south. Nor do I think it ranks with the Army-Navy, Florida- Georgia, Texas-Oklahoma or USC-UCLA battles. In these parts of the country it does have plenty of merit. Sundays at the pulpit before and after the game it always finds it's way into a testimony or talk. Paul James woke every year to his house being toilet papered and marked with a U (for those of you that do not know he was the Cougar announcer, he would even help set it all up and take it down). I am sure the Cougar statue was covered this week so it would not end up red.

I grew up not liking the team down south. It started with a good friend of mine, Kevin Olson, he loved the Cougars so I had to be different. In my early years we never won. I can remember some large losses in fact. Lately, it has evened out. The cougars have not been to a BCS game, we have, twice! Now this ranks up there with West Jordan-Bingham, Cowboys-Steelers, or Dodgers-Giants for me. I enjoy the build up and hope the best team wins, but I HAD BETTER NOT LOSE THAT SIX PACK!!!

All joking aside may the team down south be struck with crying and gnashing of teeth after today's game. The good will prevail. Utah Red will live on. It is coming to me..... (the score not the knock to the head as you are thinking) Utah 27 BYU 20. Long live the good guy, GO Utes! Go Cowboys, Go Dodgers and may the rest of my rivals get their faces smashed into the turf. (By the way I am starting to hate the Phillies as much as the Giants). Just kidding... I hope today is a GREAT game.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday Football

While some of you stayed tucked into your nice warm houses on this snowy day and drank hot chocolate. I stood in temperatures fluttering from 29 to 32 degrees and snow literally flying around me. I volunteered to help with the little league state championships at Kennedy Junior High School (hosted by Hunter district).

This was a great time and I am glad I got to go and help. It all started at 6:30 on this Saturday morning. I arrived at the school were my two oldest roam the halls weekly expecting to be the first one there, but no! There were lots of people and I could tell they had been there for quite a while. When I go to help I cannot stand standing. So I thrust in my sickle, what ever that means, and tired to help out. I never realized what it takes to run a Saturday's worth of little league football until now. The cones, first down markers and ropes to keep the screaming fans back don't just show up at the field. The lines had been painted earlier in the week so we proceeded to put up signs and the other necessities. No I did not break any tackles carrying the scoreboards across the field, but my arms are sore from the work out.

For the first while I sat at the team check in tent. I was a big shot! The teams and coaches had to come to me to be eligible to play in their championship game. I wanted to kick somebody out, but I was calm and wished everyone luck. I ran into an old fast pitch softball teammate, Mike Lorange, he was coaching a Brighton team. After an hour or so the snack bar decided they were running out of cups. Ta Da, I jumped into action and went to the store. I do alright at the grocery store, but sometimes I forget things without a list so I was worried, and when Dan kept calling me and adding to the list, I was worried. (I cleaned out Smiths of Styrofoam cups)That is when I saw the parking issue. Cars were parked all the way down to Holiday Oil. Lots of people!

I was then issued the parking post, attention all parkers... RED CURB means NO PARKING! The fire department did not like that the fire truck would not fit into the parking lot for some reason. I got yelled at a few times and watched 5 West Valley officers cruise the streets and rack up the parking tickets. Is it legal to park in front of someones mail box? Who knows, I do have to say that I got cold. The wind was blowing so hard and my back got plastered with snow. After a while I started to look around and I got the laugh of the day. Officer Valencia 2 other cops and approximately 6 Hunter board members chasing after 2 dogs on the field. That was funny.

I was disappointed that Chris' team did not play today, but it was still a great time to go and help. I know of at least 2 Hunter teams that won state championships. Congrats to ALL of the teams today. It was a great time. WOOF, WOOF!!!!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Every month we try to do something in young mens to prepare these young kids to go out into the world on missions if they desire. One month Chuck Smith taught about time management, I think we have done testimony building, we have taught them to cook, and the such, you get my drift. Last night we took them to the laundramat.

Each kid was instructed to bring a load of laundry and we were going down to "experience" cleaning your own clothes. From what I gathered most of these kids had done some of their own laundry. I know that Chris has, just ask him about Monday night after I had just finished everything but towels in our house. BUT, these kids had never experienced the LAUNDROMAT.

Can you believe that the one on 4100 S by "Artic Circle" closes at 7 pm. How are you supposed to get home from work and get your clothes washed by then. Oh Well, we went to the one on 4800 W and about 4700 S. dumping your clothes in the washing machine, easy. Did they bring soap, nope! All I heard was "this soap is for only one wash" well, that is all you got so don't worry about it. Dalin could not grasp the concept of whites and darks so it all went into one washing machine. (Don't worry I think I do that lots too!) After some ribbing and the soap was poured into the machine I see Dalin pulling his whites out and putting them into another machine. Then he proceeded to insert coins into the wrong machine. He was not the only one. Jacob Mullins added drying time to someone else's load.

The kids all wanted to play around and leave the store after things got going, we should have let them and then stolen their clothes. I Can't say that has never happened. Scott brought paper for them to write a letter home and we tried to keep them away from the TV. (Logan is going to have a hard time with that). You are not supposed to watch it on a mission. After an hour everyone was finishing up and leaving. Of course Jacob had to run back in because he forgot one important item, his clothes.

Did we teach them something, maybe. Did they get to see what it is like, sure. Never a dull moment at the Laundromat!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Basketball daze....

The crowd is quiet as it's teams star lines up at the free throw line. All of the pressure is resting on my shoulders. Bending my knees I launch the shot and... swoosh. It goes right through. It has been years since I forced myself on the basketball court. To play the game that is. I love to referee though. Best seat in the house and hey I can get a bit of exercise in the process, but playing has long since left me.
I played lots in my early years. In fact that is what got Jill into crafts early in our marriage. We lived on capitol hill and our ward played ball 3 times a week at 5 in the morning. My shot was off slightly, but I loved to go and play. Sometimes playing defense is not all that it is cracked up to be in those pick up games and sleep became lots more important to me than scoring my 2 to 4 points a day. Jill complained that she did not have anything to do of her own. So I went down to "Zims" on state street and bought a small tool box filled with toll paints. Wala.... she was now crafty. (I still have that tool box and paints stashed in the basement gathering dust)
Anyways we moved around and I played on and off with ward and sometimes a rec team, but nothing as serious as in the past. In our current house I played once a week with the guys, but you know it is fun to touch the ball once in a while and with the Leiftings and Shawn Singleton as our ward's scorers it was just not in the cards. I slowly lost interest and turned my attention to blowing the whistle. I enjoy it!
Saturday I had the shot going, swoosh, swoosh. I could feel it. Deep down I was thinking of a unretirement back into the ward basketball scene. So I am lining up for my second lightning game of the day. First shot comes off the backboard and bounces a bit high. I jump.....and my calf POPS. I could feel a huge knot developing, needless to say I missed the rebound and was put out by the jump shooter behind me (I think it was my aunt). I go and sit down, must be just a cramp. So that game ends and I line up for another shot. I can hobble a bit, my turn comes and swoosh, I am feeling it, but guess what? I cannot even walk to go and get the ball. the knot is getting bigger. I am out, Chris takes my place and I have let my team down. I guess my comeback will have to wait another year....where is that fluffy pillow for the couch? IR here I come.

PS. my endorsement deal for old man vitamin pills fell through too. Does anyone else want to kick me while I am down?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

VOTE!

So the elections of a Tuesday got me to thinking a bit. I am not much into politics, and I certainly do not have very BIG opinions of how this country should be run. I started to think of my experience "running" for office. Not that I do too much running, but I started to think about the things I have done in my life. In 5th grade my political career started, and I think it was because I missed a day at school. I was voted as one of the captains of the student softball team. Me and Troy Taylor were assigned to pick the all star team to face the teachers team. That was a fun experience, I think we even won. We were awesome, I think I played first base.

After taking a sabbatical for a while I threw in my hat again. This time as a junior in high school. I tried to be the marching band vice president. Only I was not too smart. Mike Miller and I both ran for the same office. With us being friends our friends were forced to choose and I did not make it out of the preliminary round. If I had run for president our friends votes would not have been so divided. I might have won.

Then in 2005 Heather Bankhead twisted my arm and asked me to run for president of Kearns Pony. She promised to be by my side the whole way so I agreed. I do not think it struck me what I was doing until the voting day. I was on the field with my team and Curt Simmons pulled me aside and said they had voted for me several times. I guess the incumbent was not going to win this thing. I ended up winning and serving for 2 years as president of the league. The was a great learning experience for me.

Now could you see me as the next Mayor... NO WAY. Besides I did find out that being in leadership has some draw backs. You know when I could be sitting in the stands just cheering and watching, those leaders are thrust in there trying to keep things moving. Thanks to all of those that serve us. I have learned a new respect for my leaders.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Opposites!!!!

Life has taken a new turn recently. I am not sure what to make of it. Chris playing football has brought back the school boy in me, I feel like I want to join a board or something..... Not!! I have had my days of whining and hearing how great the kid is and how I am ruining his pro career because of that official or coach. Yea, those days are past, but we have ventured down a new path. The opposite sex.

Yes I have been married for almost 17 years and I have realized the joys of marriage. Take the garbage out, make dinner and clean the bathroom are terms I now understand. My kids have noticed, and I am noticing. With Chris it is OK, he can look at pretty girls all he wants. Look at the menu and enjoy the scenery. Wolf, wolf we are men hear us roar! Kate on the other hand, I am having a hard time with.

7th grade has been a good experience for her. The only issue is that one of her good friends is still in elementary school, but Kate has grasped the whole school thing and is doing well in her classes. Kate has decided to run for senator in her class. Cool, but she is now out of the nest and I cannot control her any more. In fact the coach of the 7th grade football team told me to leave her home. The boys are not paying attention when she is at the game or practice. "Hey that is my daughter!" The other day she was sitting in the lawn chair and had about 6 sweaty boys sitting around her on the grass. They were doing the typical boy thing and spitting and tackling each other. I think Kate noticed.

We have been discussing slogans for her banners. "Vote for Kate, because her Dad is great" and "Kate is my little girl.. vote for her or else" have been voted down. This election is making me think of the kids she hangs out with. It is way too early for ME to pick her eternal mate. I told her that this is the time to have lots of boy friends. It is OK for her to let me know about EACH one of them!

I am so proud of her and what she is doing. I would certainly like to wrap her up and let her come out when she is 18, but I know that is impossible. I just hope that I can keep the lines of communication open with her. I am still THE DAD you know!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Unthinkable!!

The unthinkable has happened. No, my kids have not grown up and moved out. Kate has not started kissing yet, Chris still is big and awkward, & Kolbie has yet to talk in a quiet voice. (That is for another post, just ask the Terrys or Vincents someday). I will always worship red, and follow the Dodgers with real intent. Of course the Cowboys have my heart, and after last night I have been walking on cloud nine. The unthinkable is worse than that.

Of course I like everyone else cannot take full credit for the unthinkable. It was not my fault. Today started out sort of normally and in all reality was VERY normal for me. I got up early so I could make plenty of time for the kids to get ready for school. I was showered and I poked my head in to get Kate up and going. The only thing I heard was "Dad I am sick". So, I ignored her and figured she was staying home. I went downstairs and got the big gulug up and going. Tuesday's are my day to open the shop so that means I leave for work at about 6:30. I got ready and instead of waking everyone up for prayers I left them be and went on my way.

It was still dark, like it has been lately. I hate going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark. That time is rapidly approaching, but that is not the unthinkable. I motored right along headed north on 5600 West. I did not hit it very well and traffic was backed up. Down by Cafe Rio, my favorite fast food Mexican restaurant, I noticed a lady coming out the driveway behind me. She was Not going to wait for someone to let her in. No way she was coming right into line, Behind me. No big deal. This lady was right on my tail end. At our break necking speed of 5 miles an hour I could see the whites of her eyes and the reflection of my red brake lights on her teeth. Are you like me? I hate when someone is so close to my back end. I could fart you know, I am old. Grandpa Greg is my nickname and not because I can drive the 3/8 mile in record time. I like my space, and I drive carefully.

After about 10 feet traffic stopped and she was right behind me (in Jill's car). So close I could not see the front of her Pontiac in my rear view mirror. She knew I was there, just watch out. Slowly the traffic creeped forward. Me with my eye on the dingle head behind me. Traffic stopped and so did I, slowly creeping forward as much as I could. The lady was not stopping and here it came... bump! She bumped into the back of me. I knew it!!! She was not watching. I knew it was coming.

I am a body shop guy, I know what kind of damage there can be. I pulled over and got out. She was very apologetic. She did know who she had run into...... I asked if she was OK, looked at my rear bumper, 1 small mark. Her car took the brunt of it. No big deal, I waved my hand and said don't worry about it. I am a nice guy, I could have strung her up, but what good would that do?

So we leave, she pulls out to pass me and guess what? She tailgates the guy all the way down the freeway. She will get her day... that is for sure.

So, no snow involved and me, the body shop guy, hoping all of you get into accidents has done it. I was involved in an accident. No neck brace or suing going on here, and just like I hear everyday.... It was the other guys fault!!!!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Hunter wins, stands at 3-1


The 2-1 Hunter Bantams faced off against a win less Park City team Saturday afternoon. Hunter found out early that Park City was not going to be a push over. Neither team moved the ball extremely well. Hunter had several long runs called back because of penalties. Coach Judd was extremely irritated and had to be subdued by the league president. "I do not ever want those guys again" Quinn complained after the game. The Hunter penalties and 1 costly fumble held the score at 7 to 0 going into halftime.
The halftime break came at a good time and the Hunter team was able to calm itself down and stick to is' game plan. Valu Kupu, #33 ran wild through the middle. The final stats were not made known to me, but I assume that he had a big day. Hunter's offensive and defensive lines controlled the line of scrimmage all day. Nickolas Hafen, #14 controlled the game on the offensive side, and the wildcat formation with Kupu receiving the direct snap helped Hunter keep it's running game going.
In the final minutes of the game Chris was put in at nose guard. He was able to push the center back into the quarterback causing a fumble that killed a last minute drive. Congratulations to Hunter on a well played game.
Next week Hunter takes on a very good Bingham team at Bingham. Good luck team!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Relax....

The church holiday is here, some of you may ask when is there a church holiday. "Stake Conference" I say. I know that I am going to hell and you will all try to stop me by saying what a spiritual feeding I can get. I know, I know, just let me dream a bit Ok. I could only go twice a year and fill fulfilled, but I choose to belong to a church that forces me to live it. I just need a break. Everytime I think about fudging a bit I vividly remember sitting next to Wendy at a church meeting and her giving me the hymn book and saying "you know how to read music you should be singing" She was right, I just need a kick to the head once in a while.
Gimmie a break, break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar. The last few weeks and especially the last few days have been a struggle for me, so the chance to veg in front of a football filled weekend with no ecclesiastical responsibilities feels good.
I hope you all got to see the "Phillies foul ball girl" this past week. If you didn't google it and watch the video as Dad passes the ball he just caught to his little girl and she throws it back. That image keeps passing through my head as I yell at my kids and loose my cool. Last night at Hunter Highs football game I had had enough with Kolbie's antics. She almost got left, but after I took a deep breath I could see this man hugging his daughter to him....... I need to be better. Pray for my family we need the extra help right now.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Baby Sitting

My Daughter has grown up enough to experience something that most of us have... Baby Sitting. The Vincents have asked her to help them out with their grand kids for a few days. She has also watched her cousins a few times. Yesterday she went to my brother and sister in laws to watch their 3 kids. She had an interesting experience. The Bickmores are bird sitting, what that involves is a bird in a cage and feeding it. The Bickmores youngest child, Harrison, decided to open the cage and the guest decided to get out of the cage. This bird is supposed to be mean with a big sharp beak. Kate did not know what to do. I guess they tried the open cage with food inside for the bird. They tried loud noises, they even locked themselves in the bed room so the bird would not get them.
I can just imagine Kate and the kids trying to solve the issue and get the bird in the cage. I do not do well with birds, so I can sympathize with her. Kate is a good girl, it is fun to see her grow up and solve the deal.
When I was a kid we watched the neighbors dogs. They were big huskies. One of them actually had attacked my dog and it had died. One morning we went to check on them and one of the Huskies had died in it's dugout dog house. It had been cold and I think it froze to death. That was a tough deal.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Free from the strangle hold!

Freebird is playing in the background as I type this post. Why you might ask? I have been released from bondage and left to roam with the big boys. If you close your eyes and imagine for just one moment. Class is excused and a hoard of young boys gather around a nice and calm man. Gradually these young men converge and with all the gumption they own they begin rubbing the bald man's head. This man was only to be saved from his ultimate doom when mom of #1 leader boy emerges from the other room and shoos all of the leaches away. Laughing are you? That was me about a week ago in the hall waiting to go to sharing time with my class.
THEN comes the attack of the "ladies" of the other classes. Certainly they must find and practice attacking me all week. Just to unleash on the innocent. Making it worse is the fact I am all by myself. Usually us men hunt in packs, but when stranded I am hopeless as being in a strip club with no singles. At this point I have no one to hear me grunt and cheer when I score a hit on the enemy. The "leaders" are of no help either because they hold those X chromosomes also. I want to stick my head deep in the sand like an ostrich so I can avoid the onslaught. Ode to the primary!
Just kidding, I am sad to be moving up and away from good friends and sisters that I think I can call my friends. I like to tease all of the Presidency and other teachers too, but I love them all and loved the kids I tried to serve. I always tried my best in my primary calling, I hope that I can progress in my new adventure too. Next time you sneak by the open class room door and don't see us kids playing a game or talking about something other than the lesson just remember I am now in the young men, heaven help us!
Now the young men have free access to rub my head and I have no protection.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


I have been duped, taken advantage of and otherwise used. This all done by my own daughter! Tuesday I officially lose my little girl and hatch a young woman. She is leaving for girl's camp. I am OK with her going and I know that she will be safe and have fun. I just thought I had a little girl still. Saturday afternoon her and I sat down to go over the list of items she needed so we could go to the store. Toothpaste, hand sanitizer, rain poncho, sleeping bag, etc. She got down the list to femine hygiene items and she looked at me puzzled. "What is that?" HA, HA, that is my little girl. I casually explained in my best man knowledge what that included and we were off to the store.
Walmart is a great place for everything girls camp. They carry items from rain poncho all the way to "secret sister" gifts for under a dollar. We had the list and checked it twice, we were missing nothing. So we were off to grab some food for lunch and Kate piped up. "Dad, I need Sunday shoes. Can we look at what they have here." Walmart shoes are cheap and I am all about cheap so I agreed. After a short couple of minutes Kate comes around the shoe aisle and says what about these Dad. They were heels, I had never seen Kate wear heels, but all girls do and I honestly could not remember if she had any or not. I asked if she could walk in heels and she said of course and said she wanted them so she did not feel so short. I had her try them on (ask me another day how to fit pants without trying them on). We traded for a larger size and headed out.
When Jill got home later that night I got told what I had done wrong. (See us men do not think we do anything wrong until we are told) Kate did not own any high heels and had never owned them, and these shoes were... how did they word it...... "hooker shoes" (not my words). Hmm well, I guess I do not get to take the girls shoe shopping anymore! YIPPEE (see related article on "how to get out of stuff")
Watching Kate try to walk in them at church was funny, but all women do it and I told her to look around. Watch all of the other ladies, they have mastered it. Heel, toe..... maybe I could do it. We had a baby giraffe loose in the halls today. What a day to be alive!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Football Begins (or puking 101)!!!

13 year old kids bent over puking their guts out, are not a pleasant things, but when it is not your boy, it is OK! Today started out a new adventure, FOOTBALL! This is is something that we have never experienced before. I am not sure it is as exciting as riding the "wicked" or eating 2 dozen oreos in one sitting, but my stomach does not hurt so we're good.
Today marked the first practice and the first meeting of the minds, or parents standing around watching and wondering why the coach did that or if they were watching when their son tripped running his wind sprint. I usually drop Chris off and leave. You know, there are things to do during the 3 hours of practice time. I certainly could get my CD's organized or rewind my DVD's...... Today I broke my rule and spent the time sitting in the shade (or partly cloudy sun light) watching what was basically a run fest with a few up-downs thrown in for good measure. Running in place and falling flat on your stomach is not what I call a good time. In fact I might lose my five guys double cheese burger in the process if I tried it. My son did the best (I just had to say that) he did better than I thought he would. In fact 1/2 an hour before practice started we did not even know what an up-down was. Considering as much we will call today a win!
From what I gathered from the balcony, the teams have already been divided. So what this week does I will never know. Seems as though the 4 "A" team coaches could sit down before and set up the teams then we could get on with life. Right now it is almost a carnival of freak shows between the "haves" and "semi haves". They even run together. They call this week tryouts, even the parents try out for the best positions. There needs to be a belly acher who complains about everything. Oh then there is the helicopter Mom hovering around to see what each boy had for breakfast. I like the weight loss parent, his boy is going to be below 135 for sure so he does not have the dreaded X on his helmet. Then how about the best friend of the coach parent. I am working on that one! Oh to the start of the season. I think I will be second left on Hunter High's bench before the season is up. Just wait and see, I can do it. I know I have some high school elegibility left!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I VOTED!!!!!!

Ha, I am laughing in the face of Major League Baseball! Some of you may know of my baseball infatuation. She is my semi-secret love. I listen to more baseball games in one day than what most of you do in a lifetime. on average I find parts of all 15 games each day. That said I have found something very interesting. Manny Ramirez has been suspended by MLB for using performance enhancing drugs. Ok, everyone has heard this, no big deal. Well, he currently stands 4th in the voting for the all star game. IF he finishes 3rd or higher then he can start in the game for the national league. He is going to end up missing a great portion of the first half of this season because of his suspension. The bigs in major league baseball are beginning to become worried.
I am voting for him as many times as I can. Baseball needs to realize where the all star game relates for us fans. It does not count, nor should it. It is a fun game, we want to see our favorite players play. Manny is one of our favorites. This game is an exhibition. Keep it that way. Take away the phrase "it counts". Get a clue!!
I voted and voted as many times a s I can. Manny for all star!!!
Here is the link so you can vote:

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/all_star/y2009/ballot_reg.html

Good luck!!!!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Making up and blabbering on.

It has been way too long and I apologize. I have just been hooked on the facebook thing and so I do not make it over here as much as I should. Some of you may be reading this on facebook. It is picking up the feed from our family blog. I hope that is not too confusing. Try this : http://www.gregjillandkids.blogspot.com/ Ok now that I have that all cleared up on with the show or a simple make up blog if you do not mind.

I am telling you at has been a royal struggle to get some motivation lately. Louie has stolen all of mine and I looked in the drawer, there is none left in reserve. It seems as though the insurance companies of late have been hammering on everything. It gets this way when they are slow. Each manager has to prove that his job is important. You know how it is. Nationwide had 4 different people review one of my estimates the other day. I do not do well when someone is critiquing me, especially someone that I do not even work for. It is the reviewers job to find errors in my estimate, ones that save them money. One recently found that I had just done a straight mark up on an alignment invoice. I was not supposed to do that. I needed to break done each operation and charge them accordingly. Ha, Ha that time it cost you stupid insurance company a whopping $6 more. I will teach you.

Body Shops are driven so much by what the insurance will allow. Sometimes I feel like a big puppet. "Yes sir Mr insurance, what you say big sir' One of these days I want to turn to whoever and say. "No! this is the bill, pay it!!!!"

Our shop's philosophy is honesty. We want to be paid for what we do and nothing more or less. It is becoming more and more difficult.

My darling little Kate finished up her softball season last week. She did not make the all-star team and was sort of disappointed. I was much more proud of her for getting the team's sportsmanship award. Sara commented at one of the games that our quiet Kate is the one down on the bench leading all of the cheers. Way to go Kate!!!! She only has a couple of days left and she is on to junior high.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Strat-o-matic




I am hooked again! I bought baseball for my computer and so now I can play games all the time without getting the board out. This is so much fun.


Strat-O-Matic Report






BOXSCORE: 2008 Oakland Baysiders At 2008 Chicago (AL) Pale Hose

Baysiders AB R H RBI Pale Hose AB R H RBI
M.Ellis 2B 5 1 1 0 O.Cabrera SS 4 0 0 0
K.Suzuki C 4 1 2 2 A.Pierzynski C 3 0 2 1
J.Cust LF 2 0 0 0 C.Quentin LF 4 0 0 0
B-R.Sweeney LF 0 0 0 0 J.Dye RF 2 1 1 1
F.Thomas DH 4 0 0 0 J.Thome DH 4 0 0 0
E.Brown RF 4 0 2 0 P.Konerko 1B 2 0 0 0
C-C.Gonzalez RF 0 0 0 0 D-K.Griffey Jr PH 1 0 0 0
B.Crosby SS 3 0 0 0 N.Swisher CF 3 0 0 0
J.Hannahan 3B 4 0 0 0 J.Crede 3B 1 0 0 0
D.Barton 1B 3 1 1 0 A-J.Uribe ,3B 2 0 0 0
R.Davis CF 4 0 2 1 A.Ramirez 2B 3 1 1 0
-- -- -- --- -- -- -- ---
Totals 33 3 8 3 Totals 29 2 4 2

A-Subbed Defensively ( ) For Crede In 4th Inning
B-Subbed Defensively (LF) For Cust In 8th Inning
C-Subbed Defensively (RF) For Brown In 9th Inning
D-Pinch Hit For Konerko In 9th Inning

INJURY: Joe Crede INJURED (for 2 more games) in 3rd inning

Baysiders....... 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 - 3 8 0
Pale Hose....... 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 - 2 4 0

Baysiders IP H R ER BB SO HR PC
J.Duchschere 5 1/3 4 2 2 2 3 1 71
J.Devine WIN 3 0 0 0 1 3 0 28
H.Street SAVE 0 2/3 0 0 0 0 1 0 8
Totals 9 4 2 2 3 7 1

Pale Hose IP H R ER BB SO HR PC
M.Buehrle LOSS 8 1/3 8 3 3 3 6 1 122
B.Jenks 0 2/3 0 0 0 0 0 0 10
Totals 9 8 3 3 3 6 1

ATTENDANCE- 39,652 TIME- Night WEATHER- Average
UMPIRES- Jerry Meals, Bill Miller, Paul Emmel, Gary Darling
T- 2:27
LEFT ON BASE- Baysiders: 7 Pale Hose: 4
DOUBLE PLAYS- Baysiders: 2 Pale Hose: 0
DOUBLES- E.Brown, A.Pierzynski-2
TRIPLES- M.Ellis, R.Davis
HOME RUNS- K.Suzuki, J.Dye
CAUGHT STEALING- R.Davis
SACRIFICE HITS- B.Crosby
WALKS- J.Cust-2, D.Barton, J.Dye-2, P.Konerko
HIT BY PITCH- A.Pierzynski
STRIKE OUTS- J.Cust-2, F.Thomas, J.Hannahan-2, D.Barton, C.Quentin-2, J.Dye,
J.Thome, N.Swisher, J.Crede, A.Ramirez
GIDP- J.Thome, J.Uribe








Friday, May 8, 2009

Mannywood!!!!

My heart has been ripped out. I can feel the emptiness in that large cavern of my chest. (you notice I said large) I can feel the tear drops sliding down my cheek. In fact I find my self in that day dream stare that you have when you find out that your puppy love has checked the large no box on the note you just passed through English class.
Yesterday we found out that the Dodgers big star, Manny Ramirez, has been busted. Out for 50 games, possibly back around the 4th of July. Not that I am a big Manny fan. I do not own the dreadlocks sold at the stadium or live in Mannywood. He was just a big part of my team. Where do I go? What do I do to get out of this funk?
I realize now that I cannot become a player fan, I am a team fan. These players take the buyouts, sell themselves on the open market and use drugs they know are illegal. It is just an open sore ready to ooze. My Dodgers will live on without Mr. Manny. Let's just live for the game. Pretend we do not see the faces or know the names. I am cheering for the uniform and the cursive writing across the chest. GO DODGERS!!
I know the solution.... the announcers cannot use the players real name and the players wear bank robbers masks. We cannot know who they are. Can you imagine a John Stockton to Karl Malone assist like this..... " The small point guard passes to the big power forward for the slam dunk and ... ouch he bonks his head on the back board because his mask covered his eyes. " I think that works.
Seriously, get the druggies out of the game. There is always someone else to take those places. In fact here are my stats: 5'9" weight 195 played 20 years ago and hit a slow pitch softball every time up for 6 years straight. No strikeouts! I think I could get at least 30 million don't you think?

Monday, May 4, 2009

And the WINNER is......

Hi my name is Greg (Hello Greg) and I am an addict. A gambling addict, I can feel the pulse of my heart deep in my chest. The thump, thump..thump, thump keeps the blood running throughout my veins. Much like the rush you get at a NASCAR race. The roar of the engines down the front stretch gets it going. Also waiting for that third king when you have a pocket pair, or betting the pass line and holding your breath to make sure that no 7 or 11 is rolled at the craps table.
A few years ago I had the experience of going to Reno, Nevada with some friends for a business meeting. I am a gambler by nature. I ran the football book from my 6Th grade year all through high school. I lost more money betting against the Jazz than I can remember. Anyway in Reno these friends taught me craps. I had so much fun. being up $60 dollars going to bed made my heart race. After about 1 hour in the morning was in the hole 20 and looking for the ATM. Gambling is an addiction I cannot face.
Sunday the stake president got the blood pumping. We are getting a new bishopric next week. He told us to tell our friends, and I started the odds table. Looking around the room and keeping your eye out for the oddities of the ward can be so much fun. I heard the whispers.... you know "he has bought some new suits recently", or "how many times has he even talked to me." Don't lie to me either, you were looking for the weird things that have happened recently. Fun thing would be just to invite your family into town Saturday, then the rumor mill will really be flying. I have my front runners. This is not the place to lay them out, but if you want to call I will give you the low down.
And the WINNER is .......... (wait for it..... wait for it)

Monday, April 27, 2009

CRUSHES!

This last weekend I experienced something that I am not sure if I am ready for. I think I figured out that my son has a crush. Jill has threatened me not to ever tease my kids about the puppy love situations they find themselves in. I have sat back and noticed Kate changing her clothes when some of Chris' friends are coming over or spending extra time on her hair yada, yada. Saturday I told Kate that we would go to a movie if there was time. She invited her best friend and what happens to be Kolbie's best friend. Chris just got done with pracitce and I figured he would hurry into some ratty clothes and we would be off. He told me to go and pick up the girls' friends and come back and get him. When I pulled in and honked he came out a gussied up. His hair was done, in fact I think he had some cologne on.
I can remember some of my crushes growing up. I was not much of a dater. High School days were usually spent along the wall at the stomps and sometimes asking a girl I would not get turned down by. Lisa was my first big crush. She was a senior when I was a freshman. I always got butterflies if I thought she might come to my ball game or see me in the hall. Shaunna and Lynne were others that I can remember. Me being the big Duff and scardy cat, I never asked them on a date. Not sure if they would have ever said yes, but I sure dreamed. Now that I look back I was always so nervous just to be around them. Don't we do weird things. Just being a friend with someone of the opposite sex would bring about the normal butterflies. Did you ever drive by that person's home to see if the light was on? or call their phone number and hang up right before they answer? I almost felt like a PI trying to find out as much about that person without them finding out you were snooping. Shaunna lived right around the corner from my best friend so I would not have to go out of my way to go by her house, and if she happened to catch me I had a good alibi.
I wish my kids luck in their new adventure, and I am glad I am not back in their shoes. It will be fun to watch from a safe distance. (Like sitting between them at the movie theater!)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Book Reveiw


So it is now time for another one of my stupid book reviews. I know some of you think that I do not know how to read, but hey I even surprise myself. This book has no pictures! Surprised? In fact that is one thin I wish this book did have. In most life stories I have read they have pictures in the center. This book did not. I would have been fun to see Josh in his younger years or when he was going through all the stuff he has. Some of you may not know Josh is a baseball player.....SURPRISE! and I was reading his book........ SURPRISE! The book explains his story from high school super star to #1 draft pick to early days in minor league baseball. It then proceeds to tell of his dark days as an addict. Starting in his third year of professional baseball Josh met his addictive behavior. It started out simple as tattoos progressed to drinking and cocaine and then to crack. He tells of the dark days and of how he got back.
I liked this book. Everyone one of us struggles with some sort of addiction. Even if it is as simple as TV or more complex such as drugs or pornography. These things are real and we need to learn to cope and overcome. Life is not always easy nor does it smell like roses every day. Things as simple as pain pills, porn and eating can destroy families and marriages. I liked Josh's attitude during his recovery. "Piece by Piece" he took it each day. Each day trying to be just a bit better than the last. He nearly lost everything, a 4 million dollar signing bonus, his wife, kids, mom and dad, everything for the drugs that consumed him. He overcame and gives us all hope. Needless to say I am going to find his autograph to add to my memorabilia. He gives us all hope.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dishwasher Loaded and Ready

The Young men and Young women of the ward were having a service scavenger hunt tonight. I was informed to have something for them to do when they come over to our house. Of course I had to do the pre service project cleaning. I decided to load the dishwasher. I loaded 23 cups, I know that I did the dishes last night. So between the 5 of us we used 4.6 cups each throughout the day. 4.6..... What in the world is that??? At least my family is not dehydrated. I do not think my lips touched one of those glasses either.
I do not think my kids understand that glasses can be washed and reused. Each new beverage does not need to go into a clean glass. Milk, water, and any soda pop can be easily rinsed out of a glass and that same glass re used. Jill's little sister will not drink dairy products from the same glass as someone else. I know that my brother's wife never drank the last splash of milk from the bottle. Her family always threw it out with a small splash still in the bottle. One of the first times she ever ate at our home Dad was pouring milk for everyone and he happened to finish off the jug right into her glass. I think she almost died.
Beverages have become such the place setting in our lives. In the seventies cars did not have cup holders, now your car better have a cup holder that holds a big gulp sized cup. How many of us drink 32 ounces or more a day. I used to down the Coke, the guys at work said I had brown blood. Not lately though, I have not had a Coke since Oct 4th. I am going to celebrate that on my birthday with my first cold one in 6 months. At least I know that I have enough cups!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

KIDNEY STONES SUCK!!!!!



This great place pictured above is what I have determined as the exact replica of Hell. It is Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah. Don't get me wrong. It is a remarkable facility and I am sure they do some amazing things there, but it has become the sliver in my family's lives that I cannot dig out.
Some of you may not know, but Jill suffers with chronic kidney stones. When I say chronic, I mean she passes one about every 2 months. Sometimes these stones get so large that they cannot pass by themselves and they need to be surgically removed or blasted. Below you will find a picture of 3 kidney stones.
This has been a regular occurrence at the James home for the past 8 or so years. In fact we can plan on a visit to the ER about every 3 months. Today was not an exception. These visits come with much turmoil in our home. Jill and I always fight about it and it makes matters worse. The ER never does anything for Jill in these visits, so I argue that they are a waste of time and money. It frustrates me because what can they really do, but try to make her comfortable. Lately not even that has been happening. Jill's last visit to IMC they exposed her to numerous diseases' and now along with the pain she has anxiety about the trip. I do not not know what to do. I just do not know how much more we can take, Jill especially.
I know that on this earth we are tested, but it seems as though we have had enough. I just wish there was an easier way. Jill is doing fine, in fact we have it down to a science. I usually drop Jill off, she goes in and then calls me when they are pulling the IV so I can go back and get her. I should be sitting by her side, but I can't sit and do nothing. I find it easier to deal with the stress working or doing laundry. Please remember us in your prayers. We need something to change. I just wish I could take it away.
I know that I am part of the problem, and I wish I could change my attitude toward the whole ordeal. I need to.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Directors Cuts

Have you experienced the new multi medium of watching DVDs? Not sure if this phenomenon has reached your household or not, but at the James home we have progressed out of the 80's and into the DVD craze. (We have so many DVDs they have become paperweights of my home). The small silver and sometimes colored discs can be found in cases, correct or not, and simply stacked around the multiple players and TVs in the home. Finding the correct case can be a chore worse that matching socks. It seems as though the cases and discs magically disappear. The drier eats the socks, the player must eat the case or visa versa.
Anyways, we have ventured into the directors cut. They match the actors and directors talking and giving us insight into the filming (or at least we hope). Tonight we watched Twilight, and it sparked a conversation of it's poorness (is that a word). The actors spent the two hours watching the movie and giggling. Really they gave us no insight into the movie and left me disgusted. What is the best directors cut you have ever seen? For me it was to the movie "Singles Ward" in this cut they point out the mistakes idiocies and stupid things in the back ground. I like to hear how the scenes were set up and what it took. I watched the directors cut to "According to Jim" the other day and that was fun. Not exactly what I was hoping for, but fun.
What fits your best? Let me know. I would like to watch, and I am sure Jill could spend one of her sleepless nights checking it out.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Vocabulary Test

It is that time of year and so you all need to get out your pencil and paper to take the test. No, I am not talking about the end of the term at school, although the homework lately has been killing me and that is only for third grade. I know that I have been through it some 30 years ago, but it seems to get harder and harder. No... this is not the school vocabulary test it is that time of year again for you to sharpen your pencils and brackets and take the NCAA March Madness vocabulary test.
#1 Bracketology ----- Hmm that is a good first word. The study of something, the study of brackets... where was that class in high school? Oh it was at my locker. That was where I kept the schools bookie operation in check. Do they have a gamblers anonymous for teenagers? Your bracket should be filled out and narrowed down to 16 teams by now. I stand at 9 missed games so far. That is not bad. Bracketology is more than the study of brackets it is a religion. One that I am sure will not lead me to the promised land.
#2 No hitter----- Can you say for the tournament? This is a once in a lifetime opportunity unless your team goes to bat with it's knees shaking so violently the Mesquite police department is placed on alert. Our team was no hit for 3 1/2 games last weekend. At least I got parts of a tan in the third base coaching box. If I could have worn the speedo it would have been great tanning weather. What does this have to do with the vocab test. ??? Not sure, but do the teachers have rhyme or reason either?
#3 Big Dance ---- The barn dance held nightly at the bishops home... No wait that is not this big dance. Since no Utah team is still playing this could be an invitation only affair. I feel like our state is considered the ugly sister at this point. I certainly expect the the music to be cranked up again tomorrow night. What will be playing????
#4 Cinderella --- She forgot her slipper this year. Seeing that Arizona is the closest thing to it I think it hardly applies. Maybe my prince will come and I can be the Cinderella story this year. (I think I just threw up in my mouth a bit). Where is the underdog? Maybe in the World Baseball Classic???
#5 Final Four --- Hmm not a hard definition to come up with. Something to do with 4 being final. Now this is not the final people left on your home teaching list or the final 4 hours before the month is up. It could be the final four drops of gasoline as you coast into the gas station. Or even the final four pieces of bread in the bread bag. (2 sandwiches left and who gets them). No this is what March is all about. So hang on... March Madness is all around. (Do you think it strange that "March Madness" ends in April, or that the October classic now goes until November.) Something is wrong here.
Did you get them all right? If not just stick around I am sure that the definition will change by next tournament. Happy Basketball viewing to all and to all a good night!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Book Review


I finished this one about a week ago and just have not had the where with all to get in a review. I give the book 2 stars. Is it worth your time.... Yes, but it is not one of my favorites ever. Now Jill loved this book, I did not. It was good and had some good and fun advice. It did make me think, what if I was getting ready to die. I am not sure what I would do.
I think the time that I could spend with my family would irreplaceable. He talked allot about the things he had done in his life. My life pales in comparison. I am not a professor nor have I ever been an imagineer at Disney, but I have done some fun things in my life. I consider my career rewarding. The body shop has become part of who I am. I like the challenge of repairing someones car. I feel like I have supported my kids in their activities. Certainly my 2 years as little league president taught me some important life lessons. I learned lots and had the opportunity to help kids play and love baseball.
What this book did teach me is that life is precious and we need to enjoy it. Smile and love those who are important to you.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Journal Jar #2


Ha tonight's was even better....(this is a follow up from yesterday post).
In high school were you in any academic clubs, (debate, deca, speech...)
Curtis Sanchez and I were in our senior year and just trying to coast through. I had quit playing baseball in the spring and was just getting going on the 18 and under fast pitch softball team. Mrs. Allred (she was hot) begged us to participate in DECA. I had no idea what that was nor what they did. besides I was a Senior and beginning to get trunky, seniorites etc. The Deca region competition came and went and Curtis and I did not participate. We were too cool. 2 days before the state tournament her and Tammy Kershaw (she was hot too btw) came and said that 2 of the people that had qualified for state could not go and we "needed" to fill in for them. BUT we could not use our names we had to be them for that competition at Weber State. Curtis and I finally said OK and the day before they told us how it would work. I got the automotive marketing school and my name was Travis _____. I just had to do the marketing questions and an interview with the judge. Ok, I was nervous, but I could try. So "Travis" went and goofed around the entire time. I went and did the deal. At the awards luncheon that afternoon Curtis and I joked that it was sort of fun. Anyways they are naming the state champions and handing out the trophies. It was fun because there were lots of girls in the fashion categories etc. They got to the Automotive catergory and they anounce Travis..... I sat there not thinking too much. Then Tammy and Mrs. Allred turned to me. "Get up there!" I won state in a competition that I was no where near ready for. Curtis won his category too. We had to go to the National competition (it was in SLC so no big trip, but we did stay in a hotel). To this day 'Travis' name is on the state championship trophy at West Jordan High School.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Journal Jar


Just as a preface, I have begun to run out of things to write about. My life is not on the exciting side. In fact I am pretty much what you would call.....boring. Anyway, I have been writing in a journal for years as some of you know. In the last 8 months I have become enamored with a new journal tool. It is called www.ldsjournal.com I started typing my journal in word sometime ago, but I found this new tool and it is easy to use, and I am all about easy....Ok ladies hold yourself back. So in writing on ldsjournal.com they have a thing called journal jar that gives you ideas and topics to write about. Tonights topic is interesting:
Describe your yard as a child and did you help with yard work?
You are looking at the neighborhood groundskeeper. I mowed the Lister's, Shosted's, Terry's, Grandpa's, and our lawns on a regular basis. Not that I was that good at it, but I did. BUT I also have the worst hay fever alive. My Mom was evil and tortured me in to doing moore and more. (just kdding mom). It gave me something to do during the summer so I could still play baseball. I do not remember getting paid that much. In fact I do not own some yard care business so it must not have been that lucritive.
My yard was the chavez ravine of the neighborhood. We had the set up for Football in the fall and winter and hockey in the driveway and baseball in the summer. My parents live in Dixie Valley in West Jordan. Our house backed up to what was then the airport #2 property. We had the perfect homerun fence. Now they built homes back there. I am sure they found quite the collection of lost balls in the field. Why we did not just climbe the fence and play the games back there I do not know. Dad always complained that home plate was always in the same spot and we were wearing a place in the grass. My yard hosted the Dixie Valley Football League. That was the 2 on 2 league that myslef and Kevin Olson developed. We were budding commisioners. That lasted until my little brother quit my team and I threw him down the basement stairs and broke the back door. See Carl was a quitter and I needed to teach him a lesson. Besides how was the Atlanta Circle James gang supposed to play if we were short 1/2 the team.
Dad has a great yard now with tall trees and shade for the grand kids, but this was the place of my youth, the place where I develpoed into.... Oh I do not know some sort of geek that just blabbers about. Thanks for listening.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Well....

It has been a bit, nothing much going on here in the James home. The weather has been beginning to break a bit so the kids are getting spring fever. We are going to St George for the baseball tournament in a couple of weeks. The kids are going to drive me crazy. "Is St George in Utah?" "Do we drive or fly". "Can we go to Vegas too". We need to go on vacation more often. I just have a hard time breaking away from the norm. The thought of packing and travel causes my stomach to ache. I am going to call it "travel phobia". It is not that I do not like to travel or relax. I just am a homebody.

On a lighter note, Kate hates me. She took my tooth brush and purposely dropped it down the bathroom drain. I know that she planned it. What am I to do? Do I dig it out and clean it off??? Yuck, Do I use one of the other family members'? Yuck. Tonight on the way home from mom's I announced that I was using one of their toothbrushes until tomorrow when I can get to the store and buy myself a new one. Yuck. What choice do I have? Kate did find me one that she had in her bag she took to camp last year. She claims that she never used it, but do I trust the plotting teenager? What to do???

Friday, February 20, 2009

Larry H Miller 1944-2009


Tonight we, all Utahns, mourn the passing of a great man in our community. Larry was a great leader in our community. I was never a great fan of Larry or his family, but as I now look back at his legacy and how it affects me I feel a need to thank him in my own way. I know that Larry's hand was felt when I was playing fast pitch softball. I played on a 18 and 23 and under team that traveled around the country. I now know for a fact that we had to have some unknown person helping us along. Our coach would never tell us who was behind the scenes helping us, but I know that Page Brake and Larry H Miller were big parts of that.
Certainly Larry has had a large impact in the automobile industry. He owns many of the places where I currently buy parts and just maybe without him it would be tougher for us to do what I do everyday.
Larry owned many car dealerships, the Utah Jazz, Salt Lake Bees, Miller motor sports park, the Megaplex theaters, KJZZ TV and many other things. I salute Larry and what he has done for me and my family. My thoughts and prayers are with the Miller family.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Book Review


I am really sorry, but it is time again for me to give an un asked for opinion of a book that I just completed. Again, I do read sometimes, in fact I have 3 books in my Que still waiting for me to open their pages so there.
This is another of my mission companions great books. I am glad that I got the chance to read some of his works over the last few years.
This is the story of a young man engrossed in his life in New York City. Set during the time that Katrina hits New Orleans. He receives a call from a stranger stating that his acoholhlic father is lost in the storm and he needs to come to New Orleans to help find him. Luke embarks on a journey not to find his father, but to reconnect with himself. I really liked this book and encourage anyone to read it. I was impressed with the feelings that it gave me right now in my life. Especially as I have been reconnecting with friends and old acquaintances, and making new friends. "Facebook" and my blogs have helped me to find something that I had been missing for sometime. Some of you may know that I have had a blog for quite a few years now. I think I started some 3 or 4 years ago, but recently I have begun to really connect with other people and I have become interested in their thoughts. I have realized that life is way to short to get stuck in the now and I need to lift up my head and discover all that is around me. My past is not the most glamorous and I am not perfect, but I do have a story to tell just like everyone else. This book helped me to see into those stories and pull out the good from everyone. Thanks, Elder Wright for another great story.

Friday, February 13, 2009

TRISKAIDEKAPHOBIA

What!!! ,you may say, is that. Fear of the number 13. Today is the day and fear of today is actually called: paraskevidekatriaphobia. Where does it all begin? Some say it started way back in the time of Christ. Rumor has it that the last person to sit at the table for the last supper, the thirteenth, was actually Judas. His fate did not turn out so well. A large percentage (80-90%) of tall buildings do not have a 13th floor. The floors are renumbered 12a or they skip that floor. In Los Angeles 13th street is called Pico Boulevard. In San Francisco Funston Ave appears where 13 would have been. Most Airports do not have a 13th gate and airplanes rarely have a 13th seat row. The military made the F-12 and F-14 but no F-13. The most famous NASA flight was which one... Apollo 13. Apollo 13 lifted off at 13:13 (or 1:13 for you non 24 hour clock people). In sports Formula 1 has not had a car numbered 13 since 1974. There are some players that will not wear the number. Some do not care, for example Alex Rodriguez has 13 on his back and he has 13 letters in his name. Most race tracks will not start a race with only 13 cars. There is a business back east somewhere called the 14th guest. If you have 13 people invited to your party you can pay them to come so you do not jinx your event. Very interesting, did you take the day off today or sleep in late? It is estimated that 18-21 million people are affected in some way because of this day. Some are so paralyzed they will not even get out of bed. Business marks a 800 to 900 million dollar difference on the Friday the 13th. Airlines show a drop off in today's flight numbers, and on and on. It would be interesting to see what superstitions you have. I found one thing Gillian B James (my wife) has 13 letters in her name....... Oh boy, what do I do.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Book Review


Finished a very good book today. Sometimes I get in the mood to read self help and business idea books. Such as "Raving Fans" or "Who moved my cheese". "Fish" falls in that category. I found it very helpful and an enjoyable quick read. At the end of the book there is this a quote, it summarizes the book. " As you enter this place of work please choose to make today a great day. Your colleagues, customers, team members, and you yourself will be thankful. Find ways to play. We can be serious about our work without being serious about ourselves. Stay focused in order to be present when your customers and team members most need you. And you should feel you energy lapsing, try this surefire remedy: Find someone who needs a helping hand, a word of support, or a good ear- and make their day."
The book begins by telling the story of a woman that has the privilege of working in what she calls the toxic waste dump. She visits a fish market in Seattle where she learns the highlighted concepts. CHOOSE your daily attitude. We learn the in all reality we choose what mood we will be in. PLAY at work, make it fun and enjoyable. We spend a large percentage of our lives at work it might as well be enjoyable. BE PRESENT in everything we do, how often are we thinking of the chores or bills when our kids are telling us about their day, or when the customer is explaining a problem. Finally MAKE THEIR DAY, can we in someway reach out to someone that needs help in some way.
I liked the theme of the book and I know that I can use it's teachings not only at work, but at home in my everyday life. I tried it a little today. I made eye contact with 3 people at church and asked them how things are going. That is not something I can usually do. I would much rather stick to my comfort zone and be to myself.

Friday, February 6, 2009


Tonight we had the debate that has pestered my family through the ages. Seems as though when ever we want to go out to eat it is a battle because each of us has a finicky stomach. They get that from Jill because I will eat anything. Anyways, the battle comes down to this: where do we go that serves the best quality food.
Tonight the debate centered around the all important burger. Who is it that makes the most enjoyable and finger licking one in town? Every place is eligible for this discussion and I personally believe that each burger has it's place. Starting with McDonalds. This is the low end of the spectrum. A burger thrown together and sometimes not cooked all the way just cannot make it to the gourmet page, but that said if it were not for McD's I know some expectant mothers that would have starved. Besides what do we expect from a clown? I personally believe Burger King is a step above in the fast food chain. I like the Whopper with cheese. Maybe it is the thought of flame broiling. Around here Ab's is not to bad. Wendys is stashed between McD's and BK. The top on my list has got the Five Guys. My mouth is watering right now. Of course this is were we ended up again tonight. Picking everything you want slapped on the piece of meat has it's advantages. I feel the Crown Burger/Apollo fall just short of the best burger in town.
Now feel free to post in the comments what you think I would be glad to hear. Maybe it will awaken my taste buds and force me to try someplace different.

Thursday, February 5, 2009



















Jill so kindly pointed out to me last night that I have not posted in quite sometime. Kolbie is over at dance so I have about 20 minutes before I need to leave so I will peck out something for my entertainment. (That is what this blog is, my entertainment)

Some of you may know that my brain thinks in only one gear..... No not sex, it thinks lots about sports. Today I had a lunch date with my new fantasy baseball league. We all met up at "Five Guys" in Midvale to discuss the up coming season. I had the cheeseburger with all my favorites, I wonder how many weight watchers points that cost me? So here is how the date went.... calling it a date sounds to feminine. This was the owners pow wow. I am related to 4 of the 10 members of this league. They have endured my begging for years to let me into their league. See I usually end up in the Yahoo league that by Memorial day there is only 1 guy left playing and it stinks. Lance finally gave me the OK and let me in starting way back in November. I inherited a pretty bad team so this off season I have bartered and got rid of the dead wood. (the league is calling me the Dodgers east because I ended up with a heavy load of the blues) Today was my first face to face meeting with the guys I had been emailing and chatting with for the past 3 months. It went well, I was fashionably late. I figured I did not want to be on time because I am the rookie so I might have to buy everyone Else's lunch. After I get my food we begin to discuss strategy and the what not. They are pegging me with questions about who my keepers are going to be etc. You know when you picture online friends one way and they turn out completely different, well that was how it was. They seem like a great bunch and I should have fun with this new adventure.

I collect baseball cards, boxes and boxes of them. I have more packs that are unopened than I dare let Jill know about. I really like the pictures on them. I do not want a card with some reflective background. I like the bats to be swinging and the arms to be flailing. I am weird that way. So lately I have this itch to buy more of my favorites. More Dodgers of course and I will see if I can find some of my old favorites. These are the pictures of the guys I have on my team currently. Of those 7 guys I need to keep 5. Tell me waht you think. Should I take my chances that Manny will sign? Or play it safe with Jimmie Rollins and the gang.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Welcome mat is out!!



We have the wonderful opportunity of having a mouse or a family of mice at the shop. It is such the great thing to host this family on a regular basis. They have enjoyed our hospitality. In fact the candy bowl has been raided several times and lately these mice have been great at playing games with us. Most definitely they like the get the food out of the trap without setting it off game.

This leads us back to a few years ago when we thought we had a mouse in the shop. This mouse scared us to death. He would only come in on the weekends and he ate an entire bag of sunflower seeds off the top of one of the guys' tool boxes. (destroyed the bag) We decided we needed to catch the beast when we noticed sunflower seeds on the top of the engine of a car one time. It was almost like he had himself dinner and then fell asleep in the warmest spot he could find. Turns out this was no mouse at all, he was Rocky the squirrel. We bought a large animal trap and got him one Friday afternoon. The stupid squirrel was trying to eat through the bars on the trap and he tried to bite us. We did the only right thing and transported him to "body shop alley" on 3rd west and 9th south and let him out over there. It was by the train tracks so he would have plenty of body shop sunflower seeds and places to sleep by the train yard.

Anyways our current mouse or mice are smart. I set an ancient trap and the dang thing took the bread and did not set off the trap. So we went out and bought some of the sticky traps. I told the guys I would catch them dead before they could in the sticky traps and so the competition was on. Each of us got 2 traps. Me with my traditional whack em dead traps and them each with the fangdango new dealies. The next morning I had 1 dead mouse, but one of the sticky traps was gone. That stupid mouse had carried the trap some 6 feet away and basically eaten itself out. We have gone a week without another trapping. So today at NPS we found a rather large trap. I posted it in a good location, almost broke my finger by the way. Tomorrow I know that we will find a dead mouse.
Tina hates mice and she cleans savagely everywhere we notice the appearance of mice. I was walking around the office pointing out every corner that a mouse could have been. She certainly has the cleanest desk in the shop, and I know that those mice like the copy machine and fax machine (they need to be cleaned).

Monday, January 26, 2009

Funny thing happened at court today!


I had to go to court today and it was sort of comical. I was asked to be a witness for the defendant in a case of customer vs. the mechanical shop that damaged his car. First off, I have never had to go to court before. Usually a written estimate stands for itself and the estimator does not need to be present, but hey they paid me $18 to come and say what I saw. I looked at this Audi on January 23, 2008. Just over 1 year ago. I am supposed to remember everything I said and what I saw..... RIGHT! I cannot remember what I ate for a snack 5 minutes ago, let alone a car that I saw 1 year and 4 days ago. Besides every car is the same to me. They all have damage that I need to fix. Then there are the stories, I have heard them all. He pulled out in front of me, or she was not looking or how about the guy that hit a refrigerator at 65 mph on the freeway. (The refrigerator was stopped, the car was going 65, now that would be a story!)
I guess this Audi fell off the lift and damaged under the passengers door. They did not dispute that the shop damaged the car, it was just what damage. Anyway, I think I hurt the shop because I told them what I estimated I stand behind, but I was not there when the car fell off the rack so I do not know what was damaged by the shop. ( I guess the car hit the worker on the head when it fell, the judge asked if he was Ok, I almost started laughing.)
So, I am under oath and testifying and the judge asks for a conference and asks me to stay in the witness chair. I am am a little nervous at this point and then the bailiff comes walking over to me. He leans over and tells me that the court secretary told him to tell me that that we have her car now and she is going to pick it up after court. FUNNY! The judge then proceeds to ask the customer if he would take his car to us and let us fix it if the mechanic would pay for it. He said no, but that was funny too. I was excused after I testified, but I am sure the shop lost again. ( this was an appeal). Remind me not to eat the fish and chips at sizzler next time because the whole time my stomach was just brewing. I made it through the court case without getting arrested or strip searched, although the guard at the door was sort of hot so that would have been ok. And I did have fun at court today!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Do you like Me? Yes ____ No ____ (check the box)


Yesterday I was confronted with the dreaded Yes or No note. Come on, you all know what I am talking about. "Do you like me Yes ___ No ___" . Do not try to pretend that you were not on the receiving or giving end of one of these in your lifetime. I can remember Kelly Seikman in the 5th grade at Oquirrh Elementary. All of us boys wrote those notes then chased her down to give them to her. Of course we were all scared to death of her, and I do not think she ever answered any of us. Later on in high school the rumor was passed around that her and her boy friend spent lots of time sluffing school and having sex on her kitchen counter. I am not sure she was the type of girl we wanted anyway, but the excitement of the "hunt" had begun.
Kolbie brought this note home and said that Kaleb only likes her as a friend. It sure is fun. It made me think about my younger days. In junior high I had 1 heavy crush, Aimee Harris, I could not stand anywhere near her without getting twitter pated. I had to walk down her locker hall just for the chance at a glimpse. Even in High School I was not that out going to ask or be in the proximity of the girls. I do not think it was until after my mission that I developed a set and "asked" someone straight out for a date. I wonder what it is. Girls are people too, they do not come from another planet (Venus), or put on their pants any different...... I know what it is.... WOMEN. Women cause everything we do. If not for women, men would stay at home watch football all of the time and go fishing. It causes the speech to become slurred and sweat glands to produce. The young kids do not realize it yet, but that is the cause of all this that we do. Oh to have the fun kids life again. (by the way I locked Kate and Kolbie in their rooms until they are 25, no Yes___ or No ___ boxes for them)
PS. My first date with Jill I told her that it was an assignment from the stake singles ward that she needed to complete.