Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Holidays - Part 6

On Sunday, December 28th, Rachel and I packed up some clean clothes for our little trip out to Wendover for the night. We packed up my parents truck to use it for the drive out there (better gas mileage). Well, while we were sitting on the couch waiting to leave, the girls went to look out the back window at my dad in the backyard, so we booked it out of there so they wouldn't be upset when they saw us leave the house.

We took off from my parents house and decided to get something to eat for lunch (even though it was 5 PM) at Super Salad. I don't care what anyone says, Super Salad is much better than Sweet Tomatoes by far! After that, we headed on our way out to Wendover for the night.

On the way out there, the sun was just setting. So at the next rest stop, I pulled in quickly and took a couple of pictures. Well, we made it out to Wendover shortly after night fall. Checked in, got ready to go out on the game floor and have a little fun with Rachel (she's my good luck charm).

After playing some of the slots, I finally found a Money Storm machine that was available. Sat down, started playing it. Rachel, not much of a gamer, started playing the machine next to me. She tried putting her players card in, but it wouldn't take it. She then noticed that the person sitting there before, left $27 in the machine. I told Rachel to cash out and to play it after putting in her card. She played it, and lost it all since she had no idea what the game was about (I didn't either) and then sat there while I was still gaming. Well, an employee of the casino came up to Rachel and asked if she was Rachel. She said yes, the lady then asked if she played that $27? She said yes, and the lady said that is illegal since "the money wasn't hers (it belonged to the person before her)". As long as Rachel could pay it back (which we could and did), there wouldn't be any charges pressed against her... I'm sorry, I see this "finders keepers, losers weepers". So if you ever sit down to play a slot machine and there is money left in it, cash it out before placing your players card and money in that machine.

Well, that ruined Rachel's night. Looks like we won't be staying at the Peppermill again... "Ruining your fun, at your expense." After losing my money ($50) later on, I decided to call it quits on the slot machines... For good! (This is my New Years resolution... Except for card tables, which I have never played on before... so I am good.)

Went back to the room to decide what we wanted to do. We were getting hungry, so we went down to their restraunt and took a seat. Since we were not given or asked what we would like to drink, plus the prices on each item was incredibly expensive; we got up after after waiting 5 minutes, left and drove over to Pizza Hut. Ordered our own Personal Pan pizzas, and came back to the room to eat. After dinner... Well, lets just say I'm trying to keep this blog "family-friendly"---- so, uh, we went skiing! There, I said it. You happy? ; )

Monday, December 29, 2008
In the morning, we had to be out of there by 11AM. Got ready for the day, packed up our stuff, and checked out. Another longer story short-- don't stay at or visit the Peppermill, ever!

Went to McDonalds for breakfast, but they were then serving lunch. So we had to get something to eat at Smith's grocery store. After getting breakfast, we then headed back to Salt Lake. Got back home, and the girls were happy to see us.

All I remember about the rest of that Monday is that Rachel and I had a spaghetti dinner with my mom, dad, the twins... and Snickers (the family dog). Then I helped Rachel's sister, who stayed a couple nights at our place and was watching our dog Ginger, fix her computer while she was in St. George and I was still in Salt Lake

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Holidays - Part 5

You will have forgive me on a couple of things before I start writing. First, it's been a few days since I have been able to blog because it's been hectic around here. Second, because it has been hectic, my mind is trying to focus on the future, and so some of the small/fine details about the past are slipping. But I will do my best to tell you all that I can, so here it goes...

Saturday, December 27th, 2008
I think I slept in that day, but what I do remember is that this was date night number 2. We had plans to go The Gateway Mall the night before, but we ended up going this night instead. We had plans to go to dinner and then a movie.

We arrived and parked on the north-end parking lot (trying to park under ground was not an option with all the traffic). Went into the shoe store and then I went into the Apple Store to buy new earbuds with a microphone for the iPhone, so I could make phone calls using my iPod touch, Wi-Fi and an app called Truphone (for the touch). The app is like Skype, but Skype hasn't created one, so I downloaded this free one instead. This way, if I am out in BFE and I can't get a signal for my cell phone, or I forget my phone while in town, and if I can find a open Wi-Fi, I can make an outgoing call. Plus, I can use the iPhone app Shazam to find out what the title and artist of a song is (but I need wifi for that to work as well).

After making a couple of calls from my iPod, I headed up to the upper level to Lane Bryant, where Rachel was at, picking out new clothes because my parents gave her a gift card to that store for Christmas. Thank goodness I had my iPod to play games on because I had to sit and wait for Rachel to try on clothes. I feel bad for the other guy, he had nothing. Ouch!

After Rachel found what she wanted, we made a quick stop into a kids clothing store that was on the second level as well. Then while heading over to California Pizza Kitchen for dinner, we purchased our movie tickets to the movie Bedtime Stories. Since we wanted to get to the 8 o'clock show, and because there was a 30 minute wait for 2 people at CPK, we walked over to Jason's deli. After we ate there, we walked back over to the theater and watched the movie.

Once the movie was over, we walked all the way back across the mall in the 20-30 degree coldness. We used the parking vouchers my aunt gave me after working on the computer (sorry, Rachel and I are a couple of cheapo's an I am not paying $7 to park for the entire time we were there), and headed back to my parents by dragging State Street in the family mini-van. Oh yeah! But because it was cold out, we stopped at 7-11 for hot chocolate, made it back safe, and then went to bed.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Holidays - Part 4

I'm going to start writing this while I wait for any officer that works with Rachel to come unlock the van... I left the keys in the ignition, and Rachel's keys are hopefully in the van because we have not fully unpacked since getting home from Salt Lake last night.

Okay, where was I? December 26th.

I set my phone alarm to wake me up at 8AM so I could get back over to my aunt and uncle's to fix their Wi-Fi. Got over there and got through to Comcast. They told me everything was working on their end, and gave me a number to contact Cisco (the company who manufactured the Linksys router that my relitives have). Went through the automated process. Instructed the router to do something I have never heard of doing to a router, and the intetnet was fixed. (Oh! The officer is here... Got my keys out...) After I fixed their internet, I uninstalled the anti virus program on their PC because it was taking too long to install, fix, plus it was making me jump through hoops. That's why I use AVG (which I ended up installing on their computer)-- it's free, takes less than 5 minutes to install (not an hour like Norton or McAfee) and less than 1 minute to install any updates. After getting that mess with the AV programs taken care of, I headed back and then helped my dad take out the starter on our van since it would take quite a few trys to get the van finally started.

We took the original one to AutoZone to make it so that I would not have to pay a core charge. Got the new part, tooks us a while to get it installed. Started right up like nothing was the matter. We did the basic fluid check up on the van and then went inside.

I had apparently won a gift card from the bowling game that we played on Christmas Eve (must have had one of the high scores...?). So Rachel and I decided that we were going to go see a movie that night at The Gateway Mall in Downtown Salt Lake... But our plans we side tracked. On the way to take TJ to his friends house, we notice a Training Table near The E Center, so we had dinner there instead. We always see the commercials on TV here St. George, but Rachel had never been to one and it has been a few years since I had been there, so we decided to have dinner there instead of driving to The Gateway for dinner.

After dinner, we went over to Toys R Us to look for any bargins. Found a few things, but not a whole lot. We then drove over to the mall (Valley Fair) to look around. That place is starting to looks like a swap meet with a movie theater and food court. After, we drove over to the Circuit City and Target near my parents house. Nothing from either, so we made one more stop at the grocery store to buy things so Rachel could make breakfast the next morning. Headed back to my parents and went to bed.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Holidays - Part 3

Let's see... Christmas Day...

Well, we woke up around 8AM... Well, I did. I went into the living room and got the video camera set up to start recording once the girls started walking in the living room. Rachel, along with my mom, got the girls out of their cribs to have them come open their presents. Rachel and I helped the girls open a few of their gifts before everyone started opening their own gifts.

We opened the girls gifts, along with our gifts that we got from everyone and then headed into the kitchen to have a Christmas breakfast.

Shortly after breakfast, we let the girls continue to play with their new toys... Including the new wagon they got from Santa. We all took them on rides (even TJ, my bro) up and down the hallway of my parents house. Oh, they loved it. The only problem I have with them getting a new wagon was putting it in the back of the van to get it home, but we got it home.

Just so you know, Rachel post pictures (including Christmas Day 2008) on Walgreen's Photo website for people to view and order any pictures they want to. Type to view the pictures.

Only bad thing with posting pics on that site is that you must have a Walgreens account to login and look at pictures, or to do anything personal (i.e., renew personal prescriptions online, etc.). If you don't have a Walgreens account, visit and sign up for one today. If you already have an account, or just signed up for one, you can visit Walgreen's website and log in anytime. I'm pretty sure you don't have to have an invite, but if a message appears saying you have to be invited to view those pics, click the Contact link above and ask to have us send you an e-mail invite. But that is if it is saying you need to be invited. Otherwise, look and order as many pictures that you would like.

Continuing on...

Rachel went to lay down. Not even an hour after she laid down, I was getting tired too. So I crashed for three hours. I don't remember much after waking up, except watching "A Christmas Story" and my brother bugging me to go to 7-11 for Christmas Slurpees. I had to ask or say something. ... The story behind this is that my old friend David told me of the time, years ago, when he and his family went over to 7-11 on Christmas Day and got Slurpees. I don't know why they did that, they just did (maybe they were bored on Christmas or were coming back from visiting family, and stopped there... We may never know). Well, a few years after hearing that, while out driving around with (I believe) Tristyn in 2004, we stopped at 7-11 on Christmas Day (night). That story popped in my head and I think I have purchased a Christmas Slurpee each year after that (except 2007).

We ate dinner and then we looked out the windows next to the front door; it was beginning to snow blizzard style. An hour after eating, I finally drove TJ to the 7-11 near my parents house in my parents truck (the mini van never would have made it back due to the amount of snow that had already fallen in such a short period of time). But when we arrived, the parking lot was full. Instead of waiting for a spot, we drove to the 7-11 near the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon. I was told years ago that this location was the busiest in the world-- Not true (according to Google, it's Claresholm, Alberta). We got our Slurpees and drove back carefully in the still-continuing-to-fall snow.

Got back to my parents house safe. Tried to let the girls have a sip of my drink, but they need to now learn how to sip frozen liquid instead of regular liquid. After playing around a bit, we finally put the girls down for bed, and then went to bed ourselves.

Merry Christmas 2008

I just wanted to wish everyone out there a Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas. Right now, I am writing this while we are in Salt Lake for the holidays. I'll blog about the trip later, but for now, a few photos for everyone to Oooh and Awww over...

At the Sharich Family Christmas Party...

Right before going to bed in their Christmas pajamas...

All the goodies that the girls got.

I will post more pictures and videos of this entire trip later. But for now, go have yourself a Swayze Chrismtas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Holidays - Part 2

Rachel and I just got back from Wendover, NV, which I will be telling you about in a few days... But first, I need to tell you about what happened on Christmas Eve day (December 24th).

I think I woke up later in the day since we had arrived late and because I had been up since 8AM the day before. So after waking up, I had breakfast around lunchtime, and then I moseyed around the house until it was time to get ready to head over to my aunt and uncle's house for the family Christmas Eve party. We left my parents house around 5PM and once we got there, I started to help my uncle try to get pictures off his camera. Well, after we couldn't get the pics off the camera (looked like a camera problem, not computer problem), I tried to reset their router so I could get WiFi while at their house... That's where the trouble began. I wanted to be out visiting with family, but I wanted to get their WiFi back up like before. I know how to do a simple router set up, but it was not working. So I was getting very stressed. Well, because of the holidays, I knew Comcast would be closed. We would have to call them on the 26th to get the proper setup settings for the router (modem to router, router to computer and WiFi). At least I was able to get the internet working on the desktop computer (modem to computer), but their laptop would be without a connection for 36 hours. (I'll let you know what the problem was when I tell you about what happened on December 26th)

I finally got that temporarily taken care of for the moment, just enough to get them by. So I came out to finally eat dinner and to visit. After dinner, we all gathered around in their TV room. The young kids were given their gifts to open. As for the adults, instead of exchanging presents this year, we did something different... We did "Pay It Forward" (PIF). A few of my relatives work for a company called called SnugzUSA. They donated 300,000 of the "Pay It Forward" bracelets to the Pay It Forward Organization. At the moment, they are all out of bracelets, but should hopefully be expecting more soon on the website. We sat around and told what we all did this holiday season to make a difference in someone else's life. I will tell you what I did, not to brag or to try and top anyone else for those who want to do this now or next holiday season...

(On Monday, the 22nd) I went over to Lin's Grocery store near my house (the one I use to work at) and purchased 5 gift cards with large amounts on each card (only Jackie - the manager who sold me the gift cards, the people I handed the cards to and Rachel, know the amounts on each card). I placed a PIF bracelet around the gift card and handed them to random people shopping in the store. As soon as I was finished handing out the cards, I wanted to keep handing out more cards. So next year, I plan on purchasing slightly smaller amounts than what I did for each card this year, so I can hand out more cards to more people and at different stores.

After we finished telling our stories, we picked numbers (for teams or places) for both Bowling and Guitar Hero on the Wii. I, and three others, were up first on Bowling. In order to let other family members get a chance to play since it was now after 8PM and didn't want to be their after midnight, we only played 5 frames each player. After I bowled my frames, I sat around and watched other family members bowl. After that, I put the girls down to sleep in another room since they had both fallen asleep on Rachel and I. I then went downstairs and played Guitar Hero. Yes, I always say that I am no a gamer. So for family videos and proof, I had my dad film me playing the Dinosaur Jr. song "Feel the Pain" (yeah, I have never heard the song, but it looked like it would be easy to play) against another family member. Of course I sucked playing the fake guitar, but I won. I will start getting videos ready to post once I get home from this trip.

About 30 minutes went by before the girls woke up from their little nap, except Chloe was waking up in pain from teething. So we decided to give them meds, pack it up and head back to my parents house. Since I couldn't continue my next game on Guitar Hero, I had to forfeit and let Paige (the relative whom I played against) play my spot. I bet she was more than happy to.

Made it back to my parents house where we got the girls in their Christmas PJ's and tried to take a few pictures of them in front of the tree. We also visited with my sister and brother-in-law who left the party early (after they told their PIF stories) for the most stupid reason I have ever heard. I don't want to start bitterness (again), so I will not tell you what it was over.

We then put the girls to bed and shortly after, went to bed ourselves since we would be up early the next morning to see what Santa brought us.

I'm With the Band

I thought that I would take a small break from writing about Windows 7 and post another short video of me playing Rock Band on Christmas Eve. I asked my dad if he would record me to show everyone that I can and do play video games, even though I suck at it and that I would prefer to do other things with my time.

I know that I suck, so I do not need to hear about it (hence the blocked comments). I know I was playing against a tween, but I have to give her more credit since she had to play more notes than I did. Even though the family was having a contest and I won that round, I ended up giving her my spot in the next round since my twin girls were getting fussy that night and we had to head home a little earlier than everyone else.

Christmas Eve

As your read in The Holidays - Part 2, we went over to my aunt and uncles house to celebrate the holidays with the family (on my dad's side). Well, I took video and here it is. The first part of the video is of my cousin Zach who was dared to put on an elf suit (in the flesh). Oh, everyone loved that as you can just hear my family laughing in the background.

The second part of the video is of most of my family telling what they did to Pay it Forward this holiday season. I tried to record everyone telling their stories, but because of multiple reasons, I had to trim some of the video out and to trim it down to 10 minutes.

The part that I was hoping to get in the video is of my cousin Charley (who it states on the PiF website is the one who donated the PiF wristbands) telling everyone about how many e-mails he has received so far from random people who have received a wristband and had something nice done for them. There was another part about how he paid for the items for person behind him at a convenient store. That person was a reporter who wanted to do a big cover story about this PiF program and the convenient store. The owner of the convenient store refused to let them partake in being involved because he said that "if word got out of this happening here [at that convenient store], people will come here and be expecting that kind of goodness"... Which is a good idea now that I think about it. For example, you are told great things about a business (say a restaurant) from someone else, you go there expecting that same type of service, are not treated the same way and you never go there again-- The business would lose business later on because of that.

To tell you the truth, at first, I did not want to partake in this Pay It Forward with my family. I thought it was just another task for me to do... But now that I have done it, I can't wait to get more wristbands next holiday season and to have the girls help me hand out more gift cards to strangers. I know-- I know. I don't have to wait for the wristbands or for the holidays seasons to do something nice... I plan on doing nice things all year long. It does make you feel good...

Well, here is the video. Sorry to blabber on like that.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Holidays (Part 1)

We are still in Salt Lake at the moment, so I thought I better start writing about our trip before I start to forget any details.

On Wednesday (23rd), Rachel's mom drove over to our place and picked up the girls so that Rachel and I could pack up our things for the holiday trip up to Salt Lake. Plus, Rachel's sister Heidi was in town and wanted to see and play with the girls as long as she could before we were to leave town that night.

We got packed. I tried to take care of any last minute business dealings. No, not drug dealings. We packed up the mini van and made sure that the dog had enough food/water and that the house was locked. We then headed over to Rachel's moms house to pick up the girls before heading over to her grandmas house for the holiday party we were having early since we wouldn't be there on Christmas Eve.

We had dinner (I had double since I was starving) and then desert. We then headed downstairs to exchange gifts. I gave Rachel her gift earlier since I knew she would like to use it before we left town. I got a tri-pod from Rachel since the one I bought used at yard sale 12+ years ago was on it's last leg. No pun intended. After opening gifts and it being 8PM (since I had been up early that day), I said it was time to go and we packed up to leave.

While driving, I noticed that the gas was dropping faster than normal and was already down to the 3/4 mark of a full tank around Cedar City. When I stopped to fill up the van with gas before we arrived at Rachel's moms, I also filled up the air in the tires up to 40 psi. I thought that this might be the problem. So at the next stop, I let air out to be 35 psi. It made some difference, but to be safe, I refilled in Beaver.

The girls woke up around this time and were up for the rest of the drive (the opposite of what we wanted to have them do while driving at night). We had to stop once before Fillmore to give them teething meds since Chloe was crying. We continued on our way up north, until about Springville, Utah to stop at the Wal-Mart so we could change the girls. That store was super busy for 12AM/12:30AM in the morning. Finished with that little detour and finally made it to my parents around 1AM-1:30AM. We called my mom's cell phone to let them know that we were now in the neighborhood and that we made it. They helped us carry in the girls, we unloaded our things and then we all went to bed.

If there are errors in this blog, I am using the application on my iPod touch to write blogs with. There is no spell correction feature, so if something does not make sense or something is misspelled, click the Contact link above and let me know for this and any future postings. Thanks.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Stockings! Stockings! Stockings!

Before you start reading, I need to explain some stuff first.

The video below was filmed on December 22nd, 2008, the day before the blog entry "The Holidays - Part 1" takes place.

Because we were heading up to Salt Lake for the holidays, we had to do everything earlier in St. George last year. So instead of seeing what was in our stockings the night before Christmas (like Rachel's family does and has done for years), we had to do it on December 22, because we were having the family Christmas Eve party on December 23rd. Confused? Don' be... Just sit back, relax and enjoy the video.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Seasons Greeting from the Satellite of Love

Every year, I get a holiday e-mail from the MST3K Satellite News (newsletter sent by e-mail) from fans to other fans of the classic TV show, Mystery Science Theater 3000. In it, it has the script of Tom Servo's Christmas essay entitled, "A Child’s Christmas in Space". Instead of posting this e-mail of Tom's essay and letting you get confused as to why they send it , I posted the entire video clip on YouTube of the four characters reading their essays as well.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snow Angel

For those of you who don't know, I had a half-sister Jessica who passed away 9 years ago today to cancer. Because of my memory, I remember the later half of December 18, 1999.

We knew Jessica (my half-sister) had cancer since June (1999). She thought she had beat it, but it came back and things were really bad in December.

I remember it was a Saturday and we were at my grandparents Christmas party down in Nephi, Utah. It was the later part of the party where everyone sat around talking downstairs, while a few of us were upstairs watching TV. 3rd Rock from the Sun was on, the episode was "Dick, Smoker" (I couldn't bare to watch this episodes on TV until I finally bought the first season on DVD a few years ago). The phone rang and my mom answered it. The phone had rang before and she had answered it, and I thought nothing of those calls. But for some reason, I knew on this phone call.

We were sad. I think I was crying. We said our goodbyes to the family with tears and hugs, and headed north for a 90-minute car drive that went by fast because we were crying and I remember just looking out the window at nothing most of the drive.

We made it to Jessica's grandparents house, where she had been staying until she passed away. It hit hard. I remember going into the room where she was laying down, where she passed away, and just cried. This is one of the only times I had seen my dad cry. He's always been the bravest and strongest man I know, and he still is. But to see him cry, I knew it was okay to let it out and to not hold it in.

I'm tearing up while writing this.

After that, it's pretty much bits and pieces. I remember walking outside and just crying. Jessica's uncle gave me a hug. I came back in the house...

I remember trying to call my friend David, to let him know that Jessica passed away. Tried calling my friend Heather, to let her know. She was at work, so she couldn't answer. Steve and Traci were down in Las Vegas getting married. I didn't want to ruin that moment for them, so I think I told them when they got back... Or someone told them when they got back.

But when it came time to take Jessica from the house, for some reason, I couldn't bare to watch her. It was Jessica, but it wasn't Jessica anymore. So I and a few other family members of hers, stood outside until they said it was okay to come back inside.

I don't remember much after that. I don't even remember us driving home.

... ... ...

The funeral took place on Dec. 22nd, my mom's birthday.

... ... ...

On that blog I posted on Sept. 12, how I knew how old I was in days... Well, I figured out Jessica's and it didn't hit me until the day after I had passed that number, I was now older than her. This happened in 2000. I'm sure if I connect my old Mac up, I bet I have something in there about that.

Even though I knew I had passed her in age, I still had a lot of growing up to do. I'm still growing up now....... I'm not bragging here, but I have my kids, my wife and this house to keep us warm while it is still snowing outside while I write this -- 2" to 3" of SNOW in ST. GEORGE!!!! But, I cherish every moment with them... Even if I am in a bad mood (like I have been lately), and I wouldn't trade them for the world.

(I'll find a picture of Jessica while we are up in SLC and post it here to show you what she looked like)

(Updated on July 24, 2009 @ 16:34 MST)
(Picture added on December 18, 2010 @ 11:55 MST)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snowing In St. George, Utah 2008

On December 17th/18th, 2008, it started snowing here in St. George, Utah. I bet no one has ever seen it snow so much where we live (You know what I mean...).

Monday, December 15, 2008

Visiting Family at the Condo

Last month, some of Rachel's family from California drove to St. George for about a week. This was filmed the first or second day at the condo they were staying at.