Wednesday, June 24, 2009


We traveled to Mesa, AZ, then to San Angelo, TX, back to Mesa, and then finally home. We were gone for four weeks. The first stay at Mesa was brief--only about 4 days. I remember thinking when it was over, "That was a good vacation."
N explored the pool with me, and decided that her cousin O was the best object to shadow.

I went with the boys in the family to watch Terminator Salvation. This, according to my coworkers at the CS department, was supposed to get me back my "man card." I lost my man card for reading the twilight series (it's easy, as a male, if you've seen the movie, because you can just glance over all the greek-god imagry describing Edward and supplant it with Robert Pattinson's face). Incidently, I enjoyed spending time with my brothers and dad--but the movie only had one part that I thought was cool: Schwarzenegger's cameo.

We then left for Texas. If there is any state in the Union worth messing with--it's Texas. This isn't because it's a particularly bad state, it's just not a particularly well-thought-out state that is largely filled with people looking for any excuse to proclaim their superiority over their common man (I think it comes from a bad combination of cow-boy isolation and self-righteousness).

Texas--not so great. My In-Laws are great, of course. Jim and I have very similar attitudes and mannerisms--though we don't share very many interests. Shelly is a sweetheart, and my wife is always so much happier around her. Other than that, Texas means work for me. It's quiet with not a lot to do (within reasonable driving distance). I wrote a training manual for the CS department while I was there. I was only about half done with it before I arrived, and I finished it, and edited/proofread it too. I think that'll really help out the CS department, since they'll be able to produce knowledgeable student admins in half the time with it.

We also spent three days in San Antonio when we were there. San Antonio is like former president Bush: boisterous, pleasant aria, and completely lacking in foresight and planning. There are multiple signs, within the city, that say, "San Antonio City Limits." The freeways feel like a bunch of little kids ran around carrying rope to determine their path, but the city is clean and pretty.

We went to the zoo while we were there, and went swimming. In celebration of getting this new job, I treated my In-Laws to dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. We tried to swing by the Alamo--but it was closed.

After San Antonio, I was ready to come back to Utah. My dad had, however, planned a camping trip in AZ for that weekend, and I wasn't going to miss that.

So, our stay in Texas ended, and N was so pleasant in the car-ride to Arizona that I rewarded her with three toys of her choosing. She chose a life-vest swim-suit for the pool, and merged two toys in one to get what I have affectionately termed, the booger-ball. It's a springy green ball, and N loves it. My daughter has excellent taste in toys.

The camping trip in AZ was a blast. Perfect trip. Warm fire, cool night, and plenty of little people to keep N occupied. Nobody slept well that night--but I just figured that came with the activity. Ryan and I were the first people to wake up, and he realized that we were missing a skillet, and syrup--thus making pancakes a difficult task. Fortunately, our camp-ground was only 20 minutes out side of Payson. So, I hopped in my car and got all we needed before some people had even woken up yet.

N behaved a little differently than I think most kids would. She intentionally stayed about 10 feet away from where all the other kids were playing, and timidly dug through the dirt looking for air-soft pellets (she found three different colors). She would occasionally join the group of cousins to play with them, and enjoyed herself when she did--but she clearly showed preference towards watching people play over playing herself.
Reminds me of me when I was young on the playground--I did the same thing. I enjoyed watching the other kids play tag more than I enjoyed playing tag. When you watch, you learn. You're separated from the situation, and can act as an objective observer. Of course, observing is only so good, you do need to get in it and explore the game--but most of the joy has always been in the analysis for me. I'm thinking N may have some of that as well.

Unfortunately, the vacation ended on a dark-note for me. I was trying to set up a media server for my dad, and I got everything but the audio on live-TV to work. That was kind of disappointing--since without audio, there isn't much point in using the recording features, or the ability to pause live TV, or any of the liveTV functionality. So, in the end, it streamed content off the web, and it's a blue-ray player.

Oh well, I'll finish it in August when I'm down there--it's just audio and getting a remote control to work at this point--then it'll be totally awesome. I also gave my dad's media server a url within my domain, but I haven't shown him how to use it yet. He was pleased with what was accomplished in the end--and I guess that's what counts.

Anyway, I have work in the morning--but I'll post again on Friday or Saturday if I have time (and by "have time" I mean, if I'm able to convince myself that writing on my blog is more important than Super Smash Brothers.)

Why I'm (still) a Mormon

I don't expect much more to ever be posted on this blog, and I'm largely just posting this to share it with some particular friends....