Saturday, August 20, 2011

And The Damage Comes To....

You would think I would know better than to go to a book sale, but today I went to the Friends Of The Library book sale at the Provo Library and walked away about $25 poorer, but much richer in printed materials. Merilee and I both help set up for the sale, and I promise myself that I will not spend much money adding to the library we already have, but I always find something I can't seem to leave behind. Today's finds included an old copy of Henry Esmond by William Makepeace Thackery (I enjoyed Vanity Fair, but have never read anything else), Phineas Redux by Anthony Trollope, Collected Stories by Graham Greene, and a hard bound, illustrated copy of The Patchwork Girl Of Oz by L. Frank Baum (a reproduction of the old editions of these books I enjoyed as a kid). We also found seven Tony Hillerman novels that we did not have. We are now missing only three of his Navajo mysteries. They are some of Merilee's favourites. I find myself looking forward to these sales because they are like treasure hunts, and I never feel guilty because these sales help fund the children's programs at the library and we are buying books. Merilee and I are both avid readers, so I never feel guilty adding to our personal library, as long as I know that they are books we will enjoy. The next one is in November, so I have some time to save up money for the book fund. Now I just have to put these books away.

Tonight I had to call Qwe...make that, Century Link customer service because my internet connection was down. Little did I realize how time consuming that would be. First, I had to redo all the things I had already tried (obviously the tech was working from a outsourcing), and then when the connection came back up, she kept me on the phone for almost 20 minutes while she 'analyzed' the line. Then she tells me there is a wiring problem and a tech will come out on the 25th. She adds that if the problem is outside the apartment, there will be no charge, but if it is inside, then it will cost me $85. Guess what? I don't foresee allowing anyone inside if it is going to cost me $85. I'll deal with the intermittent problems until we are out of here. At least with Qwest it sounded like the customer support technicians were local. I certainly hope I do not have to call customer support again for a very, very long time. At least I have internet again tonight so I can keep the streak alive.

That's about it for tonight. I think I'll go read and drop off to sleep. Night everyone.


....or apology for last night's rant. It had been one of those days and I let something trivial get to me. Everything kind of came together and I boiled over. It never should have happened, and I should have just walked away. It all resulted in a major bit of childishness on my part. I know who my real friends are and I in no way wanted to imply that they had let me down. Upon reflection, I knew what I was getting into when I entered that MACU contest on FB, and it was asking a bit much for people to open themselves up to who knows what kind of advertising from MACU just to vote for a photo. I apologize for my pettiness.

Just wanted to share that. Thanks for listening.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Night Lights

Tonight, for the first time since....well, high school...I went to a high school football game. Our neighbor coaches at Timpanogos and their first game of the season was at Lehi tonight. It was the perfect excuse to go out and watch some football. It was a lot of fun, even though Lehi won (it never hurts to have a little help from your friends in the zebra suits), and I am sure we'll go to see more games. I look forward to the ones when it starts getting cool in the evening; real football weather.

The game brought back a lot of memories for me. For one, if I had casually strolled up to the line of scrimmage like Lehi's center did, my butt would have been getting splinters from riding the bench. I remember how much fun it was to play and how focused I used to get on what was going on around me on the field and nothing else. I also remember playing a game against a local 3A school we had never beaten and promising myself that their star linebacker would not make a single tackle when he was my responsibility....and he didn't. We didn't lose to them that year. The game ended in a tie, but it was as good as a victory for us, the pesky little 2A school. Ah, the glory days of my youth.

I really enjoy football and this is the first game I have seen in almost three years. We don't have cable or satellite TV and have not had them since May of 2009. That has made it a bit difficult to watch any football. It is one of those things I used to use to kind of escape for awhile, and I do miss it. Knowing how much my wife dislikes television has been a big reason why I have not tried to get it back, but who knows; maybe this fall I'll break down and sign up again. Probably not.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Throwing In The Towel

I deleted my photo from the Facebook credit union photo contest. After five days, it had 50 points, and 20 of them were from me. If I learned anything, it is that most of my Facebook friends are friends only in the loosest possible meaning of the word. I know that may sound harsh, but I had hoped for a bit more. I had hoped to have more than 50 points by now. I'll be honest; I probably (OK, definitely) set my expectations much too high, but it has disappointed me much more than I thought it would. I feel fundamentally rejected, and that is not the way I should feel. So rather than torture myself further...and to avoid looking at the garish HDR photo of Timp that is leading right now (the colours are really unnatural in my opinion)...I removed mine from the popularity contest. I may have over 100 'friends' on Facebook, but I don't seem to have many real friends there.

This is not a very good evening for me. I feel a lot of frustration and disappointment, and other than the stupid photo thing, I don't know why. I have one more day of work before the weekend, and right now the thought of eight more hours dealing with rude people on the phone really makes me want to crawl in a hole. I keep wondering what I am supposed to be learning from the whole situation, and I can't put a finger on anything. I am normally a very compassionate guy, but being treated like something stuck to the bottom of their shoe by people on a daily basis really wears on you. At least it wears on me. Some people can just let it go, but I don't know how to harden myself against it, and I am pretty sure I don't want to become that kind of a person. I know that this is mostly just 'one of those days' and things will not always be this way, but right now I have had just about as much as I can take, but I am certain I will take more because it is my job and I have to have an income.

Now that I have had my little whine-fest, I'm going to go for tonight. It's for the best.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lucky FInds

Tonight, while getting groceries at Macey's, we discovered a cart in the produce area where they had three full boxes of bananas for $2.99 each. We're talking at least 20 pounds of bananas. We have some drying in the dehydrator now and Merilee will be drying more with her mom and sister-in-law tomorrow. I ate one right after we got home and they are good bananas, but they are riper than you usually find in the store. I guess that is why they were selling them so cheap. It was one of those deals you just can't pass up. We'll have enough dried bananas to last many camping trips. Too bad we don't have a big freezer because we could freeze some as well.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cool Canyon Air

Tonight we took a short drive up to the Squaw Peak Overlook and I was surprised at how quickly the air got cooler as the road climbed up. I expected it to be a bit cooler, but this was really nice, cool air. I wanted to get out of the car and wander along a trail, just breathing the air in and enjoying being outdoors, but Merilee's ankle is still not up hiking. We had to be satisfied with a drive tonight. It was a reminder that Autumn is not far away and soon the tree will begin to put on their colours.

The cool air was also a reminder of just how fast the year is passing. It is hard to believe that we are almost 2/3 of the way through 2011. I haven't looked at the goals I set back in January, so it is probably safe to say that I may not being doing so well on some of them. I'll have to take a peek at those some time this week.

I'm really struggling to come up with anything to say tonight. It has just been one of those days. Maybe I'll feel more talkative tomorrow.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Another Monday

Only 14 more work days until Labor Day Weekend! It's kind of sad that my weekdays have become almost just something to get through until the weekends. Mondays are actually easier for me than Fridays because by Friday, I am so ready for the work week to be over that the day just seems to drag. Today was very busy, but at least no one yelled at me. I still finished feeling mentally drained, but not enough to keep me from grilling salmon for dinner. Hot coals and a little Cajun seasoning and culinary perfection in nearly obtained.

Tonight we finished watching the extended edition of The Fellowship Of The Ring. This is the first time I have seen the film so soon after reading the book. I really enjoy all the films, but I object to the way the film weakens Aragorn as a character. The doubt-filled character of the films lacks some of the heroism of the book in my opinion. I have had to remind myself to just enjoy the film and spend time comparing the two (for example, Moria was always Gandalf's plan in the book, but Aragorn insisted they try Caradhras first). I could have spent the whole time pointing out differences if I had wanted to. The books are like dear old friends to me, so I can never escape some comparisons, but the films are enjoyable in their own right as films. We'll watch The Two Towers after I finish the book again.

The Facebook photo contest is proving to be a flop for me. It is basically just a popularity contest and I find that while I have quite a few 'friends' on Facebook, almost none of them are willing to vote for me. I have half a mind to delete the photo and bag the whole thing. I might have a chance if the photo was judged on its merits, but not so much this way. I have 30 points and 15 of them are from my own votes.

I think I am done for tonight. Evening all!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Two Weeks....So Far, So Good

I'm sad to see another weekend draw to a close. It has been an interesting day. I scanned some of the first photos I ever took of Arches for my book. I had forgotten how much I like some of those early photos and they brought back some great memories. I even found a picture of Wall Arch which collapsed not long ago. It's not great, but it's cool to have. It is also great to have a quicker way to scan photos. My old flat bed scanner took such a long time. I can do four photos at higher dpi in the same amount of time as it used to take for one.

This entry marks the end of the second week and I have not missed a day yet. Only 17 days to go. I am looking forward to the end of August because it means that the fall is that much closer. I am grateful that this summer has not been quite as hot as summers past, but I look forward to cooler days.

Yesterday we went on the Alpine Loop for a bit. Our main reason was to buy a new National Parks Pass, but it was interesting to see how much snow remains on the back side of Timp. From the looks of it, the trail up from Aspen Grove may very well still require walking over snow. I can only imagine what it looks like up at the top. I hope to get the chance to hike part of the trail before the snow flies again, but Merilee's ankle is still bothering her, so we'll have to see. I am excited to see how colourful the leaves get this Autumn.

It's getting late and I do have to work tomorrow, so I'll so farewell until tomorrow.