Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Letter 2010

Merry Christmas everyone! Well...I guess it's Boxing Day now, but it's the thought that counts. We were unable to send our newsletter or a family picture via mail this year, so here is the document. You might also see it in your email or on Facebook...we're trying all options in an attempt to reach all of our wonderful friends and family. Our Christmas season was very enjoyable and we hope you also had a Merry Christmas and will have a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Family Picture (Singular)

Family pictures were a little different this year. Instead of several good shots, we have just one. Yep, one shot. And you won't be getting a wallet or 3x5 or anything else because we only have one single print this year. I suppose it's for the best - our family portrait is no longer complete with just the four of us.

And of course I had to do the obligatory photo mosaic! There are now 15,290 pictures from our marriage to select from and 10,000 tiles in the mosaic. I don't think it turned out quite as well as last year's, but good nonetheless.

In case you noticed...this is also the first picture I've released after my weight loss. I'm down 32 pounds in the family picture and now I'm down 37 lbs.!!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Alfred Burt Carols

Every Christmas season I'm amazed at how few people have ever heard of the Alfred Burt carols. Some of my favorite carols were written by him, and I've got to share some of them with you lovely people.

Alfred Burt (pictured above) had the perfect background for a Christmas carol composer: son of a pastor, and a trained jazz musician. Having a deep love of the Savior and a knowledge of when to use a C711 chord, he composed 15 beautiful carols as Christmas cards for family and friends every year from 1942 to 1954.

Sadly, he died at age 33 from cancer after finishing his Magnum opus (and my favorite Alfred Burt carol) "The Star Carol" just 24 hours before his death. Listen to this version by Simon and Garfunkel and remember that it is literally the last words of a talented and faithful young man...

Cynthia and I perform this version in church every couple of years. It's just too beautiful for words. Chokes me up often.


John Williams (please tell me you've heard of him) did two medleys of Alfred Burt carols during his tenure with the Boston Pops. Below is one of them. At the six minute mark is another one of my favorites, "Caroling, Caroling", which sounds as much fun as caroling should be.


The last one I'd like to share is "Some Children See Him".  James Taylor sang a well-known version of it a couple years ago which I think is bloated, self-indulgent, and loses the simplistic beauty of the original. I prefer a simpler arrangement, like the one below by Perry Como. (It's also in the medley above at 7:30)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Carl Bloch Exhibit

I can't think of many words to introduce this post. Basically, there's a Carl Bloch exhibit at BYU for the next six months. I couldn't miss it, so we stopped to see it on our drive to Hurricane. It was a once-in-a-lifetime exhibit, and the spirit was pretty strong there.

The above painting is 9' x 10'. BYU purchased it in 2001 and it's been the signature piece of their art museum ever since. It was stirring, but the reason the exhibit was such a rare one is because of the altarpieces. There were four other altarpieces present (like the painting at the top of the post) that have never been removed from their respective churches before. A few of them were still in the full woodwork of the this:

In short, it was a great exhibit and I'm glad I made time for it. If you're remotely close to BYU in the next 6 months, I highly recommend it.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Spiders Everywhere

Holy geez, there are a lot of spiders here. Luckily, I don't mind spiders that much and I think their webs can be quite pretty, but my arachnophobia-meter has climbed a notch or two since moving to OR.

A spider has taken up permanent residence in my motorcycle. Every night it builds a beautiful web from the left handlebar down to the front fender. I've only seen the spider once - it quickly scurried into the wiring of the dash. No idea how it stays on the motorcycle at 70 mph. I hope it wears a helmet.

I was playing with the boys at a playground a few weeks ago when Jordan asked me to kill a tiny spider on the monkey bars. I reached up high with one finger and tried to smash it on the top of the bar where it was sitting, but instead I just swept it toward me. it landed in the corner of my right eye and it BIT ME! By the raise of hands, how many people have had a spider bite in their freakin' eye???

My brother-in-law had a possible run-in with a Hobo Spider and the resultant necrosis was not pretty. I checked out the region that Hobos live in...yeah, they're everywhere in Oregon. I'm always on the lookout now. Paranoia will save me.

A whole league of spiders lives on our front balcony. No amount of cleaning can remove their presence. It's quite common to open the door and see a spider hanging down in the doorway. Yesterday I went outside for 60 seconds and had a spider crawling on my shirt when I came back inside. Gross, gross, gross.

Rejoice in your hatred of spiders by reading the following blogs (caution: language):

Hyperbole and a Half

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I'm Thankful for Brining

If there were one culinary lesson I could teach the world, it would be "how to bake a cookie". Most people have made cookies before, but very few have done it correctly. But if there were a SECOND culinary lesson I could teach the world, it would be "how to brine a Thanksgiving turkey". And I just happen to have that lesson handy!

Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to take things up a notch in the kitchen. I went to a group Thanksgiving a few years ago where the couple in charge of veggies got freezer peas, tossed on some super-processed shredded cheese and threw it in the microwave...I almost flipped. This is a time for homemade goodness and the elimination of anything processed. That includes the turkey, which is usually the most processed portion of any Thanksgiving meal.

Sad as it may seem, turkey is not good meat; it is inherently very dry and tasteless. If you buy a Butterball turkey, you're buying a turkey with loads of additive juices that compensate for the juice lost in cooking. Though it does keep the turkey somewhat moist, it tastes processed and prevents you from adding any flavor.

The solution to the turkey problem is brining. Brining tenderizes the bird and adds more juices to the turkey than those artificial additives - and the juice can be flavored any way you want! If you brine this year, I promise you will never cook a turkey the same way again.

Step 1 - Obtain a five-gallon bucket and a FRESH turkey. Home Depot has the above bucket for about 3 bucks. The fresh turkey is a bit more difficult to find. All frozen turkeys are processed and self-basting, so you can't use them - the brining process won't work. It has to be a fresh turkey with minimal processing. You can usually find them at Whole Foods, New Seasons, Trader Joe's, or Aldi. (I think that covers most everyone who reads this blog). I usually wait to buy until the day before Thanksgiving because the turkeys are cheaper.

Step 2 - Make the brine. A brine is nothing more than salt water; the basic rule of them is 1/2 cup of salt per gallon of water. There will eventually be two gallons of water in the bucket, so you need 1 cup of salt. You can add whatever flavors you want, but here's what I do: I get a gallon of chicken broth and boil it with 1 cup of kosher salt, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, a tablespoon of peppercorns, tablespoon of allspice berries, and two tablespoons of fresh ginger. The boiling is just to dissolve the salt. I let it sit in the fridge until cool and then plop it into the bucket. Doesn't look pretty, but it will taste great. Trust me.

Step 3 - Place the bird in the solution. The turkey needs to sit in the brine at least 6 hours. I like to brine it over night for good measure. Place the breast-up first because you want the breast to be as juicy as possible when it's ready for the oven/fryer.

Step 5 - Add a gallon of ice water to the solution to keep it cold. Back in WI, I'd cover the bucket with plastic wrap and place it in the garage because it was just as cold as the fridge. If you're somewhere warmer, place it in the fridge or a cooler.

Step 6 - Halfway through the brining time, flip the bird over so it's breast-down.

That's it. You now know the sacred art of brining a turkey. It can now be cooked in any method you choose and the turkey will turn out perfectly, every time. I use the same brining method when roasting a chicken or duck, just with a smaller 3-gallon bucket (an old BYU creamery bucket!)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Fetal FAQ

Having a baby changes everything, so people have lots of questions. Here are the answers to most frequently asked questions we've had the past week.

When are you due?

June 23rd.

How far along are you?

A whopping 6 weeks.

How long were you trying? Was it an 'oops'?

Not an oops; quite intentional. Though we only tried for a total of one month.

Do you want a boy or a girl?

Neither one of us has any strong feelings. We wanted a girl both times with Jordan and Carter, so you see how well wishful thinking works. Now that we've been specializing in boys for 7 years, I'm very worried about relearning how to parent a girl, not to mention the extra expenses that girls create over their lifetime.

Does this mean you're buying a house?

No. Still can't afford it. We're getting close though; one or two more stable years should do it. We will have to move from our tiny apartment though. Hooray!

Why so long in between kids? Were you planning on raising separate families?

First of all, I don't think a five year interval is that long. We neither prevented or tried to have kids the past 5 years. I guess it just wasn't time. Cynthia finally got baby hungry enough that I couldn't ignore it any longer.

Any names picked out?

We've had a boy name picked out for years now, but Jordan told us that he thinks it sounds "evil". Hmmpf. As for a girly name, no...we haven't found one we both like.

Does TLC (The Lovely Cynthia) have more marathon plans?

Heh. No. I think a half was enough for her.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Half Marathon, Plus.

I am so proud of my wife! She ran a half marathon yesterday, but this wasn't JUST a half marathon...

I got Friday afternoon off of work so we could all head to Hermiston, OR to pick up Cynthia's race packet before the 5 pm deadline. The trip was uneventful and blazingly fast (85ish MPH). Upon reaching Hermiston, I pulled out the directions to get to the conference center. Long story short, I was so focused on the directions that I didn't see the speed limit of 25 in an area (right by a high school) that really should have been 35. Ergo, I got a ticket for going 40 in a 25. That's my first ticket in 14 years. $190.

Eventually we got the packet and traveled 30 mins to Kennewick were we were staying with the Jakemans. Thanks again, guys. We talked, we ate carbo-licious spaghetti, we played games...and then we went to bed at a perfectly respectable 10:30.

The kids however, had a different plan. Our boys were still awake playing with Calan when I went to bed. Sierra woke up at 4 am and wanted some food. That's when Cynthia woke up and she didn't catch any more winks until after the race. Then Carter, who I have named "Pipes" after our last long-distance drive, lived up to his name by puking at 5 am...and many times thereafter. This caused us to leave the house late and get to the race 6 minutes late. Going the wrong way didn't help either.

Needless to say, Cynthia was extremely nervous.

But she did it. She really, really did it! Four months of preparing, and she stuck through it all.

As soon as we got to the finish line to cheer her on, everything seemed to go right. She felt great, Pipes wasn't sick, and I...didn't get any more speeding tickets... It was a great day. But the real reason this was no ordinary half marathon and I'm incredibly proud of her is because....

She did it while pregnant!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Kids Say the Darndest Things, Part III

Whenever we collect 12 or more sidebar quotes from the boys, the oldest ten are archived into a post. You can find the previous editions in the following links:  Part I  Part II

Carter - "Guys! Guys! Mount Hood is so snowy. If you're going you should bring a snow ball thrower!"
It's amazing how quickly kids learn strategic negotiations and manipulations. Carter saw a snow ball launcher at REI just a few days before our trip to Mt Hood. He wanted it but we politely told him that there's never enough snow in Portland to warrant a snow ball launcher. Once we got to Mt Hood and saw glaciers, he knew there was a way to argue his point. Still not buying it though, kiddo.

Carter - "The moon is a tall glass of water."

Most people would say that the full moon is rather large, but Carter loves expressions. ...We love the way he misuses expressions.

Jordan - "Mommy, did you know if you believe in Santa he really is real?! You should try."
So Jordan asked us upfront last Christmas if Santa was real. Not one to lie to her kids, Cynthia told him the truth. Ever since then, Jordan has been telling us evidences of Santa's veracity. It's pretty cute.

Carter - "Mom, it's taking a long time for me to get old. I've just been waiting for it ALL DAY!"
It's cute how much Carter wants to grow up. He's asked us to measure his height twice in one day and he loves showing his 'strong arm' (right arm) off to anyone who will listen.

Carter - "Blow out the candle and we could put it on again and it will say ' I'm Alive!' "
There's a cartoon on Animaniacs that stars the tiny candle flame Thomas Jefferson used while writing the Declaration of Independence. At one point the flame is blown out but then comes back to life saying the above line. So Carter thought it would be fun if our dinner table candles did the same thing. By the way, how cool is it that my kids know Animaniacs cartoons by heart?

Jordan - "Carter, guess what Daddy is the leader of - the whole family. And Mommy is the leader of the whole family. And guess what I'm the leader of? YOU!" Carter - "I like you, Jordan"
Jordan the power-monger. Carter the brown-noser.
Carter - "But seals eat fish. They eat big fish without even mixing it."
Amazing what you learn at the zoo!

Jordan- "Wow! I've never seen the rain, Rain so much!"
This was right after we moved to Portland. He does have a point...
Mommy - "Carter are you still hot? " Carter- " Ummm ... mmhh! But the hot is hiding on my back."
Carter, sitting in his car seat, was right in the sunlight during a long trip. We got the sun out of his eyes and inquired of his status a few minutes later.

Carter- "I really liked my batman fishing pole, but my batman fishing pole was killed. So I just got another one." (said sadly)
By 'killed' he means that he dropped his pole in the lake. Carter prefers the spearing method of fishing over the traditional line method. Sheesh.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Then and Now

October 2007

The more things change...

 September 2010

...the more they stay the same.

The Disney Store had a sale on pajamas, and we couldn't resist. You know, I already miss the days when our kids were that young. I wonder how many years it will be before they completely outgrow Toy Story.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Magnificent 7

Jordan turned seven! ...Hold the phone... I have a seven-year-old? I swear I'm not mature enough for this.

We decided last year to have a family-only party every other year and so this was the first birthday just for the fam. Jordan asked us to compensate for the lack of friends by buying him an extra present and catering to his every whim (he's a great negotiator).

Jordan's favorite color is green and his second-bestest color is blue, so the whole party was based on the above color palette.

The big gifts of the night were the Lego Star Wars sets. Now he not only has a Lego Star Wars t-shirt and computer game, he also has the mucho expensive lego sets as well. I hate to admit it, but I had a blast building those darn things. Legos are so much cooler than when I was a kid.

Here's the cake that Jordan chose. He wanted a 'blueberry cake with blueberries in it with blue frosting, green frosting numbers (1-6), a number 7 candle, and blueberries on top" (we put the blueberries on later). The cake was from scratch (as always) and though I've never attempted a blueberry cake before, it was a giant blueberry muffin.

I just can't believe how fast he's grown. We're very proud of him and how far he's come - it's been a long time since he was our little "Squishy". Happy birthday, Jordan.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Inception of Confusion: A Detailed Analysis

Note: all the charts in this post are expandable by clicking on them. You'll thank me later.

This post may be a bit late to the party, but I was made aware that people are still experiencing Inception for the first time, so here goes...

I love Christopher Nolan movies. Inception has joined a fond place in my analytical mind right beside other Nolan classics like Memento, The Dark Knight, and The Prestige. The writing, cinematography, direction, tightly created philosophies...they're all spot on. I'm glad I convinced TLC to watch Inception with me - I was in cinematic heaven.

Here's a funny little video of how Inception SHOULD have ended. For those of you who haven't seen the film (...or Juno), the video won't make any sense. But for those of you who have seen Inception, well...the rest of this post may not make any sense either...

I spent at least an hour one day checking out Great stuff.

Many, many people have reported feeling very confused about what was going on in Inception. Personally, I don't see where the confusion is coming from...and I'll tell you why. In a well-made film with a cohesive plot and story, there are really only two ways to confuse the modern audience: non-linear storytelling, or alternate timelines.

Nonlinear Storytelling:
(TLC wants me to inform you that I've only seen the edited version of this film and, consequently, cannot recommend the unedited version for your viewing pleasure.)

I'm not talking about a simple flashback when I say nonlinear storytelling. Flashbacks are devices used to show the explanation or thought of a past event in the present. Nonlinear storytelling is a deliberate device to obfuscate the story for an audience or increase suspense and drama, not enlighten as the flashbacks in Inception do.

An early Christopher Nolan film, Memento is a beauty of nonlinear storytelling. The protagonist is a former detective with no short-term memory (which is a real condition) who is trying to get revenge for the murder of his wife. In order to put the audience through the same experience as the protagonist, an elaborate edit of the story is used:

The opening scene is the last event in the story. The second scene (which is black and white) is the first event in the story. Then the next scene (back to color) is the second to last event and the scene after that (B&W again) is the second event in the story! So the movie switches from telling the ending of the story in backward order and telling the beginning of the story in the correct order but in black and white. The movie eventually meets at the middle of the story (and transitions from B&W to color), and that's the closing scene. The plot versus story editing is so masterfully done and so CONFUSING that the following graph was produced to illustrate what's going on.

I had to spend a few minutes just trying to understand the graph!

If you've got a really keen eye, you probably already saw that the first scene (the upper left-most red line) is moving in a different direction than all the other lines. That's because the first scene is played out in reverse, so the first frame of the film is literally the final second of the story. Wow!

In comparison, Inception makes use of nonlinear storytelling, but to a MUCH lesser extent. The opening two minutes of the film is close to the last thing to happen chronologically. I'm not even sure why, it's a nice touch but unnecessary to the presentation of the plot.

But as confusing as Memento may be, it can't even hold a candle to this next film.

Alternate Timelines:

Primer was a small independent film that came out in 2004. It was shot on one of the smallest budgets I've ever heard of and is still the most confusing and one of the smartest films I've ever witnessed. Primer is about two buddies (Aaron and Abe) who accidentally discover time travel ("Oops!") and have to face the ethical dilemmas their machine (which they simply call "the box") creates in their own unique styles.

Just the method by which the time travel is depicted is extremely smart. So smart, the chart below was produced to explain it.

What? No DeLorean?

The dialogue in Primer assumes that Aaron and Abe know so much about physics that they have no need to explain it to each other, so heavy physics nomenclature is used and the audience is left out of the typical "dumbed-down Star Trek explanations" of what stuff does. For instance, you've just got to know that Palladium can be found in a catalytic converter...there's no explanation in the film as to why Aaron is cutting one out of his car.

So here's my point: a smidgen of the "confusion" from Inception may come from the use of alternate timelines. You see, there isn't just one 'reality' being played out - there are five (or six) during the climax of the film: Airplane (which is reality), Bridge, Hotel, Snow Zone, and Limbo (with the sixth timeline possibility of Cobb being placed in an artificial happy ending...though I perceived it as reality). But all events of the timelines are shown and they're all in chronological order, so it's really easy to follow.

Primer has NINE timelines. I can't designate them by different locations like in Inception as they all happen in the same geographic area. The timelines aren't presented in chronological order (...I think?), and only seven timelines are shown in the film! The initial timeline isn't even in the movie - it's just assumed!!! It's so completely confusing that (are you noticing a trend?) there's a graph of the various timelines below. Only the yellow sections of the graph are in the movie - all the blue is just implied. I spent at least an hour thinking through the graph...and I'm still a little fuzzy on how a minor third character, Granger, found out about 'the box'.

I was hopelessly lost through the final 20 minutes of the film. And I still loved it. If you have Netflix Instant, I highly recommend spending an evening trying to figure out Primer. You will never, ever again be confused by a wide-release film like Inception.

By the way, Primer is so confusing that it was even used as a punchline in the following comic (which is extremely well-done) from the uber-geeky xkcd.

Friday, September 17, 2010

First Days

Ahh, Autumn. How I love thee. I love the pomegrantes, pecans, and pumpkins. I love the fall leaves and hot chocolate evenings. I love the smell of stoked chimneys in the neighborhood. And I love the structure that returns to our household when the kids are back in school!

The patriotic first-grader.

Jordan loves the idea that now he has homework. No idea how long that excitement will last.

Carter also started preschool this year! Unfortunately it's not a state-funded program in Oregon, but I still think it will be worth the tuition. Carter already had a field trip where he collected fruits and vegetables from a local farm. He seemed very pleased when we put out his produce as a centerpiece on the dinner table and then tried them all.

Can you tell he's a naturalized cheesehead?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Better Board Games Part 2: Exclusives

I think I'm writing this because I'm getting depressed that I can't find any local board-gaming couples to play games at our house. On Sunday we called about 6 families to invite them for dinner and games. The first 5 didn't answer their phones, the sixth couple said 'yes', but then canceled. Do they hate having fun? Don't they know how well I cook? Should I just take a hint?...

Anyway, as I've stated before in the first Better Board Games post (which is practically required reading around here), we have a large collection of designer board games not found in the average American household. To reiterate, a better board game has the following characteristics:

  1. Most important, it has to be FUN.
  2. It should be EYE-CATCHING. Just like with great cuisine, the gaming experience is enhanced if it's pleasing to look at.
  3. It should require players to make CHOICES. This is what draws people into games. No roll-and-move games accepted here.
  4. It should be EASY TO TEACH in less than 5 minutes. Any longer, and most people will shut off their ears. True story.
  5. It must be SOCIAL. In board games, you're meant to have fun with other people. The best games promote conversation among those playing.
I listed five examples in the first post. Here I'd like to highlight five more examples, but this time the games are rare finds even by collectors' standards. So if you'd ever like to play these games you MUST COME TO OUR HOUSE...please???


Crokinole is simple flicking game reminiscent of shuffleboard on a round surface. This is one of my three favorite games and we play it more regularly than anything else. I love the above photo because it really shows the spirit of Crokinole: generations playing together, a well-worn surface from MANY games, and excitement over every single flick.

Why it's rare: A typical board can cost $150-$500. I decided to make my own board instead of pony up the cost.

Mississippi Queen

Mississippi Queen was the 1997 winner of the 'Oscars' of board games: Spiel des Jahres. It's basically a steamboat race down the Mississippi River, but you don't know what's coming next on the river, and you have to slow down to pick up passengers on the way. I never know what to expect on this one (except fun). 

Why it's rare: This game has been out-of-print in the USA for many years. Boo. You can still find it internationally, but the price is much higher than when it was in print. I was lucky enough to find someone on Ebay willing to sell it for less than 1/2 of its value.


Go is the greatest game ever made. Let me repeat that, Go is the greatest game ever made. One philosopher stated that God's closet has one board game - Go. Simple enough to learn in 5 minutes, yet mastery takes a lifetime.

Why it's rare: Truth be told, this isn't a rare game but most Westerners haven't heard about it as it's of Oriental origin. Instead, we perceive a European game, Chess, as 'the master game'. I hate Chess, but love Go. Also, it can get pricey. Really nice sets can cost $10,000+ but my still-quite-nice set was 1/100 of that.

PitchCar / PitchCar Mini

Another flicking game like Crokinole, but this one has a building component. You build a race track out of various curves, straights, and jumps before flicking wooden cars around three laps. The best games come unbelievably close to the wire and have a few wild shots that jump off the table. Lots of funny moments here. I made some custom Nintendo character discs and a new rule set for my copy...I call it Mario PitchKart.

Why it's rare: Well, first of all, this isn't made out of cardboard. It's wooden and therefore, pricey. Second, the publisher of this game doesn't really make anything else so they don't have a great distribution system; it's hard to find in stock. We have Pitchcar Mini instead of the larger version because the full-size track wouldn't fit on our table!

Nexus Ops

This game is different from all the rest on this list in that it is an American game. Nexus Ops is a corporate battle for resources on an alien planet that always seems to turn into an intense game of 'King of the Hill'. And did I mention it glows under black lights??? Seriously, that makes it awesome by any standards.

Why it's rare: Nexus Ops used to sell for practically nothin' at Toys R Us. But the stores didn't keep the game on shelves long enough for it to become popular. Now that the game has a huge cult following, it's out of print. I had to order it from Australia.

I hope this convinces you all to answer your phone the next time I call. ;)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Voodoo Who-do?

I finally convinced Cynthia to try out that Portland classic, Voodoo Doughnut. I don't think it's any coincidence that the doughnut shop is located right across the street from this sign:

If you're lucky enough to visit Voodoo when there's not a line around the entire block, you'll step into the building and feel like you've stepped into another realm. Seriously, it looks more like something out of a Lewis Carroll book than a kitchen inspected by the health department.

Merchandise and doughnut names that would make a politician blush are strewn across the store. Not exactly a place to take the family. But man, those are good doughnuts. Here's a pic of the best three we tried out...

(clockwise from left) Mango Tango, Voodoo Doll, and Maple Bacon Bar

Mango Tango is mango-filled with Tang powder on top. I couldn't believe how perfectly balanced the mango flavor was with a doughnut! Why aren't these suckers sold everywhere?

Voodoo Doll is aptly named. A doughnut shaped like a voodoo doll with bloody raspberry filling and a pretzel stick needle for good measure. It's a standard jelly-filled doughnut, but the raspberry jelly is really, really good. Strong flavor and sweet, just the way it should be.

Maple Bacon Bar. I've said it on this blog before and I'll prob'ly say it again: bacon is the candy bar of meats and it fits perfectly on a maple bar. Kind of like having a a pancake-bacon-doughnut breakfast in one easy package. By far my favorite Voodoo doughnut...perhaps my favorite doughnut anywhere. Just to rest your fears, the bacon isn't limp or fatty; it's perfectly crisp and dry. I wouldn't be surprised if they use pre-cooked bacon for it. 

They boys also tried a Double Bubble, TLC tried a Grape Ape and Neapolitan. I'm still trying to work up the courage to order a doughnut that looks delicious but has an unsavory name (that I won't mention) - the doughnut has Oreos with a peanut butter glaze.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Splish Splash

For Labor Day weekend, we drove to Kennewick, WA to visit the Jakemans. I haven't seen our ol' BYU Quad 5 buddies since graduation. Now a mere four hours away, our schedules finally aligned and we were able to visit for a long weekend of fun. Thanks for inviting us into your home and entertaining us, guys.

I was never able to get a photo of their whole family because their oldest kiddo, Calan, was too busy doing this...

Jordan is one creepy Sith.

Despite the fun we had catching up, during the weekend I was harshly reminded of the fact that water sports and I do not mix.

At a waterpark, I hurt my sinus (is that even possible?) on the water slides, made a fool of myself bodyboarding, and was even stung by a wasp...IN MY MOUTH!

I also cut up my toe bodyboarding, cut my thumb while kayaking on the Columbia, scratched up my back in the waterpark's lazy river (of all places), and my sunburn is quite severe.

Then, to complete the weekend, we went paddle boarding.

Personally, I think the whole paddle board idea is pretty cool. Kind of like driving a gondola or walking on water. And how hard could it be?

TLC stood up with ease...

David was paddle boarding with a child on board...

Rebekah paddle jeans...without the need for vision...and without her hearing aids.

So I, with my amazing physique, couldn't possibly fail.

Fail #1

Fail #2


The Columbia River is a cold, cold place, my friends. Cold and heartless.

More Jakeman Pics