Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Some Days All You Can Do Is Laugh

If your 3 year old tried to flush a grapefruit down the toilet.
If you accidentally burned down your shed trying to make a crayon art craft from pinterest.
If your parents surprised you in your new dorm room and embarrassed you in front of your roommates.
If your boss chewed you out.
If your friends forgot your birthday
If you are just plain having a crappy day.

Read this.  It is my virtual my way of leaving Beyonce on your doorstep.

http://thebloggess.com/2011/06/and-thats-why-you-should-learn-to-pick-your-battles/

Laugh.
Share.
Repeat.

Some days just call for a giant metal chicken, and laughter, lots and lots of laughter.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fred, Bob, and Julia getting down with their bad selves.

Admit it, if you were born somewhere between 1965 and 1985 you think these are kind of cool, your parents probably think they are stupid, and your kids (if you have them) probably don't "get it"...







...if you'll admit that, then I'll admit that watching them made me just a little bit misty eyed.

And if none of those made you smile, watch this...



...if that didn't make you smile even a little bit, we totally can't be friends anymore.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

So you want to know what a trout scramble is...

I had a couple people ask me about the trout scramble activity listed in my previous post for Paradise Trout & Berry Days 2012.

They build a large but relatively shallow wading pool in the town park, the fire department fills it with water, and then the White family from Sportsman Paradise stock it with trout.  People are divided into age groups, starting with the under 2 years olds, and they get in the pool and try to catch a trout with their bare hands.

Now in each batch of fish there are a handful of fish that have been tagged with a piece of metal in one of their gills.  If you catch a tagged trout then you win a prize.  For the women 18 and older the prizes were a night's stay at the Anniversary Inn, a turkey, and a ham.  So of course my friend Andrea and I entered, sadly we didn't win, but we did have a lot of fun.

I took a video of the teenagers in their scramble.  Check it out.



Andrea entered her son in the 2 and under scramble.  I took photos of them with her camera but I don't have them with me.  I also entered the pie eating contest for women 19 and older, I didn't win but I gave it a valiant effort.  A little tip, the filling is the easy part, it is eating the crusts off the plate without hands that is difficult.  Photos of that are also on Andrea's camera and when she emails them to me I will post them here.

This is my favorite community event in the valley.  It is small enough to be laid back and friendly but big enough to have a good time.  The breakfast that the fire department put on was great, the entertainment was fun, there was plenty to see and do, and the weather was perfect.

They are putting on a fantastic trout dinner tonight $10 a plate and includes dessert (trust me it is SO worth it, and that is a very good price), followed by a dance.  If you're looking for something to do tonight, just drive down there and check it out.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Paradise Trout & Berry Days


If you are looking for something to do this weekend, take the scenic drive to Paradise.  They are hosting their annual town celebration, Trout and Berry Days.  The name for the celebration comes from 2 industries founded and run by families from Paradise, Week's Berries and White's Sportsman Paradise (trout farm).

T&B Days technically runs all week.  Tonight (08/24/2012) there is a free concert in the park featuring Western entertainer Mary Kaye (at Paradise Park, 8970 S Hwy 165).  Tickets are $10 prepaid, $12 at the door.  (For more info on the concert 435-512-5087).

The calendar of events for tomorrow, Saturday, August 25th, 2012 is as follows:
  • Flag Ceremony -- 8:00 a.m. 
  • Breakfast -- 7 to 10 a.m. at Paradise Fire Station 
  • 5K Fun Run -- 7:00 a.m. Contact Eric or Misty at 245-5019 
  • 3 on 3 Volleyball -- 9 to 11 a.m. Contact Benji or Megan at 994-1988 
  • Turkey Shoot (at the Sportsman Paradise) from 10a.m. to 2p.m. (contact Jesse Gibbs 757-7508)
  • Booths -- 10 a.m. to Dark 
  • Parade -- 10:30 a.m. 
  • Pie Eating Contest -- 11:30 a.m. 
  • Trout Scramble -- 12 to 1:30 p.m. try your luck at hand catching a trout!
  • Community Auction -- 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. 
  • Mud Volleyball -- 4:00 p.m. Contact Audra Jackson at 232-5406 
  • Trout Dinner -- Serving 6 to 9 p.m. with fresh berry dessert 
  • Free Community Dance - 7:30 until you drop
  •  Entertainment -- 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Country Rock Fest for HOPE 
  • Community Sponsored Rides available (some rides at extra cost) 
If you have never been to Paradise before, head South on Hwy 89/91 from Logan, take the left fork of the "Y" by the Crystal Inn, follow that highway South past Hyrum and the road will take you right to the Paradise town square.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Mumford & Sons @ Saltair




 

Mumford & Sons played at Saltair last night.  Saltair is an old pavilion on the shores of the Great Salt Lake that has been turned into a live music venue.  The pavilion itself has terrible acoustics but a few years ago they built an amphitheater outside at the waters edge.  The venue has a lot of shortcomings but I knew that going in (Extra $5 for parking even though there is no legitimate free parking for miles, long lines, not enough staff, run down facilities, outside means flies/dragonflies/mosquitoes, etc).  The ampitheatre does have one beautiful benefit...gorgeous sunsets over the west desert and the lake.  

The support bands, Slow Club and Nathaniel Rateliff were both phenomenal.  Both acts got to enjoy the best view in the house as the sun was setting.  It was annoying that some people in the crowd booed the support acts because apparently they weren't Mumford and sons.  That's the only reason I could think of because they were both great.
 

Little Lion Man

Sorry for the poor quality photos, these are with my crappy phone camera that has about 1mpx, no flash, no zoom (digital or optical), and no ambient light sensor (lousy low light photos).  I was feeling old fashioned because it seemed like I was the only person in the crowd without the lastest iphone, which if you're looking for good camera quality is pretty fantastic.  The iphone 4S has an 8mpx camera on the back, flash, zoom, ambient light sensor, auto white balancing, high res video capability, another camera on the front for skyping...in fact the iphone is a better camera than my now deceased 10 year old pocket digital, it's depressing really.

The funny thing is that this show made me wish that I'd dusted off one of my old film cameras and brought it along.  The music and the feel of the show just made me want to capture it all the old school way.  I am glad that I didn't schlep my TLR or my medium format mamiya along because I had a lot of fun not having to carry anything for a change.  My inner photo major geek is still regretting that, although it made me wonder, WWAD? (What Would Ansel Do).  And there was me without my spot meter and zone guide book.




I was excited for this show and couldn't wait to get there, but at the same time I was wary.  The venue was a concern (see above), but also the fact that I had been up since 5am that morning and put in a full day at work and was tired, and also because I have been let down before when I waited to see a band that I liked and the live show was mediocre.  

Mumford & Sons did not disappoint in the least.  

Despite feeling completely knackered from my long day and the 2.5 hours in a car to get to the show (and having to make the return trip after the show), waiting 20 minutes for the ladies room, being pushed, getting stepped on, having a drink spilled on me, someone accidently snagging my new shirt on her camera bag and ripping one of the seams, and all the other delights of a GA concert...I enjoyed myself to the fullest.  Every single hassle and complaint that I had disappeared when they started playing.  Given the choice I would do it all over again, warts and all, it was worth it.

The concert was my first live show in a quite a while and hands down one of the best shows I've ever had the privelege of attending.  They played every track from Sigh No More and a lot of songs from their upcoming album.  I didn't keep track of exactly what was played when, I just wanted to relax and enjoy the show.  There were so many people who were glued to their phones, logging the set list, taking video and stills, and making concert calls to friends.  It was a shame because it seemed like they were missing out on most of the show.

The one song from the new album, Babel, that grabbed me in the same way that Timshel and After The Storm did from their first album, was Ghosts That We Knew.  This song made me wish I had grabbed my flip video camera on my way out the door to the show.  Since it seemed like everyone there was taping the show I thought last night's version would be up on youtube by now, but it isn't.  So here is a live version of GTWK from a concert earlier this summer in Austria.



If you ever have the opportunity to see this band live, RUN don't walk to get your tickets!  They sell out quickly and for good reason, these guys are amazing.  Honestly it is all I can do not to call in sick to work tomorrow and drive all day to get to California so I can make it to their Gentlemen Of The Road Stopover in Monterey on Saturday.

To pre-order Babel (set to be released September 25), check out tour dates, or simply learn more about M&S please visit their website www.mumfordandsons.com

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mumford & Sons @ Saltair August 22nd - RECEIVED TICKET!

I have found the ticket I was looking for.  Thanks to Heidi from Logan!  Can't wait for the show tomorrow night!

So I'm a slacker and put off getting tickets to the one and only live concert I wanted to see this year, and now it is sold out.

Mumford and Sons will be playing live at Saltair in Magna, UT (on the Great Salt Lake, West of Salt Lake City) this Wednesday, August 22nd at 8pm.  Smithtix is completely sold out. 

If you or anyone you know has and extra ticket I would love to buy it from you.  I've been wanting to see M&S live for almost 2 years and haven't had the opportunity yet, I'm very excited for their new CD release in September.  I'll pay you face value for the ticket and buy you dinner!

Monday, August 13, 2012

This should be a new federal holiday...


August 8th is Sneak Some Zucchini On To Your Neighbor's Porch Day.  We need this to be a federal holiday because A) Everyone I know tries to give away zucchini in August and B) we need a three day weekend in August, perfect fit, right?  As you can see above I have been zucchini-ed, at work, a couple of times, this is the latest batch. 

This link was shared with me today over on www.petermanseye.com and I have already resolved to make at least 2 of these recipes this week


This list had me laughing

http://allrecipes.com/HowTo/sneak-some-zucchini-onto-your-neighbors-porch-night/detail.aspx

I'm full up on zucchini at the moment, but my neighbors porches are empty so feel free to drop them there.  However if you are in posession of any extra garden ripe tomatoes, onion, peppers, cucumbers, tree ripened peaches, raw cookie dough, pellet ice, or birthday cake flavored oreos...give me a call!  Seriously Oreo needs to bring back those cookies, the were oddly addicting.


Tasty Kitchen also has a lot of great zucchini recipes http://tastykitchen.com/  and you can find my garlic parmesan zucchini latkes recipe there as well http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/sidedishes/garlic-parmesan-zucchini-latkes/

And next month when all you are stuck with zucchinis on the vine that are too big to harvest or give away, we should propose another holiday - National Make Zucchini Boats Day!  When we were kids we would take the overgrown zucchini, hollow them out, make little sails, and turn them into boats.  Then we'd take our boats to the nearest ditch or canal and race them.  It was definitely one of the many fond bucolic memories from my childhood.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Hearts For Binghams

Can you imagine what it would be like to have a child with a failing heart?  Now try to imagine what it would be like if you had three children who needed heart transplants.  That is what the Jason and Stacy Bingham family is going through right now.

http://www.heartsforbinghams.org/index.html

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hearts-For-Binghams/292836664146826 

http://jasonandstacybingham.blogspot.com/

Today at the fair auction here in Logan, UT the last animal sold was a lamb.  This lamb was raised by the Binghams' cousin and she is donating all the proceeds to help with the family's medical expenses.  The lamb sold for $2600 and at least a dozen other bidders added on $100 each on top of that bid to help the family.  I know several other bidders also chose to add an extra boost donation after the auction as well.

If you want to help you can donate on the website above.  If you are in the North Powder, Oregon area there is a fundraiser and auction one week from today, on August 18th.  For details visit this link

http://binghambenefitauction.weebly.com/index.html


Friday, August 10, 2012

Last County Fair Post - I promise!



Even if you aren't going to buy anything you should stop by the auction at the Cache County Fair tomorrow morning just to check out the action.  It is something that everyone should experience at least once.

Cache County Stargazing

The Perseid Meteor Showers are set to be at their peak this weekend.  In anticipation of the showers the American West Heritage Center is hosting a Star Party tonight, August 10th, from 7pm to 11pm (last ticket sold at 10pm).  Stargazing is best away from the light polution of town and the AWHC is in a prime location.  Tickets are $6 a person for ages 3 and up, or free if you are bringing a telescope to share.

There will be lots of activities going on at the AWHC tonight.  To find out more please visit

http://www.awhc.org/index.php/events-2/star-party/

Next Friday, August 17th, the Stokes Nature Center will be hosting an astronomy night from 7:30pm to 10:30pm in Logan Canyon.  You will learn to recognize major constellations and learn how to orient yourself using the stars.  Registration is required.  For more information please visit

http://www.logannature.org/community_program_schedule.html#lcastronomy

Favorite Fair Songs

In honor of the Cache County Fair this weekend, here are my top 5 favorite songs about fairs or that remind me of fairs, in no particular order.










Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Cache County Fair

The county fair is this week!  I love the fair, always have.  If you have never been, what's wrong with you?!?

There are the 4-H exhibits in sewing, cooking, art, wood working, livestock, and crafts.  Community exhibits (art, crafts, town displays, preserves, gardening, etc), live shows, the rodeo, food vendors, market stalls, carnival rides and games,  and my favorite...the 4H and FFA Jr. Livestock Auction.



The auction runs all Saturday morning.  Even if you don't plan on bidding you should stop in to watch for  minute, it can be a lot of fun.  The real fun is when you get to bid, especially against someone who REALLY wants that dairy heifer/steer/hog/lamb.  These kids haven't just played all summer, they've worked to raise these animals and believe me, it is WORK.  I raised lambs for 4H for several years and it isn't easy.  The Parker family auctioneers donate their time for this auction and they always put on a good show.

The auction is a great place to stock up on meat for the coming year.  You can purchase beef steers, hogs, and lambs at good prices while supporting our local youth in their agriculture endeavors.  If you can't afford a whole steer by yourself you could pool with family, friends, or neighbors and then divide up the meat.  Keep in mind that the price you pay doesn't include cutting and wrapping, but you can contact your meat cutter (I like Theurer's in Lewiston) for their cutting/wrapping charges.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Dear CENLAR - BITE ME!

***The following is an email that I just sent to senior management at CENLAR***

Dear CENLAR,

I am a loan processor at a local credit union here in Utah.  My family owns a title insurance company that I worked at for 20 years.  In all my mortgage and lending experience I have NEVER run into a company as ridiculously incompetent as CENLAR.

I took out a home loan through Deseret First Credit Union in Utah.  They then sold the loan to Taylor, Bean & Whitaker.  TB&W went out of business and most of their loans were then assumed by CENLAR.  Since then it has been a nightmare parade of ignorant, rude, and down right shady employees who bungle everything they touch.

The first issue was that CENLAR failed to properly report my payments to the credit bureaus.  It took me 4 months of trying to contact you, AFTER A YEAR OF YOU NOT REPORTING, to get you to start reporting it.  I have always made my payments on time and in full, I want my responsible credit usage reported and you damaged my credit report by not doing that.  You are reporting it now but I wasn't compensated for the damage you did, sorry doesn't cut it.

The second issue is the fact that your call centers are useless!  When I was first transferred to your company I would wait on hold literally for hours to get through to someone.  Now I get through right away, but they barely speak English, they don't seem to able to actually see and understand anything about my account, and they aren't able to actually give any customer service, lip service...yes, customer service...no.

The third issue is the online customer service doesn't seem to be able to understand questions or fully disclose anything they are asked about and they don't seem to make any notes or read any notes about issues on the accounts...again digital lip service, not real service.

The fourth issue is your mail/communication/assumption/loss mit departments.  I was divorced in April, I wanted to refinance or assume the loan to remove my ex-husband from it.  I followed the instructions on your website and as given to me by your online customer service department, and provided EVERYTHING you asked for.  At no point was the processing fee disclosed to me...not on your website...not in the assumption paperwork...and not by your customer service department.  I have copies of all my correspondences if you would like to see them.  I filled out the paperwork, got my ex-husband to sign what he needed to sign for it (no that wasn't stressful at all, thanks for asking *that was sarcasm*), and mailed it to the address listed on the assumption package. 

This was the first week of June, the 2 checks that I mailed with the package (1 to pay for a credit report and the other to pay for a flood cert) were cashed on June 21st.

On June 20th you mailed me a letter from your loss mitigation "Loan Workout Department" telling me I'd applied for foreclosure protection and you assigned my loan to Bayview Loan Servicing.  After receiving that letter I immediately called your company to try and get this straightened out.  Every time I called in I either got a voicemail, was told by an customer service rep that they couldn't help me, or was transferred to Bayview.  Finally a Bayview representative figured out that my loan shouldn't have been sent to them and that CENLAR SCREWED UP!  Shocking, I know.  I got more polite and professional help from a Bayview rep in one afternoon than I have from your entire company the entire time I've been with you.

So the Bayview rep forwarded me to Cathy in your Assumption department.  She said she didn't know where my package was and that it had probably been misplaced.  She did say she would try to locate it for me. 

You are dealing with people's HOMES and you just up and lose files?!?!  Are you kidding me?  I told her about the cashed checks and asked her to find my documents and get them sent to the right department.  Then she asks if I paid the processing fee...the processing fee that was not mentioned by anyone else, that wasn't listed on the assumption package, and that I couldn't find anywhere on your website.

Cathy evidently ended up finding my documents after about a week of searching and sent them to the correct department.  Now, today, August 3rd, 2 full months after I started this ridiculous odyssey I received notice in the mail that you have finally received the paperwork.  It then asks for the last 3 months bank statements, the last 3 months recent pay stubs, and the last 2 years W2s...I SENT ALL OF THOSE DOCUMENTS IN THE ORIGINAL ASSUMPTION PACKAGE...and then the kicker: a check to cover your origination fee/assumption processing fee of $633.12.

Are you all on crack?  Really, I would like to know because there are 4 possible explanations here #1 - You are all on drugs.  #2 - You have hired Chimpanzees to sort and handle sensitive documentation.  #3 - You are all incompetent.  #4 You were trying to perpetrate some kind of fraud.   How you lose documents and put someone through the gut wrenching, sleep depriving, depressing hell of making them think you want to foreclose on them when they've done everything right and never been late on their payments, and then the hell of thinking that my very private tax, income, and personal information are floating around completely lost and unprotected...for 2 months...and then have the balls to ask for a processing fee and copies of the documentation I already sent to you, is completely beyond me.  I have met some world class morons in my life but you all take the proverbial cake and the bakery it came from.

I hate your company.  Everyone I know who has a mortgage held by CENLAR hates your company.  I have yet to hear or read a single positive review from anyone who has a mortgage held by CENLAR.

I am formally asking you to physically mail back to me all the original documentation I sent in to you and for you to fully refund the two checks you seemed to have cashed even though you had no clue where my paperwork was.  I am refinancing with another mortgage company and telling everyone I possibly can to do the same.  I am sending a copy of this letter to the better business bureau, consumer reports, my congressman and senators, and to the federal trade commission.

Very Sincerely,
Suzanne, your ex-customer

***Please folks if anyone out there has anything positive to say about their experience with CENLAR I would love to hear it, because no one and I mean NO ONE I know that has been with CENLAR has anything good to say about them.***