Monthly Archives: March 2010

Ode to Running

One mile to go
you can do this.
Downhill to the park,
Then level,
Then a slight uphill–
only a block or so,
then downhill the rest of the way.

Half mile.
Legs are dead,
Lungs burn,
lets do this.

Quarter mile.
Turn it up–
I don’t give a shit that you can’t
This pain is only temporary
This pain is only temporary
This pain is only temporary
This pain is only temporary
This pain is only temporary
This pain is only temporary
This pain is only temporary

The end is in sight
Ignore the burn
50 feet
This pain is only temporary
10 feet
Can’t do it!
9 feet
8 feet
7 feet
6 feet
5 feet
4 feet
3 feet
2 feet
1 foot…

Now walk
Blessed recovery!
Let it wash over you
And here it comes
A high so great it shouldn’t be legal.
Drink your water,
and write a poem about it,
Because you feel awesome
and you are awesome.

The First Days of Spring in Pictures

This past weekend was jam-packed with awesomeness.  What better way to kick off the start of Spring than spending the weekend outdoors?  On Saturday, after I had gotten my hair cut by the drag queen, and gone on a bit of a shopping spree at Harbor Freight, Tara and I did the short hike to the top of Ensign Peak—the site at which Brigham Young, himself had climbed, still suffering a bit of mountain fever, and played one of the earliest games of Sim City!


I even managed to sneak a few candid photos of Tara while she admired the view.


Later on, we hiked a bit higher and sat on the grassy slope surveying the rich neighborhood far below while dreamily critiquing the houses.


I opened the aperture and attempted to snap  some more candid shots of Tara, but she wasn’t having it.


Isn’t she lovely? 

She’s adorable, of course, that’s why I married her.  It may seem like I’m just saying that to make up for actually posting this photo, but it’s really true.

Later on, we packed up a picnic lunch, and headed out to Sugarhouse Park for a grill-out picnic dinner and bocce ball.  Our camp grill makes grilling out crazy easy!  I was even able to take Laura-Style photos while the burgers cooked.


The best pre-made guacamole dip ever:


You open those chips…


Look at that awesome burger!  Yes, I know, we forgot to get block cheese…


Bocce Balls! Tara managed to beat me once before I owned her in the second game.


Even Sunday was a blast with disc golf and me getting out on the mountain bike trails, which, did indeed, kick my ass.  Winter in Utah was so much fun with the not-quite-so-harsh temperatures and all the snowboarding, but I am still itching for the warm weather, and everything that comes with it: Camping, Backpacking, Hiking, Bike Riding, Grilling Out—Maybe I’ll just become a mountain man this summer.  I’d live in a grove of pine trees at the mouth of Provo Canyon, bathing and catching trout in the stream for breakfast before riding my bike in to work.  What do you think, Tara?

How to Stay Productive

So perhaps this is a boring topic for a post, but ever since I transitioned from hourly intern who could get away with 75% web browsing and 25% actual work to salaried engineer with actual responsibility and free overtime, I’ve been on a constant quest to maximize my productivity in a day’s work.  That is why I’m writing this post at work.  Kidding, kidding, I’m at home, enjoying a lovely evening of snowboard shopping and dreaming of what to do with the biggest tax return I’ve ever received (I knew there was a reason I got married…).  I think I’ve made some big strides in the one year and two months that I’ve been a full time working stiff, and I intend to share that knowledge. 




1.  Quickly get any personal email, facebooking, and XKCD reading out of your system when you first get in to work.  I like to role in 5-10 min early for this purpose.  I feel like a good nerd comic starts the day off right, and checking email and social networking sites prevent me from entering the vicious curiosity-will power battle throughout the morning (I wonder if I have any notifications?—Don’t check, stay focused—I wonder if I have any new emails?…and so on).

2.  If you’re like me and work from a cube rather than an office with a door that closes, shutting out any distracting noise–such as Adam, across the way, loudly boasting about the looker he saw at the Wells Fargo drive-through last Saturday–get some headphones and find some music that you can listen to without having your concentration compromised (Notorious B.I.G. is probably not a good choice).  I often will go with classical music on days when I’m particularly prone to distraction because I find it creates a wall of sound that is non-distracting and completely blocks out background noise.  The singer/songwriter genre also has been working well for me, especially in the afternoon.

3.  Take a refreshing lunch break.  It can be tempting to sit at your desk during lunch reading FAIL blog and watching youtube, but in my opinion, it is difficult to jump back in after lunch without a break from the tube (or, matrix of liquid crystals, nowadays).  I personally eat my lunch quickly while reading FAIL blog and then go ride my longboard around the empty warehouse for 5 or 10 minutes.  That brief time of soothing, mindless activity allows me to come back to work refreshed and ready to go.  (Hmm, that last sentence or two could be taken out of context)

4.  The half-life of caffeine is 4.9 hours.  This, of course, is where the “2:30 feeling” comes from, although it seems like everyone experiences it, regardless of whether or not they consume caffeine in the morning.  It is the sudden complete and utter loss of motivation accompanied by general grogginess that seems to set in at exactly 2:30 every time.  It can be a major hurtle that must be overcome if the afternoon’s tasks are to be completed.  I like to plan my days such that I’ll be doing the more hands-on tasks around that time.  When this is not possible, I find the music bubble works well also.  It’s amazing how you can put on the ear blinders, enter the zone, and not think about anything but work for hours at a time (until you have to pee, that is).

5.  Determine what types of work you do best at each time of the day.  This is kind of a continuation of (4).  For instance, I’m a morning person.  I come into work in the morning half way through my coffee, and my brain is churning away, anxious for problem solving.  Thus, I like to tackle the more complex tasks first thing in the morning, rather than leaving them for after lunch when I’ll be struggling to stay focused.

6.  Leave work at work.  Sometimes it can be difficult to stop thinking about work after leaving.  I feel that it is very important to force myself not to think about work after work.  The evening should be time for rejuvenation of the technical side of the brain, and is much better spent thinking about snowboarding, guitar, and your wife in that sexy baby doll.

7.  Sex the night before, or even a quickie in the morning before work can really clear the mind, and ease stress.

Mr. & Mrs. Griggs

This past weekend, Tara and I ventured back to Omaha for Rachel and Jesse’s wedding.  The _DSC1431 festivities had been highly anticipated.  We were excited to see everyone, and were also very much looking forward to enjoying a wedding without all the stress and planning.  And so we boarded the plane at 5:50 Friday morning, and after attempting to salvage the night’s sleep on the first leg to Minneapolis, then sprinting to the tram, to a completely different terminal in 15 minutes, arriving in time, but close enough that the nice lady said: “Good! You made it.  You must be Andrew and Tara”, we made it to Omaha by 11:30 that morning, under much better weather conditions than the last time we flew into Eppley.

My uncle Bruce picked us up, which meant that Tara got another nap while he and I energetically discussed C++, MFC, and various other nerdery on the way to meet my parents for lunch.  After lunch, we had to seek out more coffee before the rehearsal, and the rest of the evening’s fun—the Delta coffee just wasn’t cutting it.

If I had expected the rehearsal to be similar to the fun, light-hearted nature, of ours, I was slightly mistaken.  Immediately, Nazi Church Woman got things started by announcing that no drinks are allowed in the sanctuary.  She continued while Tara and I quickly found programs and hymnals to hide our coffee cups behind.  I will hand it to them, though: The pastor and Nazi Church Woman sure were on top of things.  The efficiency was outstanding.

When the pastor called for the reader–my job–not wanting to hold things up, I scrambled from my seat in the pews, clamored over Chris and Ben to get into the aisle, and then scurried through the middle of the wedding party before crossing over to the pulpit (just for added effect).  My efforts received the desired laugh from most everyone except for Nazi Church Woman, who snuck up behind me after I was back at my seat, put her hand over my shoulder and onto my chest, as if to constrain me lest I attempt a gettaway, and spoke quietly, but firmly, into my ear: “Go out to the outside aisle in the ceremony.  DO NOT go up the middle.”  She disappeared as quickly as she came, leaving Tara and I bewildered, but relieved that our coffee had not been confiscated.

The rehearsal dinner was at Embassy Suites.  We got there in time for free cocktail hours, so naturally there was the frantic passing of room keys so even those not staying in the hotel that night could get sufficiently lubricated.  Amanda Cohee asked me how married life is, to which I responded loudly: “The sex is AMAZING”.  Her’s and Craig’s jaws dropped, and Rachel’s Dad, who had been standing nearby, walked away shaking his head.  That’s just one of those questions that is both slightly awkward and gets asked so often, you get sick of answering.  There’s that feeling that whatever response you give, your marriage is being evaluated.  Besides, who isn’t thinking about sex when they ask that question?

Afterwards was the bachelor party which was a trip to church in comparison to my own bachelor party, but was still quite fun.  Jake came as well, but only long enough to have one drink as he wanted to go meet up with a guy.  After eating his entire lime slice, peel and all, in an effort to freshen his breath, he departed.  Jesse, meanwhile, was being coaxed by the rest of us to put on the 48DD pink bra that the best man had procured specifically for this purpose.  He finally did put it on, and allowed us to stuff newspaper in it, but adamantly refused to put the thong on over his jeans, and clipped it onto his keys carabineer instead.

The wedding itself was pretty awesome.  Rachel was beautiful (and so were the bridesmaids).  I successfully completed the reading without laughing at the part of the poem that said “…breast to breast…”.  I have come along way since freshman year when I was caught by the band director making perverted gestures with a wooden bell mallet handle…  But, yes, the ceremony was fun.  You could tell everyone was having a good time up there.

It goes without saying that the reception was a blast.  Aside from the fact that several of us completely missed the wedding party introduction and all of the toasts because we were priming in our hotel room, that is.  I can genuinely say I was pretty bummed about it.  I never would have expected all that stuff to happen so fast.  There was a live swing band that performed.  This automatically took the classiness of our reception, and multiplied it by 15.  It was a lot of fun dancing to the swing band, but I have to admit that I was missing some of the wedding classics like “Paradise by the dashboard light”, “Cha cha slide”, and, of course, “The Chicken Dance”.  Amanda played some songs from her Non-I-Pod during the band’s breaks, but was reprimanded when she cued up Yellowcard…

After the reception, there was an afterparty in Jake’s room.  A few North Dakotans showed up (cousins of Rachel) and we laughed at there accents before Tara and I eventually retired to our own hotel room to meet breast to breast…

And so it was a fun-filled weekend of spending time with people that I haven’t seen since my own wedding.  Weddings are so much fun, and there are so many this year—I can’t wait!