Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Best of 2009

I decided to put together my favorite stuff of 2009. You know, Hollywood puts together their best movies, best music, best actor, best blah blah blah. For some reason the average "joe" never gets mentioned on these type of compilations of awards. News programs also offer the best stories of the year or the best event of the year. Barbra Walters did a "10 most fascinating people of 2009" just a few days ago so, I decided to do my own "best of" for 2009.

Therefore, I have put together the "best list" which will include all of my favorites in a few different categories.
1. My Favorite Videos (that I produced)
2. My Top Blog Posts (that I wrote)
3. My Top Selling Figurines on eCarters.com
4. My post with the most comments
5. My mosts viewed video on YouTube
6. Favorite new websites

Here we go:

My Favorite Video I posted on YouTube this year - Banadana and Was Up!





=========================

2. My Top Blog Posts

* DMJ The Department of Mirth and Joviality

* Pants

========================

3. My Top Selling Figurines on eCarters.com
* Kayak Figurine
* Optometrist Figurine


=======================

4. My post with the most comments


* Am I alone (8)
* Pants (8)
* Ghosts on my Computer (6)
* Suspicious Dog 6
* Whas Up! (5)

===================

5. My mosts viewed video on YouTube

Carters Get A Wii! (480 views)


The Super Nerf War (228)


Lower Falls at Yellow Stone Park (134)


===================

6. My favorite new websites:

* http://www.lsdfamily.net
* http://www.metalcraftstore.com

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Sales



I don't think many people know that I have a web store. My store is www.eCarters.com. I sell Metal Figurines that are hand made by a small company in Hansen Idaho. This is an example of one of the figurines.

When I get an order, I just call them on the phone, place the order, and when they have a friend or family member coming into town, they drop it off at my door step. I don't make much money off this website, in fact most of the months the web store eCarters.com either loses money or just breaks even. However, during the 3 weeks leading up to Christmas, this is what it looks like in my house.



Even though most of the year is a bust, this little web store actually provides some needed extra dough for Christmas.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Avatar

I have been excited to watch the new movie Avatar that came out this weekend. I have heard great reviews. I have read that the CGI (Computer-generated imagery) is ground breaking. Therefore, I was interested. I watched as many previews as I could because it looked so dang cool. One of the primary characters in the movie is a native Na'vi humanoid. They look like a cross between a monkey, cat and human. Even though the previews showed a scantily clad woman Na'vi, I still had high hopes that the movie would be much cleaner. I went to Screen It to see if I could get any help on the movie. Screen It didn't have a review yet. So, I went to IMDB to see if they had any information. They only listed the Movie's Rating and described why it was rated PG-13, "Rated PG-13 for intense epic battle sequences and warfare, sensuality, language and some smoking." This rating didn't seem too bad so I decided to take the boys to the movie on my birthday.

The movie started out harmless enough. There were a few swear words at the beginning but it was a war and battle movie so you kinda know that they are going to use some harsh language but it seemed minimal so we kept watching. Eventually the movie moved to the Na'vi and the main woman character was introduced. The previews were correct that she was presented as a "very native" looking creature. Unfortunately, these natives wore very little clothing and were very anatomically similar to humans. At first it seemed that this would be a small part of the movie, but as it progressed, it just got worse and worse until we got to a scene where I knew we just needed to leave. There were too many shots of naked buttocks and to many revealing shots of the torso of the women Na'vi. The final straw was when the Na'vi were headed off to their hammocks to go to sleep. That is when I leaned over to my boys and said, "I think it is time to go". So, we left the theater to find my wife and the girls that were watching a cartoon about 2 frogs wanting to become a prince and princess.

I was very disappointed. I really wanted to see this movie, and I still do. I just wished that there wasn't so much nudedidity!

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Song for the Mormons

On Monday night, the Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien presented “A Song for the Mormons”, sung by bandleader Max Weinberg. Because U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch recently wrote a song for Hanukkah, Max Weinberg returned the favor.

This is totally hillarious! I was worried that it would bring up all of the old stereotypes about Mormons but it wasn't too bad.

Enjoy

For all of the Facebook readers, here is the link.

http://www.hulu.com/watch/115218/the-tonight-show-with-conan-obrien-a-song-for-the-mormons


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Too Much Money

I'm the kind of guy that would love to be cursed with too much money. I have always thought it would great to be "tested" with millions of dollars. What would I do with it? How would I use it? Where would I go? Who would I help? I think we all dream of being a millionaire. However, being a millionaire may not be all that it seems. Last week during our "Book Club" meeting, the subject was broached because of the incedent about Tiger Woods. Of course we all know that Tiger is a millionaire, if not a billionaire. So, why would he get in trouble with all of these different women if he had millions of dollars? Humm, good question. It seems crazy to us "poor" people why millionaires get involved in drugs, women, alcohol, addictions ect. Here is my theory.

If I was a millionaire, I would do all of the things I always wanted to do. For example, visit Australia, stay in the nicest hotels, go on the nicest cruise ships, visit exotic places, ride in limos, etc. Now, lets just say that I was able to do all of these things. I spend 5 year doing all of this stuff. After that 5 years, I've done it all. Disneyland is not interesting anymore. I've been to Italy several times, I even built a house there (boring!). I have several houses on the beach, I've lived in Paris. Nothing is interesting anymore, nothing is exciting anymore. So, where do I turn to find excitement? Drugs, addictions, the "s" word. How do you keep the excitement in your life when you have done everything? I'm sure it is hard to do.

So, if you every get filthy rich, don't go completely wild and do all of the fun stuff in life in a short period of time. Leave some fun stuff out there to keep your life interesting and fun.

As I said before, I think I'm ready to be tested with wealth. (cheesy grin)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Spirit of Christmas

The website on Youtube called Mormon Messages has done it again. They have produced another awesome little video and posted it today.



I hope all of my readers have a very Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Savanna Clogging




Every year Savanna's clogging team prepares a dance for the Festival of Trees. This year was no different. Savanna loves clogging and dancing. She is one of the youngest dancers out there on stage. Even though she is young, she has been able to learn the steps and moves without any problem. If she continues, she will be one of the best cloggers in the studio that is her age. BTW, her dance studio is named "Rocky Top Cloggers".

Enjoy the video.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Warm Fire

Leave it to Clark Draney again to spark (no pun intended) a memory from my childhood. He wrote an article this week about starting a fire in his fireplace. I guess the post was just a normal post and didn't really excite me much until he came to the part about remembering to open the flue. Pow! The memories of growing up in our house just flooded my mind.



In our house there were 2 fireplaces. One upstairs, one down. The upstairs fireplace was well kept and was used to warm the main level of our house. In the winter, this was a great source of warmth in our house. However, to keep the fire stoked with wood, someone would have to tiptoe out the back sliding glass door periodically to get more wood. Upon doing so, a blast of cold air would rush into the main room and chill us all for a few seconds until the door was again slid shut.

The downstairs fireplace was a whole different animal. For some reason, the cold air would be pushed down the chimney. I'm sure there is a scientific reason for the down draft that made lighting a fire down there a difficult task. I remember several times trying to light newspaper down there only to receive a face full of smoke in return. The first blast of smoke was from forgetting to open the flue. The second blast of smoke was from the down draft of cold air. The instruction and scientific explanation was given that enough heat had to be applied at the beginning to get the air to start flowing back up the chimney. Once this delicate balance of hot and cold was overcome, the smoke would cease to fill the room. After several minutes of gray plums of smoke layering the downstairs family room, the miracle of the chimney would occur and the room would begin to filter up the brick column.

I am sure that as I get older, I will find that I have a layer of soot embedded deep in my lungs that will eventually kill me. Yes, I am sure I have a very minor case of Black Lung right now. I always new I would die of cancer.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Eagle Court of Honor

Last weekend, (Thanksgiving weekend) my sister Melinda's son earned his Eagle Scout Award. She had a wonderful Court of Honor the evening we were there so I took along my flip video and took a few video shots.

Congratulations Thomas!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Suspicious dog

I snuck home for a few minutes, because of a cancelled appointment, to grab something to snack on and to start staging my gear for a campout with Andy. When I opened the door I saw the chairs in front of the kitchen area so I knew Jack (our dog) was in the house. I did my normal "Jackster" greeting but didn't find him in his usual spot on his pillow in the corner of the kitchen. I looked around and called his name again. I then heard a "thud, thud" and Jack peaked around the corner from upstairs with those innocent eyes. It looked and sounded very suspicious so I went upstairs to investigate. There was a nice smashed section of the bed (on my side of course) that looked like the outline of one medium sized cockerspanial. I touched the indention with my hand and the spot was warm. AARRGGHH!





JACK HAD BEEN SLEEPING IN MY BED!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A flash of light

Tuesday night I decided to lace up my bball shoes and put on my basketball jersey play a game of church ball. I was a little apprehensive on 2 counts. First, I didn't feel that fit, and second the game started at 9:40pm. The 9:40 game is always hard because it is soo late in the evening. By 10:30pm every night I am usually winding down and getting ready for bed, so, to be playing an "intense" game of basketball at 10:40 does not bode well for going to sleep on time. In fact, it usually takes at least and hour or even two before my body is able to settle down into sleep mode.

In the words of Doctor Clark Draney, "I tell you this story to get to the story" that inspired the title of this blog post.

Since I was still wide awake on Tuesday night I was walking around the house trying to decide what to do until I felt tired. Deanna came upstairs and we started to chat around midnight. We were sitting in the kitchen discussing the happenings of the day when there was a bright flash of light that came in our back window. Since we live in a cul-di-sac, we get a lot of flashes of light when cars come down the road and decide to turn around, however, those blinding lights usually enter through the front living room. This was coming from the back yard. Both Deanna and I found that curious and so we peered into the back yard which borders the elementary school. We didn't see any cars, plus, headlights wouldn't hit our house from way over there. Deanna mentioned that it might have been some spot light or search light from a police car. We opened the back door and squinted into the darkness. No police car in view. The school grounds and streets were empty. We shrugged it off and went to sleep.

Yesterday morning, in the newspaper, we discovered what had happened. There was a huge meteor that burned up in the atmosphere at 12:07am Wednesday morning. Exactly the same time we were chatting in the kitchen!

Here are a few of the news reports on the meteor. How funny that we just happened to be awake at exactly that time of night because of my church basketball game.





http://www.ksl.com
KTVB.com

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Mormon Whiskey

When I was little, my Dad used to bring home a 2 liter bottle of something he like to call Mormon Whiskey. My Dad would pull out the "Mormon Whiskey" for special sporting events on TV. I remember it being the drink of choice for Basketball games, Football games and Tennis matches. It seemed to be the perfect counterpoint to a bowl of buttered popcorn.



Mormon Whiskey is nothing more and nothing less than a bottle of Grapefruit Soda. I decided to write about Mormon Whiskey because I found myself in Walmart the other day looking for some cheep pop. I usually pick up something like lemon/lime generic soda but something caught my eye. It was a bottle of Grapefruit Soda. I immediately grabbed a couple of 2 liter bottle and took them home with the hopes that the tastes would bring back all of those memories of home. To my surprise, it was exactly as I remember. Sweet, tangy and delicious.

Mormon Whiskey lives again in the Carter Home.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Halloween 2009

I don't know why, but every time I have to spell Halloween I have to sing the song in my head so that I spell it right. Have you heard the song?

H - A - Double L, Oh - Double U - Double E, N spells Halloween.

Anyway, only two of our kids dressed up this year for Fright Night. This year was not much of a fright since our two girls dressed up as a cow girl and a princess.

Here are there cute little outfits.




The last little video that I would like to share with everyone today is our paintings on our front windows and pumpkin that we submitted for judgement at our elementary school.
Last year we submitted a pumpkin entry and received The Grand Champion award, this year, we earned the "Most Complicated". Hummm, they must have been running out of creative awards to give out.

Our window painting lacked a little imagination but we kept up the tradition despite lack of interest and creativity. Enjoy the Video.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Do I look Fat?

I'm starting to feel fat. When I was younger it was always embarrassing when girls my age would look at my legs and say, "I wish I had your skinny legs". Yes, it was very emasculating to hear those types of comments. So, when I got on my mission, I was able to brag that I got up to a whopping 140 pounds. All of my slacks were very tight and I even had to commission some new trousers from a local seamstress in Ecuador to accommodate my growing waistline. However my current situation is getting very grave. My neck and chin are starting to look like the double chin that Glenn Beck is sporting. My belly is growing further and further out over my pants so that I can no longer see my belt buckle. My pants are all a little tight and I can now see my gut when I'm just standing in a relaxed position. I've definitely got to do something about my weight but at the end of the day, I'm just too tired to actually go out and run around. I guess that is how it starts. Maybe I'll participate in our stake basketball program. It might just allow me to get in enough exercise that I don't feel like a complete fat fatty fatso.

So, as of right now, I weight over 160 lbs. Not much over, but I'm over that. So, I'm FAT. I guess I'll start by eating less twinkies and HoHo's.

Monday, October 26, 2009

hijacked

I was sending and reading email from my gmail account the other day when I noticed a very strange thing.  The email I was sending looked a little different than normal.  I checked some settings and then I noticed that the name on my emails that I was sending, was wrong.  The name that was showing up in my email was Horst Gunter.  Who in the world is Horst Gunter and how did he get into my email account?!?  That is when a cold sweat fell over me as I thought about someone getting into my email account and messing around.  My gmail account is tied to about 20 other accounts around the web.  I quickly clicked my way over to my settings page and found the “Change Password as quickly as possible” button in Google.  I changed the password to a very complex set of letters, numbers, characters and umlauts. I included Capital Letters, small letters, commas, squiggly’s, numbers and infinite values.  To make positively sure that this hijacker did not get into my account again, I think I even put in a couple of values of Pi and integrated integers.

After my frantic clicking, punching of buttons and keystrokes, I finally felt secure again.  It sure did scare me to see something changed like that in a very critical area of my life.

After getting home that night, I took one extra precaution and renamed my dog.  His new name is #m%gZ~2.

Am I paranoid?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Christmas List

I know that I probably shouldn't bring up the "C" word this early in the year but I'm going to do it anyway. Every year it is a struggle to find great Christmas (that's the C word) presents for my wife and for our kids. Deanna does an awesome job of finding great gifts but it is much harder for me. So, to help myself along, I keep a list of ideas in my phone. If I see something on TV, or while I'm walking through a store, I quickly just type it into my phone for safe keeping. Now that it is October, it is time to pull out the list and start finding great prices on the ideas I have come up with. Unfortunately there are some items on the list that never seem to make it underneath the Christmas tree. For example, I have had "stilts" on Coby's list for several years. For some reason, the stores are not filled with stilts as gift items. I think it would be a great "teen" gift. Plastic stilts, FUN!

Not only do I jot down gift ideas for my wife and kids, I have also kept a list for myself. It is inevitable that a few weeks before Christmas, I receive requests from various sources for what I want. I used to just ho hum around and try to think of something brilliant at the last minute which means I would usually say, "a new tie" or "new socks". It makes for a very boring Christmas Morning.

This year I'm asking for something a little unusual (and admittedly a little boring). In our garage, we have been trying to keep a good storage of water. We have filled up milk cartons, 2 liter bottles and apple juice bottles with water. We have around 30 of these mix matched containers sitting on the shelf. Every winter, these containers freeze and expand which means they break. So, as the weather starts to warm, we get a really nice natural spring water fall flowing off of our counters in the garage. Don't get me wrong, I love the sound of a waterfall, but this type of tippity tap sends chills up my spine like nails on a chalk board. I tell you all of this so that I can get to the final punch line of my story.

Here it is, "for Christmas, I'm asking for a 50 gallon drum to store our water.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

ldsfamily dot net

I am very excited (excuse my while I bounce up and down excitedly in my chair while typeing) to announce that I will be starting a new blog/website called ldsfamily.net If you like what you see, please add a link to this website from your blog.

I came across a foundation called the "More Good Foundation". They are an organization that promotes positive LDS content on the internet. I became very interested when I saw this blog post by LDS Media Talk that talked about adopting a website and providing content. I decided to check it out and send in an inquiry about the program. I was emailed back and was offered a chance to participate. They seemed very willing to give me a chance to help once they saw that I have a Blog, Personal Web page, YouTube Channel, developed a site for a non-profit organization called Charity Anywhere Foundation and a facebook page.

We discussed the types of things I have been posting and how I could promote positive Mormon content on the internet. We came up with a website called simply, LDS Family. I will be posting things about me, and my family. The posts will be about my everyday life, stuff that happens in our family, things I have been thinking about. I'll post stuff about the Mormon church, Mormon beliefs, Mormon standards, Mormon living. I'll talk about what it is like to have an LDS Family. You know, an LDS family is like any other family. We have the same struggles, the same time constraints, the same issues with children, teachers, work etc. I just hope that I can create content that people will be interesting in reading, following, and returning. Hopefully it will create positive content that will be a tool people can use to learn more about the Mormon church.

To learn more about adopting a website, you can go to this page.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Scout Camp

I know it took me a while but I finally put together the few little video clips I had of Andy at Scout Camp. I know it isn't much but I think you will get a feel for what happens up at Camp Bradley every year.

Enjoy this short video.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Snow, October 4th?

Yes, Snow, October 4th. We weren't expecting snow, we were expecting rain but this morning there was a small blanket of snow all over our yard. Being this early in the year, I figured that it would probably melt away by noon, however, it continued to snow/rain all day long. It snowed enough to get out the winter clothes and have the kids run out and play.

Here is a short video of the event.




Monday, September 28, 2009

Freeze


Well, I just got the news that we will be hitting the freezing mark this week in the Magic Valley. The Forecast calls for, "A COLD FRONTAL PASSAGE TUESDAY WILL DROP TEMPERATURES BY 30 TO 40 DEGREES WEDNESDAY FROM TODAY. THURSDAY MORNING WILL BE THE COLDEST OF THE WEEK WITH LOWS IN THE LOWER TO MID 30S IN THE VALLEYS AND TEENS AND 20S IN THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS.

SENSITIVE PLANTS/CROPS MAY NEED TO BE COVERED TO PROTECT THEM FROM TEMPERATURES AROUND FREEZING BETWEEN 4 AND 7 AM THURSDAY."

A guess this means that it is time for the harvest here in Twin Falls Idaho. Unfortunately, this harvest won't take long. I only have a few tomatoes, maybe 1 squash, some carrots, and maybe my red potatoes. I guess I have one more pumpkin that could be picked but I think it might survive the cold weather.

Happy Harvesting!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Phone Surveys

Today, while I was walking around my house, I heard the phone ring so I picked it up and answered it. On the phone was a very polite lady that said she was calling from a market research company. When I was younger, I would have just hung up the phone and not think a second about it. However, when I was at college, I worked for a company called Discovery Research Group. It was a company that did phone surveys. My job was to call people from a list of phone numbers, ask them to spend a little time with me on the phone while I asked them their opinions. We never sold anything, just asked questions. Companies would pay very good money to find out if people knew about their products. Some surveys were very boring, but others were actually very interesting. I really hated the job but it was the only job at the time so I suffered through it.

Because I worked for DRG (Discovery Research Group) I have a soft spot in my heart for phone survey people. Whenever I get a call from a phone survey person, I always try and take the time and complete it. I have been on the other end of the phone, and I know that the person gets paid based on how many surveys they complete.

I don't have any compassion for people that try to sell me something over the phone. When I find they are trying to sell me something, or trying to get me to donate to something, I say "no thanks" and hang up the phone.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Harry Potter

I have been listening, not reading, the final book in the Harry Potter series. I have really enjoyed all of the books and the movies but I don't think I would have been able to make it through all of the books without using Audio Books. I ready about 20 pages per hour, and for some reason, one hour is about my limit on my attention span. My eyes just can't take that much reading. So, if I were to read a long book like the Harry Potter's, then it would take me months and months to read it. Hummm, lets see, 20 pages per hour, one hour per page. If the book is 600 pages, how long would it take if I read every day? Where are those mathmaticians when you need them? Ok, I'll just tell you. 30 days!

I know, I know, there are many of you out there that can read a 600 page book in one day. I don't know how you do it. Deanna, my wife, is one of those people.

I don't know why I went into all that because that is not what I wanted to talk about. What I wanted to talk about is some of Harry Potter's words. Most of the words the author used are awesome and I love them, like Gillyweed and Crumple Horned Snorkack, Hermione, and Hargrid. However, there are some words that I don't like. I discussed these words with my kids and they didn't agree. As we argued about what words were good and which were bad, they challenged me to come up with better names. So, here they are.





Names I don't like and the new name I came up with.
Dumbledore, he is not dumb so it should be Smartbledoor or Merlinore.
Stupefy, ok, throwing a "stupid" charm at someone won't do much,(although my kids seem to throw their own stupid jinx's around all of the time in our house) it should be Stunner or Shockify!
hufflepuff, sounds like puff the magic dragon, it should be Dragonsbreath.
Parselmouth, just doesn't give you the snake feeling, it should be Viperspeak.

I don't know if you will like my new names or not. If you have any Harry Potter words that you don't like, please come up with some good alternatives and post them on my blog.

Friday, August 28, 2009

pants

This is a little embarrassing to mention but it is kinda funny and maybe there are some people that have run into the same problem.

Yesterday morning I woke up and found a bunch of folded clothes on the bed. There were teeshirts, polo shirts and pants all folded neatly in a stack. As the clothes teetered, I decided to put them all in their rightful place. I picked up the shirts, hung some, stuffed some in a drawer. I picked up the pants and placed them in my drawer nice and neat. I then went through my regular routine of taking a shower, combing my hair, brushing my teeth etc. I went back into the bedroom and grabbed one of the polo shirts I had just put away and the jeans that were on top in my drawer. Everything was going well. My shirt felt a little snug but it always does after it has been washed, plus, I wear a "medium" polo shirts which, I am told by "What not to wear", is what size I should be wearing. (What's wrong with being a medium?) I then put on my pants and took out my belt. As I put my belt on, the belt hit the leather tag at the back, which it normally doesn't do, but I dismissed it without a second thought.

As I was leaving for the day, I grabbed by keys, wallet and cellphone (these are my weapons of war in the modern day battle). I guess I didn't notice until I put my wallet in, that my back pocket really wasn't big enough. I thought that was kind of funny but washing jeans always does funny things to your clothes. I walked out to the car and put my hands into my pockets for my keys and I noticed that my front pockets seemed a little small. Well, they were regular size but not as deep. Again, I dismissed it and drove off to work.

Once I was at work, my brain kept giving me subtle hints that something was amiss with my pants. My brain kept on reminding me that the pockets were small, there was a leather label on my pants and my wallet just doesn't fit like it normally does. I knew it could not be true, but my brain had assessed the citation and told me that I was wearing Deanna's jeans. I didn't want to make a big deal about it at work as it might cause way too much imbarrassment for myself. And I wasn't about to go to a job site with the possibility of having someone notice that I had women's jeans on. So, I picked a suitable time to leave and ran home for a few minutes to confirm my suspicions.

On arrival, I took off the pants, and looked for a tag. If the tag said size 12, they were womens, if they said size 32X32 they were mens. I looked at the brown leather tag on the back of the jeans and it said Ralph Lauren (Could that be a guy's jean label?) Ralph is a guy isn't he? However, there is a Lauren name on it too which sounds very much like a woman's name. This tag didn't help we with my sleuthing. Finally, a tag with the size, (12). RATS, I had accidently put on my wife's jeans again. I grabbed another pair of pants, put them on and everything was right with the world again.



Disclaimer
Deanna's currently wears a slim and trim size 10 jean. The size 12's that are mentioned in the above post are her old pants that no longer fit her.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Marriage Stats

Marriage Year 1993
1 Temple Marriage
16 years of marriage
5 apartments
4 cities (Provo Utah, Sandy Utah, Idaho Falls Idaho, Twin Falls Idaho)
2 houses
9 cars: Lynx, Honda, Mazda 626, zippy, pickup, voyager, grand caravan, F150, Altima
8 different jobs
4 wonderful kids (2 boys, 2 girls)
2 trips to Disney Land
1 trip to Hawaii
2 trips to the emergency room

Friday, August 21, 2009

Announcement

I have an announcement to make today on my blog. I have started a NEW BLOG called LDS Family.net!!!

I am very excited. It all started about 2 weeks ago when I read a blog post by LDS Web Guy that mentioned a program called SiteAdopt.org. I decided to check it out and found this non-profit organization called More Good Foundation. They are an organization that is trying to promote positive content about Mormons. What an interesting idea I thought. I continued my investigation and found and email address and volunteered to adopt a website.

After a couple of discussions, they were more than willing to give me a shot at adopting a website. My website is called, LDSFamily.net. How cool is that? I will now be posting just like I have here on my blog, but I will be focusing on stuff that happens to me as it pertains to my membership in the LDS Church. So, when people go searching around the internet, and type in Mormon, or LDS, or LDS family, they will find my blog and find good positive content about the church. YES, I can even count it as missionary work!!! Ok, not really. Maybe I'll get a half of a check mark on my score sheet in heaven.

Now that I think about it, how often did I mention that I was LDS in my blog? How many times did I mention that I was LDS? Probably not very often if not at all. How embarrassing really. Anyway, I'll be changing my ways now and hopefully promote good positive content in the future.

I hope you will all add my new blog to your readers and come check out my new site once in a while.

LDS Family Dot Net

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sunflower

During the school year last sping, Katie's teacher gave everyone a sunflower seed. They took time in class to talk about sunflowers and then each of them took a small paper cup, dumped some dirt inside and then planted their own sunflower. They left their little miniature gardens in their classroom until the end of school. Each of them carefully took their little sunflower home to watch it grow over the summer. At this time, the little sun flower was only a few inches tall.

At that point, Katie delivered her sunflower into my care. I wasn't sure what to do with it so I decided to take it out into my sprouting garden and plant it in the ground. I had no faith nor hope that this little plant would survive in the harsh outdoor environment after basking in the warm inviting climate controlled classroom. Nevertheless, we found a spot in the garden and plopped the sprout in the dirt.

Over the summer, I watched it grow, still not thinking much about the flower. I began to take serious notice of this plant after it had grown to about chest high. As it continued to grow and tower over my 5'10" frame, I knew we had something special. I took Katie out one evening and took a video of her with her sunflower. We quickly uploaded it to YouTube, and send a link to her teacher which was overjoyed to see that at least one of those sunflowers from class had reached maturity.


Friday, August 14, 2009

Red and Brown

I have to be very careful today. I have decided to wear a combination Brown Slacks with a Red Polo shirt. For some reason, when I wear this combination of clothing, I have this very intense urge to shop at Target.



When I arrive at Target, I enter the doors and start on my usual path to the electronics department. (I love looking for good deals on cell phones and computer equipment) On my way, I inevitably get stopped several times by other shoppers. I don't know why, but when I wear the red and brown duds, I become the most knowledgeable person in the store. People stop me to ask where things are, ask for prices on items, and ask for directions to the bathrooms. I don't quite get it.

Clint

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Oquirrh Temple

I thought I would post a quick picture or two about the Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple. Before our family reunion, we decided to take the kids down to SLC and let them walk through the temple before it was dedicated. A friend of mine told me that whenever they had a temple open house that was fairly close to Idaho, they always tried to make a trip with the kids to go see it. The idea being that they really will not be able to see the inside of a temple until they are ready to get married or go on a mission. So, what a great way to get them familiar with the temple.

One last thing. They had some big tents setup to view a quick video and another tent setup for a reception. Our kids commented that it was the "Nicest tent they had ever been in". It was like a Harry Potter tent where you think it is going to be this small tent with white walls and when you walk in, it is like you stepped into a palace.

Here are some pictures of our visit.





Tuesday, August 11, 2009

EFY

This year we have decided to send Coby off to EFY (Especially For Youth). We didn't have enough dough to send him to a program that was "on campus", so we sent him to an area program in Ogden. My parents were nice enough to let him and his two friends stay at their house in Bountiful the whole week.

I don't know why I am so excited for him but I just feel giddy about the whole idea. I'm pretty sure I'm more excited than he was. I really hope Coby sees that there are many more youth out there struggling just like he is to live the standards of the gospel. I hope he meets other young men and women that are striving to get good grades, striving to keep the commandments and striving to make themselves better.

Too many times our youth are put down for trying to be better. How great would it be if the youth of today would build each other up instead of tearing each other down.

Positive Peer Pressure!

I listened to a talk this weekend about "positive peer pressure". The speaker talked about how awesome it would be if the youth could influence other youth to be better, to straighten up, to reach higher. Adult leaders are great but youth have MUCH more impact on their peers than adults do.

I've been a youth before. I know that it is hard enough just trying to keep your own self esteem above water. I know that only the strongest youth can walk over and pick someone else up out of their hardships. I just hope we can help teach and train these youth to see their worth so they can be the strength for those that are faltering.

It is very interesting to look at the Junior High years and High School years from the other side of the Adult / Youth fence. I think I would have handled those year differently if I had known what I know now.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Clunker Dealer



I don't know why anyone hasn't thought of it yet, but with so many people clamoring to take advantage of the "Cash for Clunkers" program through the US Government, why isn't there a crop of Clunker Dealers sprouting up all of the nation.

Since I haven't see anyone pick up on this idea, maybe I'll be the first to open up a Clunker Dealership.

All I will have to do is drive through some of the mobile home parks here in Twin Falls and offer $100.00 to each person that has a clunker in their driveway, or parked on their lawn or even up on blocks. I'm pretty sure I would walk away with several hundred clunkers after one pass through one trailer park. Then, I put these clunkers on a car lot and offer them as available clunkers for the Cash for Clunkers program. I would certify that they are clunkers, charge the customer $500 for the clunker and then tow it to the "new car dealership" for them so they can get a $4,500 rebate. Everyone wins. The Trailer parker makes $100.00 for a car they would never use and probably haven't used for decades, I make some bucks, and the new car buyers gets their new car for $4,000 cheaper.

I think it would be a great business. If I knew where (bring it back) Clancy was living these days, I'd team up with him to make it happen.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Skits at Talent Show

We had some fun this year at our family reunion by gathering together and singing some songs and doing some skits.

This first skit of Coby and I doing a skit called "Banadana".






This is a skit by Blake, Grandpa Carter and I. It is called "Quick Draw McGraw".






Grand Mother's Tea Party







If I weren't a Carter Song


Saturday, August 01, 2009

In Memory of Grandpa Wardle

Last weekend Deanna's Father, and our Grandpa Wardle passed away. He died doing what he loved best, serving his family, and driving his favorite truck. Grandpa Wardle was a no nonsense kind of guy that would give you the shirt off of his back if you asked for it. He loved all of his children and grand children equally and would do or give anything to make sure they were happy. Grandpa Wardle always had a story to tell about his family, his work, or his friends. When he was on a roll, his local Idaho accent came ringing through giving you a sense of comfort, like you were home sitting on the couch. Grandpa Wardle was always up for fixing your car if you had any trouble. I can remember several stories told when he would get up in the middle of the night to rescue a stranded son or daughter when their car broke down. Personally, I remember having Grandpa Wardle help me replace the U join on my little Honda Civic. After many mild cursings of "Cotton Picker" and "Pot Licker"'s, we were able to remove all of the pieces and parts, and put it all back together again.

Our kids loved Grandpa Wardle. He would take them to McDonalds and would always offer to go to the store to buy us "mugs". We have decided to remember Grandpa Wardle by going out to the store and buying mugs every year. He was definitely a quiet strength for our family.



We will miss Grandpa Wardle. When I think about him, I can still feel his spirit and it gives me peace.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Poisoned

I have to tell you this story because it is "CLASSIC" Clint Carter. For some reason, I really love laughing at myself.

I have a really nice garden right now in my back yard. Every day I go out there to see what is new. I walk around, pull a few weeds and marvel at all of the plants that are growing. The last few weeks I have notice that there are a large amount of bugs eating the leaves on my plants. So, I went down to the local bug spray store and bought some spray that would not harm vegetables. I marched right back to my garden and started spraying. I've killed several earwigs and plenty of ants in my quest to dominate the insect world.

Yesterday I went out again and found a bunch of bugs living underneath my squash leaves so, I ran to the garage to grab my spray. I lifted the leaves, one by one, and gave a quick quirt. One of those times, I miss fired and hit my thumb. Not a big deal, so I kept up my attack. After several minutes my thumb felt a little dry. I then wondered to myself, could this stuff hurt me? I decided to peal back the label and check out the "Warnings". Lets see, the regular statement about squirting in your eyes was there. The normal, "keep away from children". An interesting one that said if it got on my clothing that I needed to remove my clothing immediately and wash them, (which startled me a little). And then, the kicker, "If you spray your skin, wash your hands with soap and water Immediately, then keep running water on exposed skin for 15 to 20 MINUTES! WHAT! 15 minutes? Then, it said to call THE POISON CONTROL HOTLINE! I had definitely underestimated this bug spray. I wiggled my thumb in an attempt to see if my digit was still in good working order. It was, but I could definitely feel that it might be feeling a little bit dry. I then decided to follow the instructions on the label so my thumb would not dry up in to a black shriveled mass and fall off of my hand. I washed my hand with soap and water for what seemed several minutes and then ran my hand under the water as long as I thought was necessary. However, as I looked over at the clock, it was way Way less than 15 minutes. I then went up stairs, casually as to not cause alarm, and removed my contaminated clothing and put them in the wash and proceeded to take a shower that probably could have lasted 10 minutes. That definitely should do the trick, I thought. I stewed and fretted over my thumb for most of the day, watching for signs of poisoning.

At the end of the day, I was pretty sure I wasn't going to die. So, before bed I went in to brush my teeth and noticed a bottle of 409 sitting on the counter. I decided, just for fun, to check the Warning Label to see how it differed from the bug spray. It too began with the normal kids warnings and eye warnings so I skipped down to the skin warning and low and behold, it said, "If you spray your skin, wash your hands with soap and water Immediately, then keep running water on exposed skin for 15 to 20 minutes then call poison control.

I had obviously worried MY THUMB OFF ABOUT NOTHING!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cute Video

Deanna put together a cute video last night from our family reunion.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Reunion

It has been a busy week back here at work so I don't have much time to get into detail but I wanted to at least post a youtube video I put together last night.

Carter Strong Family Reunion 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

More pics of Yellowstone

Since my last post had hardly any pictures of the family, I decided to put up one more web log with pictures from our Yellowstone trip.

Everyone starts out EXCITED for Yellowstone Park!


One of our first stops of the trip to see a Mother and Baby Elk.



Deanna and Katie with the Mom and baby elk behind them. You can just barely see the elk's heads in the grass behind them.




The kids by a herd of bison.



Me and the kids at Old Faithful.



The whole family at the Canyon at Yellowstone Park.



Everyone is POOPED after visiting Yellowstone Park!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Impromptu trip to Yellowstone Park

Over the 4th of July we made a trip to Yellowstone Park. We have been planning to go to Yellowstone for about 4 years but never got around to making the trip. While Deanna and I were discussing what to do over the 4th, I brought up the idea of going to Yellowstone. She quickly looked up hotels and they were all either full or very expensive, so she looked up camp sites. She found a camp site at the KOA camp just west of West Yellowstone. So, on Wednesday night we decided that Thursday, we would be going to the national park.

I made a video of our travels but when I uploaded it to Youtube, it was too big, so, I made a short vid of our visit to the lower falls at the Canyon in Yellowstone Park. Here is the video.



Coby tried to describe the falls on his blog and kind of challenged me to try and describe it better. Here is my best shot.

"Rushing, stirring, churning, angry water, tears around the corner like a cougar grips the ground gaining speed on its prey. Danger is in the air, the power is overwhelming. You can sense the finality of the falls lurking a few yards ahead. As you see the water dive off of the cliff, you can see the huge volume of water as it shoots out into the empty air. As the sunlight hits the column, you can see all they way though the blue green water.

You can now see the weight of the water as it tumbles like a freight train off its tracks. It feels as if you are watching a never ending accident as box car after box car of water falls to its death. Fear continues to flow through your veigns as you sense the unstoppable and crushing power of the waterfall. The calamity continues every second you watch."

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Garage Sale'ing


Last weekend was probably the first warm and dry weekend we have had this summer. Because of this fact, everyone (and their dog) put there "junk" on their front lawn and hammered a sign on the nearest telephone pole announcing a Yard Sale. With this many temptations posted everywhere, my daughter couldn't help but nag me and nag me to go garage sale'ing. So, with a great deal of reservation, I decided to take her and Andy on a short trip around the block.



I had already convinced myself that we really wouldn't find anything useful and I was trying to decide how to tell Savanna that she didn't need any more stuffed animals. After the first couple of yard sales, we had come up empty. It was late in the day and all of the "good stuff" was already gone. I had my eye on a punching bag but I knew that $50.00 was way more than I wanted to spend on something I would never use.

After just a couple more stops I was wondering up a driveway, minding my own business and almost effortlessly browsing over pile after pile of used clothes when I noticed a bread maker. At first glance it looked very clean. I decided right there that if it was $25.00 I would buy it. I drew closer and noticed the sticker that stated, "Brand New $10.00". Oh no. I was now faced with a difficult decision. The price was less than I would have paid for it and, it was Brand NEW! I walked up to the makeshift checkout counter and asked about the bread maker. I knew that I could get myself out of this jam if I asked for the manual and they could not produce it. Upon the request, the salesman dipped into the house for the search. To my surprise, he exited triumphantly from the swinging door with the manual in hand. My final ditch effort to leave the sales floor with my money in my pocket was to offer him half of what was marked on the sticker. "Would you take 5 bucks for it?" I asked timidly. He immediately said "Sure, its yours!". That is when I knew, I paid way too much. I borrowed the 5 dollars from Savanna and walked home with my new Bread Maker.

We have made 3 loaves of bread so far and everyone loves the warm moist bread. I guess garage sale'ing isn't so bad after all.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Published on KMVT

I was browsing around the cable TV channels one day and I noticed a short ad about posting your own pictures and videos on KMVT.com's web site. The little blurb was about YouNews. YouNews is a section of their web site where anyone can post their local news articles. So, if you catch something interesting on film or photograph, you can post it on YouNews so people can see armature footage and pictures of stuff happening locally. (ok, I think I just said the exact same thing twice but with different words)

I decided to take them up on their challenge so I created a user account and posted a few pictures that I took while in Buhl. If you are a regular blog reader of mine, you may remember the pictures I took of the ice crystals. My article was about the weather and how foggy it had been for several days and then uploaded my pictures. I didn't think anything of it so I checked back once in a while and noticed my pictures were approved. A few weeks passed and while I was talking to my Father-in-Law, he mentioned that he saw my pictures on the news. I took a double take (mentally) and asked "What did you say". He repeated the statement and I asked him what pictures he saw and he described my pictures from Buhl. WOW! What a surprise. My pictures were on KMVT Channel 11 News Twin Falls Idaho. That was very cool. It was too bad I missed it.

I was excited now. I went back home and the next day I posted a couple more pictures of my garden and some flowers. I made a few comments about how much rain we had received and submitted my article. Two days later my Father in Law called me up and said my pictures had made it on KMVT again. RATS! I missed it again. I didn't even think about recording the news to see if my article was mentioned. Here is the YouNews Article I posted.

Now my goal is to post another article and try and catch it on TV.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Katie's Softball Video

I don't know how many of you participate in little girl's softball but if you do, you know the rules. Everybody hits, everybody plays, everyone's a winner. So, I thought I would take my little flip video out to her game and take a few short clips of her softball game.

Go Katie!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Fathers and Sons 2009

This year the Twin Falls Idaho Stake decided to host a Fathers and Sons outing to Murtaugh Lake. We have been watching the weather all week in the hopes that we would not see rain. Every day, in the paper, it showed that we were safe with partly cloudy skies. Then, Friday morning, I opened up the paper and what did I see? No, not popcorn, but a forecast for rain. WHAT?

Even with a gloomy outlook, we decided to brave the weather and pack up our gear and head out to Murtaugh. We unloaded our dinner but waited to setup the tent until we knew we were free of rain drops. Unfortunately, the rain did not "go away". I gave my son, and his friend, two options. We could setup the tent and hunker down for the night and know that we were going to get hit with some major wet weather, or we could head back into town and see if we could catch the last showing of Star Trek. You might all guess how the vote came down. Three votes to nothing.

Here is my little video of our experience.




Of course, we had to come back in the morning to help with breakfast and a service project so at the end of the video you will see us huddled in the truck trying to stay out of the rain.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Garden Update

I just wanted to give everyone an update on my garden. (and to make a few of you jealous, Clark)

Here are a few pictures of how it looks today. Keep in mind, we have had almost 2 weeks of rain so everything looks great. I had better take a picture now while it looks this good so I remember the good old days of rain while in the desert.





Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Interest Rates


Well, this morning I was going about my business of paying all of our bills and I noticed something strange. I normally look at the monthly minimum payments that are required on every credit card (even though I always pay more than the minimum) and on one of my credit cards, the minimum payment was much higher than normal. I checked, then double checked and I found out that the interest rate on that card had doubled. DOUBLED! I immediately called the credit card company to see what was up. They said that they had notified me in February about the new interest rates. Of course, they probably did, but I get so many stupid credit card offers that it probably just got shredded and discarded. I then asked if I could negotiate a lower interest rate and they said no. I could either continue with the new rate, or pay off the balance.

It is hard to believe that in these hard economic times, the credit card companies would all be raising their rates to put even greater hardship on the family. It is no wonder that the leaders of the church have been telling us for years now, to get off of credit cards.

I have decided to move off of that credit card and not use it unless there is an emergency.

I hope that all of my readers, (both of them) will double check their interest rates on their credit cards and make sure their interest rates have not doubled.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cheese?

This year Andy has again decided to play All Star Baseball. This will be his 3rd year. The team is really going to be relying on him a lot this year because he is one of the oldest boys. (and one of the best if I can be so bold) He has already had a few games and he has pitched in almost every game. This is the first time that he has ever been used as a regular pitcher.

At the beginning of every season, Andy is required to come up with some money to help defray the cost of the tournaments. Each year he usually finds a sponsor or two to help. This year, we asked Glanbia Foods if they would be able to sponsor him in his endeavor. The word came back that they would not be able to donate money, however, they would be able to donate cheese. Cheese? How will that help? Well, he was given 100 pounds of packaged cheese. Each came in a 2 pound block size. The idea being that he would just take the cheese that was donated, and sell it to people willing to support him. There were some skeptics in the house but I was confident Andy could do a good sales job.

So, I stopped by Glanbia Foods, picked up 100 pounds of cheese, and headed home. This is what our fridge looked like that afternoon.



That very evening we stopped by a number of friends and family to see if they would be willing to buy some cheese. Without much effort at all and in about an hour and a half, Andy was able to reach his goal.

Thank you Glanbia for supporting by son's All Star Baseball Team in 2009.

Monday, June 15, 2009

What happened to that guy?

I remember when I was a young Dad (not that I'm an old geezer) and had by first little boy. One of the first purchases for Christmas was a baseball bat and mitt (glove), basketball hoop and ball. I was so excited for this chubby little blob of a boy to grow up and play catch with me. I would sit and roll a ball over to him in hopes that he would understand my playful banter and push it back to me. All too often the ball would tumble across the floor and hit him smack in the nose and topple him over onto the ground. I'm sure we have all done this when we had small little children.

Now that I have kids that are old enough to catch the ball, throw the ball and make baskets, where is that Dad that wanted to play so much? He's sitting on the couch trying to make sense of the day. He doesn't want kids jumping all over him the second he walks in the door. He just wants some quiet time. He is watching TV trying to get his brain to settle down after a long stressful day at work. He is worrying about a job and money and the future.

What happened to that guy? I've been trying to remember that guy that I was 15 years ago, excited to see my kids grow up so I can play with them. It is so ironic that now that they can play, I just want them to leave me alone. (kinda)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Dentist

I had to post something about these 2 videos I found on Youtube.com This first video is about a little kid named David and he is coming home from surgery and he is still a little groggy. His dad has a flip video camera and does a quick little video of his son.

You have to watch the first video before you play the second one. After watching the first video I didn't think it was that funny but after watching the second video, I couldn't stop laughing.

Enjoy.







Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Muggled

In the world of geocaching, there is a word that has been adopted from Harry Potter. That word is muggle. In the Harry Potter series the word muggle is used to describe a non-magical person. In the Geocaching world is used to describe a non-geocaching person or someone that doesn't know what a geocache is nor how geocaching works. Those of you that are muggles (in the geocaching sense) may not know that a geocache is a treasure box for a person with a GPS to find. Coordinates are posted on the internet that point directly (within about 10 feet) of where the cache is hidden. When you find the cache, you are to sign the log, trade anything you find in the cache with something of equal or greater value, and then put it back. Muggles, which don't understand what the rules of geocaching, will steal the items inside and possibly move it to a new location rendering it unfindable.

I have personally hidden 4 geocaches to date. I am sad to say that last week I discovered that my 4th geocache has been "muggled". All four of my geocaches have been muggled over the years. I must say, in the Muggle's defense, that this geocache was first hidden 11/12/2005, so it has lasted quite a long time without having problems.

I'm not sure if I'm going to replace the cache or just let it drop off the map of geocaching.com

It is too bad that we live in a society that doesn't respect other people's property.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Drivers Ed?

There is no way that I am old enough to have a son that is ready to take Drivers Ed. I didn't realize how much trust and faith my parents must have had in my to allow me to drive their cars. I am now starting to feel the full weight which drops precariously on my shoulders now that I have a teenager.

June 8th will be Coby's first class at Professional Driving School. I'm pretty sure that he can sign up for driving times that very same weeks. Therefor, I will be sending out notifications to all of my friends and family declaring which days Coby will be rampaging out of control around the streets of Twin Falls. Hopefully you will all be able to manage your schedules correctly so that you will be out of harms way.

As my keys jingle in my pocket, I realize that the day will inevitably come when Coby will be driving me around town. It's the same feeling I had when I was told I would need to get my teeth pulled, but the surgery was scheduled in 2 weeks. The anticipated stress and anguish will probably be much worse than the actual trip around the block with Coby at the helm.

Wish me luck and I'll keep you posted.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Garden

I have been trying to think of something interesting to post about my life lately and sadly, I have come up with zilch. I have decided to report on something just as exciting as watching grass grow. What might that be? How about watching my garden grow.

This year I have had great success in growing my garden. I have planted radishes, peas, carrots, beans, corn, potatoes, flowers, pumpkins, tomatoes, lettuce, strawberries and peppers. Everything that I planted came up and is flourishing. Unfortunately the weeds are growing just as well as the vegetables. I ran out this morning and took a couple of nice picture to show just how green my thumb is. I also could not miss out on the opportunity to use my camera in "macro" mode to get nice clean closeup shots of my plants.


Strawberries that I planted last year.


Lettuce from ground level. These look awesome.



Here are my radishes which I have already started to eat. I'm not a huge radish fan but they are fun to grow because they are the first to sprout. It really boosts your confidence at the beginning of the season.



Being from Idaho, I had to try my hand at potatoes. Here is my row of red potatoes.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

I thought I would take you along with me on our Memorial Day outing. We stopped by 3 grave sites before heading to Castleford Idaho to visit Balanced Rock.

Enjoy!

Friday, May 15, 2009

musings

Here are some things that I have thought about lately.

Things that seem like they should go together, but don't.
-Toothpaste and Orange Juice- They are both used at breakfast but are horrible together.
-Root Beer and Chocolate- They are both brown and sweet but do not taste good together.


Things that shouldn't go together but are great.
-Chocolate and Cinnamon Bears- One is soft and chewy, the other hard and sweet.
-Peanut Butter and Chocolate-
-Peanut Butter and Mustard-

If you can think of any more, please let me know and I'll add them to the list.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Savanna Clogging

Many have requested a video of Savanna Dancing. Your wish is my command!

This is a video of Savanna at the Spring Fest put on by American on Stage. She dances 4 solos before the judges. The video isn't that great because we are a few rows back and the Flip Video doesn't do a very good job with long distances. This is the best I could do for the moment.

This Saturday, Savanna is headed to Lagoon for the "National" competition. I'll have more video at that point.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

1st Place Finish

Congratulation Savanna on getting a first place ranking at the Spring America On Stage competition in all of her 4 Solo Dances!







This qualifies her for the National Competition next weekend. Wish her luck as she dances before the judges a week from Saturday at Lagoon. Go Savanna!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Cooking Video

I have been watching a bunch of shows on TV about cooking. I know, cooking is not very exciting but for some reason, I can be caught up in a cooking show. I decided to try my hand at making a cooking video. My inspiration is a guy on The Food Network called Alton Brown. He has a show called, "Good Eats".

Here is my very amateurish cooking show on how to cook Macaroni and Cheese with Hotdogs.




I also did a video of Savanna baking a cake.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Ghosts on the Computer

I was reading a column in our local newspaper by David Cooper that reminded me of a story that happened to me.

I was called out to work on a computer in our neighborhood. The owner was very concerned that someone had gained access to their computer and had somehow taken over the controls. I was very skeptical that someone could actually take over a computer from the internet without their consent, so I was willing to go out and investigate.

When I arrived, they showed me to the computer in question. I went over all of the normal operations of the computer and found that they were all in working order. I checked their Anti Virus and Anti Spyware and they also seemed to be functioning correctly. As the people emptied the room, I decided to take a couple of spins around the internet to see if there was something weird going on. After a few minutes, the mouse began to move. Not just a regular malfunctioning mouse movement but intentional, directional movement. The mouse moved over to the side of the screen and actually clicked on an icon on the desktop. I quickly looked around the room to see if someone was behind me, messing with my mind. I checked the mouse, checked the keyboard and was baffled. How in the world could someone gain access to this computer? My brain started to think up possiblilities. Could someone really have taken control of the computer? Maybe they can also see the screen? Maybe I was on Candid Camera! I actually looked around the room for some sort of camera in the corners.

After the mouse made a few more specific movements, I decided to confront this phantom computer user. I opened up a blank word document and started to type, "Who is this?", and I waited, no response. The mouse bounced around again. I typed, "Hello, is someone on this computer?". No answer. I decided at this moment to figure out how they were gaining access to this computer. If it was by use of the internet, I could disconnect the computer from the web and the connection would be severed. I reached back and grabbed the network cable. I removed it from the computer in hopes that I would catch this intruder red handed. No way! I said under my breath. The mouse continued to move and click. At this point, I am totally shocked. I was sure someone would come in at any moment pointing and laughing that they had caught me in a good practical joke.

My last thought was to unplug the mouse and keyboard to see what would happen. I discovered that the mouse and keyboard were both wireless. So, by unplugging the receiver, I would disconnect the mouse and keyboard from the PC. Once I did this, I was presented with the answer to this supernatural conundrum. The mouse and keyboard both stopped moving. It was then that I decided to ask the question, "Is there another computer in this house?". The answer, with a surprised expression, was "Yes". I asked if it had a wireless keyboard and mouse. Again, with a hint of excitement the answer was "Yes, and it has the exact same keyboard and mouse as this one". With a huge grin on my face I asked the owner to direct me to the other computer. I walked down the hall and was guided to a room where there was a young men mousing and clicking on his computer screen. I looked at the owner and said, "Here is your poltergeist! The wireless signal from this mouse and keyboard is being picked up by the receiver down the hall on the computer I'm working on." Some smiled, some giggled and some laughed out loud at the solution to the "ghost on the computer". I recommended they buy a different brand of keyboard and mouse for the second computer so that this issue would not happen again and headed back to the office.