Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bad Ideas - A Picnic in the Rain

I started this blog when we were in Utah for Brooks Jr.'s blessing about a month ago, but I never finished it. The weather in Utah for the first couple of days was absolutely beautiful and with lots of family visiting and a smallish condo, we thought it would be a good idea to have a picnic at the park a couple of blocks away. Sure, the weather forecast said it might be rain and it would be cooler but we're from Washington, how bad could a little rain be?
I wish you could see it better in this picture, but it was so cold and raining much harder than it ever does in Washington. It was windy so it was raining sideways.

Of course that didn't stop the boys from playing with their radio controlled cars.

We all dressed in layers. We put on whatever we could find to keep us warm.

Brooks and his parents made the most of a very wet and cold day.

This one makes me laugh. No, Heather is not pregnant. Brooks Jr. is the only one who did not suffer from frostbite that day. He was snuggled up in a front pack and secured under his Mom's jacket.

We had hamburgers on the charcoal grill but dessert at the condo!

Everyone Needs a Hobby $$$$$$$

In addition to spending time with Heather and Brooks and their family, we have the added bonus of spending time with Jason while we are in Utah. Jason is his father's son and has taken up the hobby of running a nitro powered radio control car. His father is jealous.

It took Bob only a few minutes of driving the car before he ran it in to a curb. No problem, he was able to find the parts to fix it.

Jason doesn't change much, how often have we seen this pose?

Graduation - BYU Class of 09

We have really enjoyed spending the last few days in Utah to celebrate Brooks' graduation from BYU and the blessing of Brooks Junior. On Thursday we were able to attend the commencement where over 6,100 graduates took 1/2 hour just to enter the building. Just about every seat in the Marriott Center was filled. We heard talks from Elders Nelson and Uchdorf. On Friday each individual school had their own convocation where the graduates were recognized indivudally.

Little Brooks was a little overwhelmed by the crowds and quite unimpressed, but overall, he was pretty good. He certainly was not the only baby in the auditorium.
There were a lot of young families at graduation. It was really fun to see.
We are sure happy to have such hard working sons in law and we couldn't be prouder of Brooks.
Brooks' parents and his grandfather came in from Redmond to enjoy the celebration too. Brooks' grandfather has not missed the graduation of any of his grandchildren.
After it was all said and done, Baby Brooks was happy to be home.

Another Strange Creature in Arizona???

I always figured some day Bob would sprout horns.

Ok, actually this is a picture of Bob standing outside of a restaurant called the Longhorn Grill. It has a giant cow skull hanging over the door.

Snake Man - Keeping Your Carport Safe

When we got back from swimming one day while in Arizona, we found a snake, about 18 inches long in the carport at Grandma Lutz's house. She was pretty convinced it was a baby rattlesnake and we were pretty sure it wasn't. There was no doubt that the markings were unlike any snake we find in Washington. Grandma Lutz did not want the snake in her carport or on her patio so Bob offered to catch it and take it across the street to a desert park.

He thought he was Steve Irwin but Heather pointed out that he took one chance too many. Enjoy the video of Bob "The Crocidile Hunter" as he attempts to catch what could be a dangerous snake.

By the way, we checked it out later and we are pretty sure it was a relatively harmless, non-venemous gopher snake. Grandma is still convinced it is a rattler.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hoover Dam

Bob and I are on a road trip through the Western part of the US to visit family. We took 3 days to drive from home in Redmond to Green Valley, AZ. We left on Thursday afternoon and spent the first night in Burley, ID. The second day we stopped by to see Heather and Baby Brooks in Provo but then drove down to Henderson, NV and spent the night there. We planned on getting up kind of early in the morning to get across Hoover Dam. If you get there too late you get stuck in the traffic because there are security checkpoints to be sure you don't plan on blowing up the dam as you drive across it.

We were at Hoover Dam a few years back and the dam is an amazing thing to see in itself, but they are building a bridge that bypasses the need to drive on the dam and I'm guessing will give some pretty spectacular views to those driving over it. Bob loves to watch great feats of engineering and I have to admit it is pretty amazing to see. It is going to be completed in about another year.
As you approach the dam, you drive right by and under the new bridge. It's massive. They are building it from both sides of the gorge and will meet in the middle.

This is the road deck from the Nevada side. It looks like it is going to be 4 lanes.
This shot is taken from on top of the dam. You can see all of the electrical towers surrounding the dam and it's also a good view of the span and how they will meet up.

I like this view of Lake Mead from the other side of the dam. You can see the high water mark.
This one looks like Bob has ear plugs in his ears.
Hoover Dam has 2 things that I'm a big fan of. Lots of art deco and a ladies bathroom. The bathrooms are actually in the towers on top of the dam. You have to climb some stairs to get to the bathroom and once you do, it has an amazing view. Better than the view from any other bathroom I have ever been in.

This is the view from out of the ladies room window. Pretty cool, huh?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Do I Look Fat in This Outfit?

I like to do be part of community events through work and today Expedia's CFO and CEO were part of a dedication of a new Boys and Girls Club in Bellevue that the company was a big contributor to. I was invited to the event but for some reason, they had a hard time finding someone to wear the "Point Man" costume. You know me, I'm game for anything so I volunteered. I figured I was risking my life but it was actually fun. Kids really seem to like character costumes and they were pretty cute. We communicated with nods and shakes, I bounced around and we even danced a conga line.

I always wanted to be a "mascot". I can check that off of my list now.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Happy Opening Day!

Today is one of my favorite days of the year, it's opening day for the Mariners. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love baseball, win or lose. I have since the first game I ever went to. I remember it well. I wasn't sure about the date until I did some searching on the internet. It turns out the first game I ever went to was on August 2nd, 1968.

Dad took Ady and me to Dodger Stadium to see them take on the Mets. Dad was a big Dodger fan back then. There were some kids sitting right behind us who spent the whole game saying "Yay fo' da Dodgers, boo fo' da Mets". Ady, do you remember?

The Mets ended up beating the Dodgers 3 to 2, but it was so much fun. It's hard to see below but to see the whole box score, click on this link:

Not too many years later we moved to Kansas City, where Dad would take Ady and me to games at the old Municipal Stadium downtown to watch the games.

Then the Royals build their fancy new stadium in the supburbs and Dad would drop us off before the game, but pick us up right around the 7th inning so we could avoid the after game crowds.

There were years of baseball in between, but I'm sure most of our kids will agree that some of their best baseball experiences were in section 317 of the King Dome. Not that the seats were great but they could always count on achieving their goal of being seen on the Diamond Vison screen.

I could create a whole blog about my baseball experiences alone, but for now, I'll go home and have a hot dog and maybe some apple pie and optimistically enjoy the day.