Friday, October 31, 2008

Measuring Time in lbs.

75 pounds ago. Ruth and I were married.

This picture was taken at our reception in an LDS Stake Center (notice the overflow accordion doors) in Van Nuys, California.

Notice how happy she looks? This is because she thought all of these kisses I was giving her was joy from our new marriage and that soon the novelty would wear off and I'd calm down and stop kissing her so much.


It surely was joy, but the kisses never stopped. I am berserk about kissing. Some would say, "broken." How many times do you suspect I kiss Ruth in a day? 5- 10? Guess again... I'd bet if you took our whole marriage and divided all the kisses into days it would probably come out to...say...somewhere around 150-200 kisses per day. Uh um. Everyday. That my friends is a boatload of kisses.

OK, so I'm affectionate.

Then there's these men that I've kissed on the head:
  • Jeremy Rigby (brother)
  • Dave Hope (brother)
  • Brett Reagan (son in-law)
  • Travis Hatch (son in-law)
  • Larry Mitchell (father in-law)
  • Ron Mitchell (brother in -law)
  • Dave Heaton (my chiropractor (hey, who wouldn't))
  • Dave Manion (best old boss ever)
  • Mark Anderson (co-worker)
  • Scott Vermeys (co-worker)
  • Glen something (Alaska Airlines Pilot)
  • Larry Long (co-worker)
  • Cody Lovelace (co-worker)
  • Jeremy Ames (random guy)
  • James Walk (random guy)
  • Scean Ripley (former ecclesiastic leader)
  • Sean Atkisson (former ecclesiastic leader)
  • Bum Guy at Circle K* (no spare change)
  • Bum Guy at 7-11* (no spare change)
  • Point Defiance Zoo Keeper guy (let one our guests in for free)
  • Kary Yates (random guy)
  • John Lewis (Timesheet guy at work)
None of these men have enjoyed my kisses. They all just look at my wife as if to say, "That man aint right!"

Bizarre I know. Involuntarily my lips search out and kiss. Inevitable, kind of like:
  • when a broom finds a dusty floor.
  • when a willow witch finds water.
  • a compass finds magnetic north.
  • the phone rings when your in the shower.
  • my son buys another pair of Nike's.
  • President Bush saying "Merica" as in, "We live in 'Merica, the home of the brave."
  • birds fly into windows.
  • bums beg for "bus fare."
  • your cell phone battery dies when your getting directions.
  • electrical current follows ground.
  • birds fly south (then into windows).
You get the picture.

A couple of theories:
  1. Perhaps I'm an Italian and don't know it.
  2. Perhaps it's more serious. Follow me here...Ever have a "downs syndrome" friend? I have had lots of friends that are "downs syndrome." I relate really well. A common theme among "downs" folk is that they are extremely friendly and lovey dovey. Sounds like me huh? I could be "downs syndrome" and was never told. Maybe my parents didn't want to tell me because they had already told me that I was color blind.
In any event, I think I've created a monster. Here's a current picture of Ruth now when I try to kiss her.

Too much of a good thing? Probably.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Band Finally Got Back Together!

Three men.
I know them as Brent, Jeremy and Clivette.
You know them as:
The Faith Tones!
Listen now to their chart bustin #1 hit single, "You Need Us!"

Listen to The Faith Tones chart bustin' number 1 single "You Need Us!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Record Speed Trip to Utah

We had nice weekend trip to Utah.

As always our visits are blazing fast. I apologize to all the folks we visited that we couldn't stay longer.

Our targeted friends were:



Yes, lots of Mitchells to see in the Beehive state. We did visit everyone targeted. Two of my favorite foods were made and given to me, Chocolate Almond Toffee and Chocolate, peanut butter, coconut haystacks. Thank you Wendy Mitchell and Sonja Ames!
My problem with these treats are similar in nature to the death my goldfish "Mr. Happy Pants" suffered. I just keep eating!! I kind of feel like Violet Beauregard on Charlie and the Chocolate factory. Oh well, it's happy misery!

On our way out of town we decided to go I80 through Wendover and Wells and Jackpot Nevada. This route took us through the Bonneville Salt Flats; fascinating place!

Land speed record set here in 1970. 622mph! Can you imagine the home teaching visits you could go through traveling that fast?

Penny's cute foot!!

Underneath the salt is very saline water.

Salt expanse.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

McCartney Cover

Two things great about this video.

1. My new Alvarez guitar.
2. The look on my son Brent's face. (hello anybody home?)

After 90 years of Cinema. I bring you the best movie clip.

Revisiting this clip I laughed hard at the "Shhhhhh, I'm trying to use the phone!!"

Written by the late great Phil Hartman.

Can there be a greater clip? Name it.

Winner of Quiz #42

Jeremy the Ames came closest is last weeks Music Quiz.
Lewis Family was way off.
Here's one more classic from Roger Miller.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Beautiful Girl of the Day!

The girl with the flower is my lovely daughter Elise. She came to our family back in 1985 by the "usual method." She was our first baby.
This is her sweet and kind husband.
This is what she wants every year for Christmas.

Independent, independent, independent describes Elise. Not afraid to do anything by herself and very intelligent. In fact, at times I would joke with my CATV colleagues, "Do you want my daughter Elise to come down here and solve our problem?" I can just imagine her saying to my colleagues, "Do you think the co-channel problem is a result of poor isolation from a city peg channel?" We all scratch our chins and nod slowly up and down.

Elise can do anything she wants. There are no roadblocks. If I told her right now that I need 2000 30-weight ball-bearings she'd be out the door looking for them. She would not even know what they are or where to get them. But she would get them and she'd get them quick. Not only would she return with ball-bearings she'd also bring back a "get one free" coupon for me and a bouquet of flowers for her mother.

If I told her about rack and pinion steering she'd troubleshoot potential problems with it.

Really amazing, she is.

We love, love, love our oldest daughter. She is so bright and cheerful. I conclude this mini-tribute with a pictures of items that Elise had unique names for as a little girl. We still refer to these things by the names Elise tagged them with.

Yupplane = Airplane
Pointing skyward, "Look at the yupplane!"

Gumulah = Ice cream
Pointing at the carton she would say, "I want gumulah."

Bilah = Spider
"Dad, kill the bilah!"

Dada (pronounced Dayday) = Jessica (I still use Dada because of Elise)
"Dada got gone in a twister!"

Monday, October 20, 2008

That's eggzactly what I'm talking about

The oldest Hope child and the youngest Hope child. Elise 23 years old. Penny 9 years old.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Counselor in the Relief Society

It's Saturday in Idaho...

I see my wife begin to get a "pinched" look.
"What's wrong?" I ask.
"Nothing." She says.
"C'mon, baby tell me what's wrong." I urge soothingly.
"NOTHING!" She states firmly.
I give her "the look" that I always give her when she won't tell me something. Because....I know.
Finally she gives in. "Well, I've got these Relief Society fliers and sign-up sheets to make...."
"Relax baby....I've got it." I boast. "I will make those fliers for you." I say.
She just looks at me with that "Quizzical Wow" look. That look that says, "you haven't done the dishes in 14 years and now you want to make my RS fliers?" You guys know what I'm talking about.
"Uh huh...oh yeah." I nod.
An hour later I finish the project on my Macbook Pro and she loves it. In fact, she is all over me like Bees on Honey.

Or in this instance...Ruth on Honey.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Music Quiz # 42

Here's a song that brings back a ton of memories for me. My Dad and Uncle used to listen to this one all the time. This song is a mild family favorite. I say mild because every trip we go on as a family I make a CD full of music to listen to while travelling. The songs that the family can't stand on these trip Cd's we skip over while driving. The one's we like we let play. Thus they become "mild favorite."

This artist has a bunch of songs like this one on a similar theme. The title of the song will be easy to distinguish but what do you know about the artist?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Gotta Get Back in Time!

Penny and Jake back in the day as Whitman Elementary Students

Dad and Sarah swimming in Canada

Amber Hope, Barry Manilow and Jessica Hatch

Friday, October 10, 2008

"Let's all just simma down or the dog get's it!"

Budding actress, this is my sweet daughter Sarah rehearsing a scene with "Speck" for the upcoming movie: "Your Dog Will Die." A sequel is planned: "Your Dog Will Die Too." I suspect the movie will win an Oscar or two if I know cinema.

Sarah provides a great deal of comic relief in our family. Not only is she quite funny. She is a fantastic pianist, she gets good grades, she's fun to talk to, she likes to hug her dad and she's a very good singer and finally, she's quite lovely!

Ever seen a woman try to kill a dog in her pajamas and bare feet? Don't answer.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Roo and the Arizona Moon

Here's my amazing wife Ruthie riding her bike through the Tucson Desert.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Penny May

More Photoshop

A nice way to burn 9 hours

Here's a a Photoshop pencil drawing of Moroni atop the Salt Lake City Temple. It took me precisely 9 stinking hours to complete. Dang. It might take a while to learn how to use this software. I could see a whole semester at college devoted to learning this stuff.

9 other things I could have done in 9 hours:

1. Driven from Tucson to Provo
2. Watch Pride and Prejudice with my wife 4.5 times and die during the third showing.
3. Eaten 108 corndogs. (n=12x9)
4. Swim the English Channel in a pretty good time.
5. Jumped rope and burned 10800 calories thus losing a whopping 3.5 lbs. (n=1200x9;10800/3000=x)
6. Watched 18 episodes of Gumby from Ruth's prized Gumby Boxed Set.
7. Played Stairway to Heaven on the guitar 7 times.
8. Ride my bike from Sun Valley to Burley. (equivalent to riding from Tacoma to Ellensburg)
9. Flown from LA to Borneo in a Boeing 747.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Salt Lake City Getaway

Our family spent the weekend in Lindon and Salt Lake City Utah. We had a great time. One of our highlights was spending time with Ron and Wendy Mitchell. Unfortunately because of copyright issues no photos of Wendy are allowed (yeah, she's that famous). So instead I'll mention that Ron (who is Ruth's brother) his wife Wendy and their darling children are great people.
Wendy is known the world over for her tremendous candy making capabilities. Indeed, her Chocolate Almond Toffee is the best in the world. I'm not kidding. Best on the whole planet. You will never eat anything as good as this stuff. This stuff is so good you wake up in the middle of the night thinking about it. Go here to see a picture of her candy and another perspective.

Angel Moroni atop the Salt Lake City Temple at dusk. Did I mention Ruth and I were married in that temple?

Looking South from the Conference Center on East Temple.LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City. This is where conference is televised.

Rob, Brian and Brent.
Rob is my potential father in-law and Brian is my brother in-law. Tremendous people.

Capital Building

The Ames Family: Best people in the whole world. They are pictured here with their lovely daughter Anna. They in fact have 4 beautiful children. For more info go here

Original members of the band, "Eat Worms and Die."

New Draper Temple from Traverse Road.

Cozy Snail living it up at the Trevi Condos.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The PC is Dead to me.

I have been converted. I joined the true church of technology which is Apple 18 months ago and I must say it's a nice place to be. Apple's products have long been legendary. I've had an iPod for sometime now. Can you even name another MP3 player within 3 seconds? Try it...go...1,2,3 TIME. See, I knew you couldn't do it. OK so there's the pretender Zune by Microsoft. But what do you have after that? Nada.
I've discovered the same difference between PC notebooks and the all and powerful Macbook Pro. The Macbook pro is fantastic in it's reliability. The battery life is great. Smart and efficient can best be used to describe it's operating system. There are no better operating systems out there.
We've been without windows in our home for over 6 months now. We do run Linux's offering of Ubuntu on our underpowered home PC. Ubuntu is open source, free and kind of cool but it's like owning a car that is a hybrid. Cool to say you have, but's heinous.

Mark Anderson told me that by the end of 2005 he'd be Microsoft free in his home. I couldn't believe that statement as Mark and I had built numerous PC machines together. Nope, he said he was done with Microsoft and Apple had won his heart. I refused to believe.

But even a couple of years before that a fellow by the name of Jeremy Ames had purchased a fine Mac and was calling me all the way from Provo to tell me how great the software Garage Band was. He said that Apple was superior. I was slightly offended.

I've always known Apple users and thought they were nice people. Like everyone else I thought they were unusual with their headphones plugged in, head swaying back and forth. But they did have a certain groove about them. You could call it, "peculiar."

I never really gave it much thought until my RCA 32mb MP3 player keeled over and died. It was this grieving death that brought me into association with the "Apple Store" and it's fine array of MP3 players. I went in to the store with the idea that I'd just humor everyone and listen to the Apple discussions. By the end of my visit though something inside me had changed. Music never sounded finer than through an ipod!

I got busy and didn't think to much about Apple. Didn't listen to the iPod as much as I should have. I drifted. particular gloomy winter, in the middle of 100 straight days of rain in the Pacific Northwest, I said to myself, "Something has to be done." I headed down to Southcenter Mall to drown my sorrows in an Orange Julius when through the corner of my eye I saw the Apple store. I was busy...but I had to just stop in and see. I popped my head inside just to catch a whiff of the technology then this nice clean cut person asked me if I was looking for anything special. Dumbfounded and feeling out of place I just kind of mumbled, "quell I, uh harlsburgh mmmmf."

"Come on in." The person said. felt so right, so I did.
Well dogone it one thing led to another and I ended up purchasing the Macbook Pro with a bunch of cool peripherals and extra software.

My life has never been the same. I've stopped using the W word completely and I'm no longer a 24/7 gamer. Sure it sounds like my new beliefs have restrictions but really, now I have more freedom.

I love it so much that in December...I'm going to get the 24inch iMac. Pretty much the pinnacle of our beliefs.

And even though Mark and Jerm weren't there for my conversion I suspect in there own way they planted the seeds that would one day produce an Apple.