Thursday, January 31, 2013

Chinchilla Names - Take 14

Today they are known as Crack and Head, observe:

  1. Gwynn & Cuibhan
  2. Leopold & Loeb
  3. Moto & Guzzi
  4. Lem & Phil
  5. Whip & Lash
  6. Chocolate Chip & Cookie Dough
  7. Honey & Badger
  8. Ebenezer & Jacob
  9. Pete & Repeat
  10. Grinch & Max
  11. LEGEN & DARY
  12. Yin & Yang
  13. Whipper & Snapper
  14. Crack & Head

But Why?

Looks like the Ghost In A Jar phenomenon is still going strong on Ebay

My question is: If ghosts have no corporeal essence that you can physically touch, handle, or influence and they can move through seemingly solid objects like doors and walls with ease, how do you capture one in a mason jar? 

Seriously people unless you show me a working proton pack and trap, or at least a cooler jar (maybe one with lasers in it, because who doesn't love lasers?), I'm not biting.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Things That Make A Bad Day Better

Here is a list of things (in no particular order) that I firmly believe can make my bad days better:

  1. Good Friends
  2. Hiking Boots
  3. Hiking Trails
  4. The Woods
  5. The Mountains
  6. The Ocean
  7. Sunsets
  8. Stars
  9. Dad's Cabin
  10. My Big Fat Mormon Family (they're not fat, you're not fat, oh fine I'll take that out) 
  11. Passionate People
  12.  Books
  13. Music
  14.  Movies
  15. Rare Steak
  16. Chocolate Cake
  17. Mighty Craic
  18. Dancing
  19. A Roaring Fire
  20. Helping Someone Else
  21. Molly the Wonder Dog
  22. Other People's Dogs
  23. Other People's Horses
  24. Getting Dressed Up
  25. New High Heels
  26. Dressing Down 
  27. Perfectly Broken In Sweats 
  28. The Satisfaction Of Finishing A Project
  29. The Satisfaction Of Procrastination Drudgery
  30. Kid History Videos On Youtube
What turns your grey skies blue?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My Car Thinks He's Funny

Update: At least I'm not this chick.

The car I'm driving, Phil The Cranberry Comet (I'll explain later), has decided he's funny.  Not only does he think he's funny, he thinks he's HILARIOUS.  Let me fill you in on the adventures of the last 48 hours.

Sunday afternoon: Come home, park on the road so I can shovel off the driveway.  Go to start the car to pull in the driveway and the key goes into the ignition just fine but the ignition would budge when I try to turn the key.  Play with key and steering wheel for 5 or 10 minutes, get to the point where I'm going to call someone to come look at it then it magically unfreezes and the key turns.  Thank the car for being a good boy. 

Late Sunday night:  Go into the family office to shovel and sand a path for the employees to get into the back door the next day.  Car is turned off for about half an hour.  Get in car and ignition won't turn.  Wiggle the steering wheel.  Wiggle the key.  Tap "gently" on the key. Turn the steering wheel hard until it locks up.  Repeat for 15 minutes.  Bang head on steering wheel in desperation.  Text brother who previously drove the car to find out what is wrong with psycho car, he texts back some suggestions.  Nothing works.  Check fuses, everything looks fine.  Get back in and try it one last time.  Car magically starts working.

Monday Morning:  Try to start car.  Repeat all things tried the day before, nothing happens.  Spray key with WD-40, try again with no luck.  Cuss out the car.  Run out of cuss words and start inventing new ones (Flubnut is my favorite, I'm thinking of trademarking it).  Cajole car.  Offer car bribes of high test gas and a nice hot car wash.  Call everyone in my family who lives within driving distance, no one picks up.  Call work and tell them my car hates me and I'm going to be late.  Finally get a hold of Deathy McDaredevil and beg her to come get me.  Deathy McDaredevil rides to the rescue.  Car decides to work just as sister shows up, after almost half an hour of jiggling various automotive parts.  Go to pull out of the subdivision and get high centered on pile of ice and slush left by snowplow.  Get pushed out onto road by friendly Samoan neighbor guys.  Go to work and along the way have stern conversation with car about appropriate behavior and how this sullen teenager bull crap doesn't fly "under my roof" or as I had to rephrase it "On my driveway".  Park in the far parking lot and point at car while saying in my command voice "Sit, stay, good boy."  Realize college student wearing shortshorts, uggs, a poncho, and an animal hat with mittens attached to it is looking at me like I'm the crazy one.  Stop talking to the car.

Monday at noon:  Check out on lunch break and tell co-workers I may be back if it doesn't work.  Walk to car park and give the car A LOOK.  Car glares back.  Get in, give car words of encouragement, but pretend to be talking on the phone...just in case crazy college girl is back and watching me.  Try key in ignition.  Ignition basically says "SCREW YOU!  You're not my real mom." and does nothing I ask it to.  Try all previous tricks for 10 minutes before giving up and head back to call my mom for a ride.  Hang head in shame and relive embarrassment of 13 year old self being driven around by my mommy.  Admit to co-workers that me and my car are having a disagreement, but it's only temporary and we both still love them very much.  Have mother drive me home to let MWD out to write her name in the snow and then take me back to work.  Mother consoles me by giving me a box of Special K cracker chips and saying "Here, eat these.", in her language it means "I'm so sorry my darling, but I love you and am here for you".  Eat half the box, resolve to stop eating crackers to fill the emotional void in my soul.

Monday after work:  Tell coworkers that if they see a blue cloud rising from the parking lot that it is just me yelling obscenities at the car, not to worry.  Stop to take photos of shoes hanging from a phone wire, you're welcome.  Get in car.  Try ignition, ignition is still pouting.  Wiggle key in all directions.  Compliment car on it's sense of humor.  Wiggle steering wheel.  Try WD-40 again.  Sing to car.  Try random keys from my keyring in igniton.  Wiggle the transmission shifter.  Tell car it better behave or it's grounded.  Crank steering wheel so hard it locks up.  Cuss out car.  Bang on steering column.  Push all the buttons in the car in desperation.  Repeat all actions for 30 minutes, occasionally asking other people to try it so I know I'm not crazy, none of them can move it either.  Give up and go back to work because I have to pee.  Ask co-worker A. to give me a ride home.  A. looks up solutions to my car problem on interwebs and gives suggestions.  Try suggestions, they don't work.  A. comes out to car and tries it.  Car likes A. and allows ignition to turn, car gives me a smug look.  Drive vehicle immediately to Saint R.'s house (my long suffering mechanic).  Leave car running for fear of turning it off and it not starting again.  Saint R. pulls car into his workshop and I walk to Deathy McDaredevil's house and get fed delicious pity dinner and given a pity ride home by Deathy.

Monday night:  Take a bath, wear frump clothes and slippers, eat chocolate cake, go to bed at 9:30pm.

Tuesday: Bum rides from mom all day, feel like little kid again, but not in a good way.  Borrow mom's car.  Get phone call that tells me Saint R. can't find anything wrong with car.  Ignition worked fine for Saint R.'s, Saint R.'s wife (the queen of the samoyeds, or QOTS for short), and Deathy McDaredevil who was called over to try it.  Ask mom to take me on the drive of shame to pick up jerk car.  Car starts the first time for me in Saint R.'s shop with him watching.  Back jerk car up to the gate and turn it off while waiting for Saint R.'s to get everything out of the way so I can leave.  Go to start car again and the key turns but car won't start, in car language this means "SCREW YOU, you're not my real mom, and I'm going to live at Saint R.'s house, he understands me more than you do.".  Bang head on steering wheel.  Laugh because it is less messy than throwing a tantrum.  Admit new and different problem to long suffering mechanic, mom, and various family members who were watching.  Watch them laugh.  Beg yet another ride from mom.

Now: Consider calling in sick, or dead, to work tomorrow so I can stay home and wallow properly. 

Cars hate hate me more than I hate the following things put together: spiders, clowns, exercise, non-history shows on the history channel, and chihuahuas wearing clothes.  It is now time for more cake...and chips.  I may run out of cake and chips before this situation gets resolved.

Overheard Items - You may regret reading this post

Don't blame me if you get the bottom of this post and wonder what happened to the last 5 minutes of your life, you've been warned.

Here is a short list of recent favorite overheard comments.


"But WHY do you have a pitchfork in the car?"

"I can't help it if you're stupid, like read a book or something man, you're embarassing yourself."

The following was posted by a male friend of a friend:

"When life is hard I just tell myself: At least you're not carrying Kanye's baby."

And here is a conversation I overheard in the grocery store a couple weeks ago.

Girl 1: "So how was dinner at your mom's house?"
Girl 2: "It was good.  Oh my gosh I almost forgot to tell you.  My dad was watching the Brady Bunch and mom came in to tell us that dinner was ready and she looked at the TV and was all like 'Oooooh I'd forgotten how hot that Brady dad looks in a suit'."
Girl 1: "Ewwwwwwww gross, so gross."
Girl 2: "I know, right?"
Girl 1: "Yeah 'cause everyone knows that Greg was the hot one."
Girl 2: *stunned silence* then she waved her hand in her friend's face "Um you need to go and wait for me over by the milk for like at least 5 minutes because I can't be your friend right so gross."
Girl 1: "What?!?"

Then a few days ago I overhead a different conversation where 2 kids were debating about whether the mom and dad on the Brady Bunch had been divorced or widowed by their previous spouses.  I interjected that I didn't care what happened to the former Mr. Carol and Mrs. Mike but what the heck did Carol do all day if they had a live in house keeper, it's not like you ever saw her going to work or the PTA.  They just stared at me like I was crazy.

That night I had a bizarre dream involving the Brady Bunch episode where they all go to Hawaii.  Only in my dream Mr. Brady leaves the family in Hawaii and goes home alone and throws a wild party at the house.  When Carol calls him to find out where he is, he tells her he wants a divorce because he's gay and dating Eric Estrada now.  Then I woke up, then I went back to sleep and had the exact same dream., then I woke up again and said out loud "Really?  Really subconscious?  What was the point of that?". 

Then I got worried that I was talking to my subconscious and did was every rational adult would do in this situation, I went to the computer and googled what dreams about the Brady Bunch mean.  I found this, and decided to be glad I hadn't had that dream.  Then that led to looking up the Brady Bunch on Wikipedia which led to me clicking so many links that I'd lost the page I was originally looking at and ended up on the page about Robert Reed who played Mike Brady and I found out that he was gay.  Guys, this can mean only one of two things:

#1 - I had heard or read that fact years ago and had completely forgotten that I knew it and all the Brady Bunch chatter I've been overhearing allowed it to percolate to the surface.


#2 - I'm psychic.  But only when I'm asleep.  And only about stuff that has no practical application.  And only about stuff that has already happened.  And only about people I don't actually know.

I'm kind of leaning towards #2, what do you think?  In other dream news, I've decided to never again read anything by Neil Gaiman right before going to bed.  It gives you the kind of dreams that when someone says "live your dreams!" you want to reply "Oh, hell no!".

See?  I warned you that you'd regret reading this post.

Monday, January 28, 2013

On A Wire

I dragged my big camera to work with me today so I could photograph a pair of sneakers hanging from a utility wire.  They've been there for a while and I never really took much notice of them, they were just part of the scenery.  But for some reason today they grabbed my attention.  The red shoes have faded to pink and are covered in snow.  From below they almost looked like someone walking a tight rope.

He's Honey Badger...

...and he just don't care.

Back of a snow plow I saw last spring.
Please don't try to cut off or tailgate a snowplow, I guarantee if something happens you won't live long enough to regret it.

People, stay home if it isn't an emergency or you aren't required at work.  It really isn't worth driving in this.  All you people in AWD or 4WD vehicles with mud tires or snow tires who think you're safe because your driving your fancy ginormous SUV/TRUCK, stop driving like it is sunny, dry, and 80 isn't, even for you in your magical ride.  Oh and use your turn signals once in a while.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

New Logan Restaurant

Updated: Apparently it is in between the yoga studio and the building to the South.  You can enter through the yoga studio front door.

There is going to be a new restaurant in downtown Logan.  The Okito Grill will be opening this Tuesday, January 29th in the building between The Italian Place and Balance yoga studio at 34 Federal Ave, Logan.  They will be serving organic Congolese cuisine and smoothies on Tuesdays and Thursdays from from 10am to 2pm.

Stop by and try them out!

Avalance Danger

With this heavy new snowfall on top of the ice that the lousy freezing rain storm left us on Thursday, there is a serious risk of avalanches right now.  PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE be careful if/when you go into the back country.  Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back, don't deviate from your plan.  Use your avalanche beacons, if you don't have beacons please rent some from USU ORP.  You can find them by clicking on the following link.

There has already been at least one avalanche death in Utah this year.  And we certainly don't a want a repeat of this tragedy.  I don't care if you are a climber, hiker, snowmobiler, cross country skiier, or in-bounds skiier at a resort.  I don't care if you've been doing this for 5, 10, 20, 40 years.  Because the snow and the mountain don't care who you are or what you think you know.

Get training and always check conditions with the Utah Avalanche Center.  Never go alone, use common sense, stay on safe routes, don't take risks, and come home alive.

The Wreath Guy

Yesterday I drove down to Farr West for a hair appointment and decided to stop by The Wreath Guy's stand.  I picked up a couple bunches of curly willow and red birch, as well as a new wreath for the back door.  If you are ever in the Farr West/Harrisville area, you should stop by and walk through the buildings to see his creations.  Even if you don't buy anything it is 15 or 20 minutes well spent.

I love that even in the dead of winter he's got the wreaths and supplies available.  He had a good selection of both tall and short branches at $5 a bunch and wreaths starting at $12 a piece and going up from there depending on size.  The wreath I bought was $16.  The wreaths are great for indoor or outdoor decorating and I'm considering going back and getting two really big ones to decorate the fences on my side yard.

Tall and medium size bunches of red birch.
Two tall bunches of curly willow.
My new wreath.

A wreath I bought last spring from Lyle.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Saturday Night Camera Clean Out

It's Saturday night.  The house has been cleaned, made it to my hair appointment, the errands have been run, MWD has been walked, the Chinchilla twins have been fed, the shopping is done, and I have been hanging out in my library listening to Prairie Home Companion, Thistle and Shamrock, and now Folk Sampler on UPR.

Earlier this evening I commented on my facebook page about how the pea-soup like foggy weather today made me wish I had a fireplace or wood burning stove in my home so that I could park myself in front of it and read or chat with friends.  It got me thinking about the time I lived in Ireland and the smell of turf fires.  Which then sent me on a hunt to scare up something my oldest brother R. had given me a couple years ago.  After some digging I finally found it, a bar of body soap from Lush Cosmetics that smells EXACTLY like a turf fire.  It's scent is so strong that I don't even have to open the tin to smell it.

It looks like an oat cake, but believe me, you wouldn't want to try and eat it.  This is one of those rare instances where I wish we had the capability of transmitting smells through the internet.  It is so difficult to explain what this smells like if you don't already know what a turf fire smells like.

Taking those photos made me decide to clean off my CF card in my camera.  I've just started a digital photography class taught by Levi Sim through the CVCA.  There were several photos from that class.  Here are a couple.

A few days ago we got our cameras out in class and experimented with customizing the white balance settings.  We all got to try this color manipulation.  I don't know about anyone else but it turned out fairly well for me.  What we did was set our cameras to the "custom" feature in the white balance menu.  Then we took a photo of the light cast by a flashlight with a red gel held over the bulb.

Then we went to the camera menu and selected the "Custom WB" item and selected the red light photo as the base setting for our white balance.  Then we took a photo of something white and the white appears as the opposite of the color we set for our white value, in this case everything appears green.

A white backdrop with a normal white balance level for the lighting in the room, before we applied the custom setting.
The same backdrop after applying the custom WB setting with red as our base color for white.
Then Levi held the light up to his face and we all took a photo of him under the red light with the WB custom setting.  Here are the photos with the custom WB and with a standard WB setting.

Portrait with custom WB set for red.
And this is what it looked like with the WB set to register true white for the lighting in the room.
Later that night when I got home I took a couple photos of the ice sheet in my driveway.  I don't know why I was so upset about the ice skating rink at Merlin Olsen Park being ruined when I have my very own private one right behind my house.

And then, since I had my camera out and everything, I decided to experiment with some settings on my camera.  I took a few photos of the Morrocon lamp on my desk.  I haven't taken this many photos just to play with a camera since I was a photo major at USU, many many moons ago.

So this leaves me with just one question, how was your Saturday night?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Logan Winterfest 2013

It figures that the weekend we get rain instead of snow, Logan hosts "Winterfest".  *sigh*  Murphy's law I guess.  If you are looking for things to do tonight and tomorrow, check out the events being hosted all over the valley and up Logan canyon as well.

4th Weigh In

Well it is slightly better than last week's weigh in.

But it is still a loss and I'll take what I can get.  Especially since I've been tempted by donuts, cake, and ice cream just about every day this past week.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pupuseria El Salvador CLOSING!

UPDATE: Pupuseria El Salvador is now officially closed until further notice.

Sad news Loganites, Pupuseria El Salvador is closing.  Here is the sign on their door.

"Dear Customers we will be closing by Friday 25th of Jan - it will be the last day!  Until further notice."
I asked them if they were closing for good or moving and the answer was that they are trying to find a new location because they can't afford the rent in Pinecrest anymore.  They also said that they have very promising leads on 2 new locations in the valley and they will find out tomorrow whether or not they can move into one of those locations.

If they can't find an affordable location in Cache Valley they are considering moving to Ogden.  If you want to get your pupusa or taco fix, please stop by tonight or tomorrow.  Their inventory is limited because of the closing so they don't have everything on the menu available right now.  You can call ahead and order it to go, 435.752.0676.  You can also order some to take home and freeze, just call that number and be willing to pick them up tomorrow by closing time.  They also said that they will be keeping that same phone number and to call in a couple weeks to find out if/when/where they will be open again.  I have ordered 3 dozen pupusas to take home and freeze, just in case they don't find another location quickly. 

I have loved this restaurant.  The food is wholesome, affordable, and delicious.  The family that runs it is friendly and helpful.  The location was easy to get to from downtown, campus, or North Main.  If you want to help our local restaurants thrive, you HAVE to start patronizing them.  It is a you want your hard earned food budget dollars to go out of state to mega corporations, or do you want it to stay here and have it help your friends and neighbors?  Start choosing your friends and neighbors over faceless national chains that just homogenize our community until it looks like Anywhereville, USA.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Grill in Aggie Station

Ever since I heard that Montez Brothers was closing but one of their chefs, Mario, was opening a restaurant inside Aggie Station, I have been trying to get in there to check it out.  I keep hearing positive reviews and when I pass by the station at lunchtime the parking lot and road is always packed with construction trucks...always a good sign.  For some reason it has taken me about 5 months to accomplish this, what is wrong with me?

The Grill is in the Southwest corner of the gas station convenience store with the beverage fridges on one side and the fountain drink counter on the other.  You order at the counter and pay at the register by the door. It is dine in or carry out, when I stopped by yesterday I chose to take my food to go.

I ordered a sweet pork salad for myself and the chicken enchiladas for my dad to try.

Dad LOVES chicken and cheese enchiladas.  When we were in Ktown he asked to go out for Mexican three times and what I learned is that, sadly, the best Mexican restaurant in Kailua-Kona was the Taco Bell.  Note to anyone looking to open a restaurant on the Big Island...a Costa Vida or Cafe Rio type chain would do very well, the competition is worse than weak.  He had horrible enchiladas at all three establishments we visited and ever since we got back to the main land he's been wanting to go out for some good enchiladas.

He liked the enchiladas from The Grill, he also really liked the beans and rice that came with it.  The rice is a sweet and savory rice.

The entree options are similar to what you'd find at Costa Vida or Cafe Rio.  The salad was served with rice and pinto beans on a tortilla, topped with tender chunks of sweet pork, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, soft shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and salad dressing.  You can get the dressing on the side if you request it in advance.  Meat choices are Steak, Chicken, Barbacoa, and Sweet Pork.

All entrees are $6.  So for my salad, dad's enchiladas, and a generous portion of chips and salsa on the side, it was less than $13.  The portions are very generous and I'd say that the food we got was enough to feed 4 kind of hungry people or 2 REALLY hungry people.

Originally they talked about naming this new eatery Mundo's Kitchen.  Now it is simply referred to as The Grill.  It is located inside Aggie Station at the intersection of 800 E and 1400 N in Logan.  The Grill is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner from 7am to 6pm Monday through Friday and from 11am to 4pm on Saturday.  There are 8 parking spots in the parking lot, but if they are full there is also on street parking.  If you want to call in an order to go the number is 435.752.2700 (or find it in the phone book under Aggie Station), they get really busy from about Noon to 2pm.  Catering is available as well.  I can't wait to go back and try some of their other options.