Monday, April 28, 2008

The bachelor party

My brother in law Danny is getting married May 9th, and we helped him celebrate the final days of his bachelorhood in grand style.

Look how truly BA we are!

Seriously, we had a lot of fun - I'm glad I ended up with brothers in law that love to have fun.

You can read about it all here: Linky

Back in the saddle again

Well... my two week leave of absence from work has ended and I couldn't be happier. Well, I could ALWAYS be HAPPIER (think independently wealthy, with a cabin in the boulder mountains, ATV's, snowmobiles, guns and ammo to shoot critters, etc...), but within the realm of immediate plausibility I think I'm doing pretty well:
  • In the first place, my employer was kind enough to grant me the leave of absence I needed so badly in order finish my bachelors degree at Utah State University this semester (thanks ADP!).
  • Second, I ACTUALLY DID IT!!! I had to complete a Science of Sound class, which turned out to be more of a physics/math class than the "history of music" class I hoped it was (be warned!) - I haven't taken a math class in years and I had to hire a tutor to help me get started. Still, I was able to finish the entire class in about 1.5 weeks, which is amazing to me.
  • I also finished my Senior thesis, which is another story...
I commission in the Army as a 2nd Lieutenant on the 2nd of May, and then I will officially graduate on May 3rd. I am so happy that I don't know what to do! If you listen very closely, you can hear my parents breathing a sigh of relief that their oldest son has finally graduated. You can also hear my mother wringing her hands at the thought of her son in a combat zone.

I am very happy to be done - life seems to have so much savor now. My dad says that life just gets harder, but I have to echo my sister's sentiments - next year I won't be working 4/10's so I can get up at 5 AM every Thursday to drive to Logan and "play Army" all day, while I write my senior thesis and finish a physics class.

I commission at 10:00 AM, May 2nd, at Utah State University - my long suffering wife and my patient mother will be pinning the gold bars on me, Sgt First Class Lawrell Cook (the man who was perservering enough to make sure I got into LTC at Ft. Knox at the last minute back in 2005!) will give me my first salute, and Lt. Colonel (Retired) S. Rand Curtis (who is everything I want to be as an officer) will adminster the officer's oath to me.

I'm almost sad to be leaving the USU ROTC - even though most of the men and women I've met there have moved on. They are all over the world now - in various bases in across the United States as well as Germany, Korea, Alaska, Iraq, Afghanistan, and probably other places I don't know about. We all went through the same initiation:
  • Looking for that blasted missing land nav stake at Temple Fork
  • Suffering near cardiac arrest as we crossed a freezing river/lake under a zodiac boat
  • Turning around at the 1 mile mark by Aggie Village during the APFT
  • Having Jacob Harris kick you off "his" computer in the cadet lounge
  • Playing Halo and talking trash in the cadet lounge
  • Trying to hoist a ruck sack up the side of a cliff for the Jim Bridger Challenge
  • Having LTC Curtis greet you with "Hello Handsome!" and then seconds later comment that your ears, hands, face, or nose is the "freakiest body appendage in our organization"
  • Listening to Clint Edwards and/or myself muse on the benefits of a Red Dawn or Zombie Uprising scenario
  • Being brainwashed into thinking that no real man would play Ultimate Frisbee or wear ankle socks
The list could go on and on. I can only look forward to what the future holds. Keep your fingers crossed.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Breaking Todd into the derby

My little brother Todd (who is now taller than me), accompanied us tonight on what has become a family tradition (thanks to my brother in law Mike) - THE ROLLER DERBY!

I told Becca that before the night was out I would get a picture of Todd with his arm around a derby girl. Little did we know that it would be the QUEEN of all derby girls: Dirty Pirate Hooker! (I can only wonder what my mother will think when she reads this - you might want to call me Mom.)

As it turns out, Dirty Pirate Hooker (or Jenny as she is known when she's not on the flat track) is the aunt of a girl in Becca's primary class - who'd a thunk it?!

Eli doesn't look very happy in this pic, because he was cheering for the OTHER team. He'd rather have a picture with our other favorite derby girl, Honey DeLunatic! We got to meet Honey after the bout - she gave Becca some helpful advice on becoming a derby girl - I just wish I'd been handier with the camera so we could have gotten another pic of Todd with his arm around a derby girl! I guess we'll just have to wait until the next bout...

Eli is a fan... :-)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Are we there yet?

I'm taking a break from my school work right now to preserve my sanity:

My semester ends the 28th of April, and I am feverishly working to complete an entire online class in a period of two weeks (it's a long story).

Anyways... yesterday I was able to ride on a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter yesterday for the first time in about 2.5 years. I was slightly disappointed with the ride, as the pilot had the crew chief close the side doors and he didn't really do any cool maneuvers to make our stomach's jump. I guess I shouldn't complain because any ride in a helicopter is a treat.

As you can see from the pictures, there is still plenty of snow up Temple Fork Canyon.

This is me totally bragging, but yesterday I was able to physically subdue both of my brothers at the same time. Even though I'm about 20 lbs overweight, the extra weight still gives me some leverage - enough to put my brother Todd in the rear naked choke hold (I own you man!). Needless to say, Todd will probably be kicking my butt very shortly after reading this... (Todd, just remember when you have ME in the choke hold, that when I start tapping your arm, that means I give up/am about to pass out and you can let go.)

The funny thing about our little grappling match is that my little sister Leesa was worried that Todd was choking (that's why it's called a choke hold Leesa) whereas my mother was mostly concerned that we didn't break her bannister - you can tell she's been the mother of three boys for quite some time now.

What I'm really trying to say is that I'm SO HAPPY that my brother Todd has come home from his mission! I've missed that kid so much; our family feels complete again.

And happy birthdays this week Leesa and Laurie!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Here we go again...

...same old stuff again.


My little brother Todd is nearing the end of his two year mission service in Peru! My parents, and my two youngest sibling are in country with him right now - touring some of the amazing wonders of the country and meeting many of the people Todd associated with while he was down there.

Todd is amazing - he's overcome many challenges that life has thrown at him and has become an outstanding individual that anyone would admire and emulate. I'm excited to see him when he gets home this Thursday - I only wish I could have gotten the time off work to go down and pick him up.


President Monson can wiggle his ears - who would have thunk it?



I talked to certain county's Sheriff's office about the legality of a certain activity regarding hunting - I like to stay within the bounds of the law most of the time... ;-)

Anyways, the overzealous officer/dispatcher (the man on the phone wouldn't give me his name/title) told me emphatically that the bounds of the law were much stricter than I thought (in regards to this activity).

When I asked him if he knew where I could look up the laws that he was quoting, he told me that I didn't need to - his word on the matter was sufficient. I insisted, that in spite of him appearing to be an honest individual, I'd rather lookup the law myself rather than just take his word. He finally confessed that he didn't know where I would be able to look it up (I suggested the library, the internet, the county sherrif's office as places - if he could just give me the name of the ordinance/law/section of code I should look for or point me in the right direction).

This is confusing to me - I have a few friends in law enforcement that are NOT pompous jack asses... Had I asked them such a question (they aren't representatives of the county I was calling) and they didn't know the answer to my question, they would have told me as much and probably offered to get me to someone who did know the answer - anything to help an individual who is trying to comply with the law.


Filliing out my ROTC accessions packet... what branch do I want? 2 years ago, I was all set to become a helicopter pilot - now I'm not sure what I am going to do.

My top three choices are: Aviation, Engineers, and Armor

We'll see what I get :-)



I have been an assistant scoutmaster for the last 3 weeks. I work with 12-14 year old boys, and let me tell you - I have had to pull a few tricks from my Army background to help me out. My old Drill Sergeants would be proud to see me doing my part to keep these kids in line. It's quite the task since there are all extremely bright boys for their age and every single one of them has a cell phone that they are constantly talking/texting/gaming on.

Anyways, I'm pretty excited to have an excuse to go camping/fishing at least once a month now.



Have you ever had the feeling that the transormation of America into a socialist state is an eventual inevitability?

I'm not talking about "the apalling behavior of kids these days", but rather the appalling behavior of the craven masses who willingly sacrifice freedoms so that the government will take care of them and protect us from ourselves.

John McCain is a Repulican In Name Only, not much better than Hillary Cinton or Barack Obama - the people who are intent on taking away the last our personal freedoms for our own good, and lowering America to a prosperity level that will be less enviable to the rest of the world.


Becca's new haircut

Becca, her mom, and her sister all drove down to St. George this weekend - sole purpose of the trip was to get haircuts from Becca's aunt Teresa - the only person they truely trust their golden locks to.

Apparently it was worth the trip - Becca's hair is much shorter now - but the results are stunning. Thanks Teresa!