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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Spongebob Pumpkinpants

I guess Halloween is becoming my favorite holiday... No, not because of the candy. But because it's the one time of year where I get to be creative when it comes to carving pumpkins. I can't stand cutting out the basic Jack-O-Lantern faces on my pumpkin, so I go further. It took me a while to find my cutout for this year... Spongebob Squarepants. But I think you will like it more since I recorded 3 hours of video of me cutting out the pumpkin. Don't worry, I sped up the video and made it so that you can watch me cut out my pumpkin in 6 minutes. Enjoy, and Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Four Day Waiting Period

Back in June, I pre-ordered 2 copies of Microsoft Window 7 Professional (Upgrade) from Best Buy. Well, on Thursday (10/22/09), Microsoft finally released the retail versions of Windows 7 to the world.

I was expecting a package on my doorstep or in the mailbox Thursday morning... Nope, nothing. Friday? Still nothing. Saturday... The delivery confirmation number said that my copies just arrived in Salt Lake at noon-- Son of a...! And Sunday, well, let's not go there.

So finally Monday morning, 11AM, I go check the mail and pull out a package addressed to me. I finally had my copies of Windows 7. Hence, this Twitter.

I thought I had pre-ordered Windows 7 Ultimate, the next version up from Professional. Turns out that Ultimate only has a two feature difference then Professional, and those two things I wouldn't even use. So it was no big loss like I had thought.

So I opened the mailing package and there they were, after months of waiting, Windows 7. I then opened one of the copies and started to install it. Turns out that you can not upgrade from a different version of Vista (Ultimate) to a lower version of Windows 7 (Professional). So I backed up my data and installed a custom upgrade of Windows 7 on my computer.

So far, so good. There has been a few "glitch" issues, probably dealing with 3-year-old hardware, but since my computer was able to handle Vista, it should handle 7 with no problems. And the only real problem I have experience is that I guess I have too many programs running in the background, and it causes the computer to not respond to anything I click on or I can not start Task Manager (Ctrl-Alt-Del) to stop what is causing the problem (so I have to hold the Power button on the computer in until the computer shuts off). I'm hoping Microsoft sees this and fixes this.

But remember, like I said back in January, this is just a cleaned-up and lighter version of Windows Vista. So if you are running Windows Vista, I still say there is really no need to run out, purchase and upgrade to 7... Unless you really want to. But if you are running Windows XP or older, if you are running a netbook, and if your computer can handle 7, I say go for the upgrade. It's time for a change.

To those that said that they "hated" Vista... 7 will not disappoint you. It may take you a while to get use to where things are, but after a month, you will get the hang of it.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Rex's Funeral - Part 3

We woke up around 9 or 10AM (Pacific) on Wednesday, October 7th, and slowly got ready and packed up to leave. The Friday (10/2) before we left, I accidentally left the van running with the keys in the ignition while at my shop. So the battery was not in that great of condition, but it hadn't been a problem on the trip. So while we were packing, we left the doors and trunk open to the van, which then drained what battery power we had to start the van. Luckily, the neighbor of the family friends house were were staying at was out working in his garage and was kind enough to give us a jump.

We thanked him and continued on our way. We drove north through Sacramento and then west over to Reno. Because there was construction going on just past Auburn, California to just shy of the California/Nevada border (about 80+ miles), and then more construction every so often the rest of the way to Elko, NV... it slowed our driving to get to our destinations.

Rachel took over driving from Winnemucca to Elko. Luckily, Rachel's friend called us around 10PM to check on us just as we were pulling into Elko. We asked him to look online to see if there were any rooms available in Elko. Nothing was available. So after Rachel hung up with him, I got the idea to take out my laptop to look for any free Wi-Fi. I found free Wi-Fi (but you are only given 5 free minutes where I was). So I went straight to WendoverFun.com to get the phone number so Rachel could call it to see if there was anything available. There was, so we reserved a room at The Rainbow and I continued driving the rest of the way to Wendover. We made it into Wendover around midnight and stayed there for the night.

Woke up on Thursday, October 8th. We both got ready and I took out what I brought into the room. The van almost didn't start, but it did and so I stayed out in the van until Rachel came out with her luggage. Checked out, grabbed breakfast at BK and continued on to Salt Lake.

Made it to Salt Lake. We stopped at The Gateway and then continued on over to my parents house. I was so happy to see the girls after almost a week. They were happy to see us too. Since it was about nap time, we all took a nap and then woke up to continue on with the afternoon. TJ let me try his drums... Real drums, not the XBox 360 kind. While he was practicing, I saw our old NES (Nintendo) game system sitting there in the basement. So I rounded up the NES box, the paddles, cables and the games that I use to play and wanted. I have still yet to hook it up to our TV.

For dinner, we had steak... Yes, this is the first beef steak that I have eaten in ... (let's see... 2009-1996) 12+ years. Not bad, but I know I have not missed out on eating steak. We relaxed after dinner and then called it a night.

Woke up on Friday, October 9th around noon. This was the first day that we have really had a chance to relax. Since we were in no rush to get home, we made a short list of things that needed to be done before we left for home. Number one, replace the battery in the van. My dad and I did that. After that, Rachel and I headed over to my relatives house to help them with some wireless internet problems. We sat around and chatted for a bit before we took off. Rachel and I stopped and had lunch at Paradise Bakery. We ate there back in April, but when you are sick, you really can't enjoy it as much as I did this time. They are a chain eating establishment, so if you can stop by one, do it!

Stopped at Target to get a few snacks for the ride home. Drove back to my parents place to start loading up the van. Because of the doll house, the van was very packed. We finally left around 7PM and made it home around 12AM. Normally, I hook my iPod touch to the back of my head rest so the girls can watch movies... But as you can see, we had to use my old iPod video -- totally white trash version of a DVD player. Hey, it worked.

Like I said, we made it home around 12AM and walked up to the door. Guess what was there waiting for me...? My iPod touch. A refurbished one. Who knows how long it had been sitting there. Sadly, I didn't have this one in my possession too long either. Something was preventing music/audio and/or videos from being played on it (yes, I tried the 5 R's). So I had to take it back to Best Buy yesterday to be replaced again. There is a lesson for you-- BUY THE WARRANTIES!!!

But it was good to be back home after a very busy week. We can't thank everyone enough for their help and generosity to make it so we had an stress-less week without the girls and for those who helped us out so much in California.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rex's Funeral - Part 2

Woke up on Tuesday, October 6th, got ready and we drove over to the church before the service actually started (got there at 8:45). We had the viewing (from 9 until 10AM) and then had the funeral service (from 10 to 11AM) in the chapel. After the service ended after an hour (the only time I have never complained to get out of church, nor look at the clock) we finished up and then for those who wanted to, we would drive all the way to Sonora (the way that Rex told Rachel how to drive it, and how I followed her back in April). We made it up to Sonora just in time and proceeded with the grave side service (1PM). I was one of the pallbearers, so they couldn't start without me. Since Rex always had a story to tell us, the one giving the grave side service asked people to stand up and tell a story about Rex. Immediately, a Jerry Seinfeld joke came to my mind during this:

"According to most studies, people's number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you're better off in the casket than doing the eulogy."

For me, this quote/joke is true... Well, I should say that I would be doing anything other than talking in public. I really wanted to tell a story, but the first thing I could think about would be better told by Rachel to everyone else. So I whispered it into Rachel's ear. When she had a chance, Rachel stood up and starts the story this way:

(I know I might be screwing this story up from the way Rachel told it, but this is from what I remember...)

Rachel told about she called Rex a few days after she and I had eloped back in 2006.
"Dad, I have been dating this boy Ryan. Well, we have decided to take it further and we decided to drive down to Las Vegas and elope."
"(Curiously) Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.............................." he thought, "Are you pregnant?"
"No dad."
"Well congratulations!"

Well, a few months went by and we found out that we were going to be expecting twins. Since Rex was always the last to know any kind of news from family that lived far away from him, she told everyone how she thought that it would be great to tell him first.

"Dad, I have some news."
"You're pregnant?"
"Yep."
"Well congratulations!"
"I have some more great news."
This stumped Rex, since he was a good guesser. "Well, you've got me. I'm stumped."
"It's twins," said Rachel.

She said that she had never heard him laugh so hard for 5 minutes. This made me tear up.

I never did stand up and tell my story, because I'm not brave enough to speak in public, my voice is too deep/low and I knew that I would lose it. Since I wanted to tell my story, I told it to Rachel, Aubrey and Heidi as we were heading up to their grandma's house to pick up and load up their doll house that Rex made for them years ago.

My story was about the first time I met Rex... 3 months after Rachel and I were married:

It was a few days after Christmas and a few days before my accident. I had just gotten off of a late shift at Lin's and was heading to my car to drive home. Before I could get in my car, I looked up to see a van with Rex and Aubrey pull in the parking lot and head towards my car. They got out and we greeted each other. He also had that steady, overprotected, "You married my daughter, boy... And I'm going to be watching you like a hawk"-look on his face. But I think he did that to scare me... It didn't work. I was happy to see and greet him. Plus, he warmed right up and started telling me stories.

But what I also remember before we shook hands is that Rachel told me about how he would shake peoples hand with his 3-fingered hand (from a work accident that happened in the early 1980's), and wiggle the knuckles of the two missing fingers in your palm, causing a weird tickling feeling. He never did that to me... But I was bracing for it when I did shake his hand, just in case he did try to pull that on me.


Sorry to get off subject, but I thought I would tell that. After the funeral, there was a luncheon at Rex & Bonita's (Rex's mother) church in Sonora (2PM). We found our way to the church, sat around talking to other friends and family members while we ate. After an hour or two, we changed into regular clothes since all the services were over.

Since Rachel's mom decided she wanted to visit her childhood home in Stockton. So Heidi and Aubrey came with Rachel and I to Rachel's grandma's house to quickly get and load the Barbie doll house into the back of the van that Rex made for them years ago (4/5PM) and then head over to go have dinner at her Aunt Mariann and Uncle Justin's house... Nope. Not so easy as we had originally thought. The Barbie house was out in a shed called the "Chinchilla House" (Rex's family tried to raise chinchilla's years ago, but it never worked out). Not only was it out there, Rex built shelves over it which caused us to first try to take off the bottom wheels to wiggle it out. That didn't work. So I had to saw off a leg of the shelf just to slide the doll house out and then put the leg back so that it could continue to support the other items on the shelves. An hour and half had passed. I was planning to spend 30 minutes. But after getting that loaded, we finally drove over to her aunt and uncles house for dinner (7 PM). We ate and sat around and chatted about times gone by.

Since it was getting late (9/10PM), and since I was starting to have difficulty breathing thanks to my asthma, we knew we had to call it a night since we also had to drive back to Modesto. The girls and I talked and joked about all sorts of different things. We made it back to Modesto just in time-- Because we all had a hard and busy day, Rachel was starting to sing camp songs just out of random. But crawled into bed and went to bed.

Coming up, Wednesday through Friday...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Rex's Funeral

On Sunday, October 4th, my mom (who was in Mesquite with my grandma and aunt) stopped by our place to picked up the girls so she and my family could watch them in Salt Lake City while Rachel and I were in California. I spent the rest of that evening so bored! But I packed and went to bed early since we had to be getting up early too.

On Monday, October 5th, we woke up, loaded up the van and headed down to Las Vegas to meet up with Rachel's mom and two sisters. We continued on our way to Modesto. The last time I had driven past Las Vegas, was in 1990 when my family (minus dad) went to stay a week in San Diego. It brought back some memories. We first stopped in Baker, and then in Tehachapi for bathroom breaks. But "we were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold..."* Sorry, had to add that. We were not on any drugs... Unless you count Excedrin for the head aches/migraines that we were getting throughout this trip.

Rachel took over in driving from Tehachapi. But we stopped in Bakersfield for lunch. Kept on driving until we finally made it to Modesto. Stopped at a couple stores to grab food before we went over to the houses we were staying at. After unloading, we all went to have dinner at Chevy's and chat. Because I had a migraine (this is why Rachel took over the driving), I went to bed once we got back to the house we were staying at, because we would have to be up early the next morning again for the funeral services and I didn't want a migraine when I woke up.

Coming up, Tuesday...

* Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas