Monthly Archives: October 2010

My Wife is Now a Certified Genetic Counselor

At the end of August, Tara took her board exams to become a certified genetic counselor.  She then had to wait 6 long weeks to receive the results.  This tense period finally ended this past week when we got the letter in the mail announcing that she had passed and is now certified.  This is a very exciting time for us. a) Because Tara no longer has to stress about whether or not she passed, and b) Since she is now certified, it is only a matter of time before she’ll be the breadwinner of this household, at which time I will be retiring.  Well, maybe not quite yet…

To celebrate, we rode the Trax downtown last night to The Market Grill, which is proclaimed to have the best fish in SLC.  And it was quite good–not fried (Tara and I are of the belief that frying any sort of sea creature is a cardinal sin,  and have even gone as far as picketing Catholic fish fries).  We enjoyed three-course meals and even splurged on martinis.  Afterwards, we walked over to the Beerhive to get my favorite Utah beer: “Latter Day Stout”.  As a result, we did not end up making it to the Halloween party we had planned on going to, but had a great evening anyway.

Photo of the Whatever

So this just in: October is nearly over.  This means fall is giving way to winter.  I swear Summer goes way faster when one is no longer in school.  This doesn’t really make sense to me.  To be honest, I don’t mind that the warm weather is dwindling.  I’d say Tara and I made good use of it.  I could have have done with at least one more backpacking trip, but two is good.  Besides, we could just get winter sleeping bags and then we could go in the winter too.  Then we wouldn’t even need a tent!  We’d just dig a snow cave!  Not to mention, my snowboard is waiting down there in the basement, and I’m starting to itch to have it out again.  And we’re only a month away!  Insane!

Anyway, I figured I should post a fall picture or two before it’s too late.  These are from a Sunday afternoon hike up in Millcreek Canyon Tara and I did a few weeks ago.  I love the red “berries” that come out in fall.  I’m not sure what they are though.

Can't think of anything quirky to say here.

60mm  F5.6  1/125 sec  ISO-100


The mysterious berries

70mm  F5.6  1/20 sec  ISO-100

The Latest Projects

A number of projects have been keeping me busy lately.  No, not crafty projects like those of Laura—these are more maintenance related.  Still rewarding though.  As the nice neighbor lady said to me as she walked by with her dogs: “You’re always working on something!”

1.  Dryer Fix

Months ago, our dryer suddenly stopped working altogether.  Shortly after it happened, I spent about 15 minutes removing the panels from the back and poking around with the wires.  Then it was time to go to church, so I left it dismantled, which is naturally how it remained for 3 months.

We dragged it along when we moved, but I was so skeptical that it could be fixed that we price shopped for a new one.  More grumpy about the cost of a new one than I was about trying to fix the old one, I attacked it again.

I wanted to get a picture of Tara using it, but didn't get around to it.Washer and dryer happily reunited

Within 5 minutes, I had found and fixed the problem.  You know the switch that gets depressed when the door closes that tells the motor it’s safe to run now?  One of the wires vibrated clean off of it.  I popped it back on and good to go.  In fact, I fixed it so fast, that I debated pretending to toil at it longer so Tara might actually be impressed rather than irritated that she had to go 3 months with no dryer when it  was such a simple fix.

As it was, I found myself too excited to not tell her of my triumph, and I did get the latter response.  She was excited as well, though, and we carried the newly fixed dryer down to the basement hoping to ceremoniously start it up.  The ceremony was cut short however, as I realized I also had to change the power pig-tail from the 4 prong type back to the 3 prong, which proved to be a much more frustrating process than I anticipated.  In the end, after much swearing and a trip to Lowes, I did get the dryer running, went to notify Tara, got a half-hearted “yay”, and then went to bed.


2.  Vacuum Cleaner Fix

Lately, our vacuum cleaner has been overheating.  We thought for sure this meant it was about time for a new one.  On closer inspection, I discovered the tube was clogged.  Once I had it cleared, it worked wonderfully, and I was able to vacuum all the dust off myself.


3.  The Basement/Bathroom/Guest Bedroom

Tara’s sister, Becky, came to stay the night, which was well-needed as it gave me the required motivation to clean the downstairs bathroom and put together the guest bedroom.  Thanks to the infinite dust left for us in the lower level, these tasks were not easy.  But after many hours of toil, I can say that it looks much better down there.

It almost looks nicer than it actually is.Freshly cleaned bathroom


Not too exciting yet

Guest Bedroom 

More exciting, I used the carpet squares that we scored for crazy cheap from a garage sale to make a pathway over the concrete and connecting the guest bedroom and bathroom to the upstairs.  I should add that this is the bathroom we use for showering as there is no shower in the upstairs bathroom (only a tub).  Not having to step on cold concrete every morning is outstanding.

A path! A path!!The carpetted walkway 


And of course, Tara was busy as well:


The mantle


That's "hearth" with an "H" that actually makes a sound Fireplace!!

Hideout Discovery

The following letter is the result of a note and map that I found stashed near our campsite in Little Cottonwood Canyon this past weekend.  A group of kids (presumably three of them) had evidently discovered a clearing in a thicket between campsites and proceeded to declare the area their hideout.  They left a note requesting future visitors contact them via mail along with a rough map sketched of the area.  Reminded of my own childhood and the many family camping trips we went on, I simply had to send them a letter.


To The Three Creators:

With the sun falling from the sky, and the temperature rapidly dropping, my companion and I stumbled upon your hideout during a vigorous search for firewood.   As I scoured the ground for dry sticks, my eyes fell upon the plastic baggie you stashed with the note and map of the hideout inside. 

Thanks to your handy cartography, we were able to navigate the area with ease.  I myself was particularly fond of the “Roadside Route”.  Deeper into the hideout, we found another baggie in a stump containing mysterious items that we assumed to be hidden treasure.  We left these items for you should you return.

I left the note and map where I found it so future campers will be fortunate enough to find it and take advantage of the hideout as we did.  Thank you for leaving this note.  May your creative spirits never dwindle, and your adventures always take you to bigger and better discoveries.

Happy exploring!

Sincerely Yours,

The Forever Upward Duo