Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lincoln Brent Lorimer

Heather and the baby came home. Before coming home we filled out the birth certificate paperwork, so he officially has a name. Lincoln Brent Lorimer. Lincoln because we like it. Brent after Brent, and Lorimer just comes with the territory.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Just for Ryan....

1991 was a good year for Mazda fans. It is the year a rotary won the 24 hours of Le Mans. Mazda beat out the likes of Mercedes and Jaguar with the 787B. I would go on, but Mazda produced a screaming banshee that says it a lot better (and louder) than I possibly could.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Now we just need a name to go with the baby....

Heather had the baby today at 11:44 AM. He was 19" long and 7 lbs 12 oz. We still don't have a name for him though.....

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Joseph Smith Jr. Birthday!

Here is the official LDS Joseph Smith site.

Here is Wikipedia
Here is my favorite picture of the Prophet.

Here is my favorite passage of revelation from Brother Joseph:

Doctrine and Covenants 121: 45-46
Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distill upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.

The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Other News

We now interrupt your regularly scheduled post about stuff I am interested in and nobody else is to bring you news of other stuff I am interested in that (probably) nobody else is:

Magnus Carlsen will be the number 1 rated chess player in the world when FIDE publishes their next Elo ratings list. Full report here.

A few questions you might ask:

Q: Why is this significant?
A: Magnus is only 19, by far the youngest to be ranked #1. He is also not Russian, another oddity in the world of chess. He's from Norway.

Q: If he is the number 1 player, why are Veselin Topalov (Boo! Hiss!) and Vishy Anand (Yay! Go Vishy!) playing for the World Championship next year?
A: Because Topalov earned the right to play for the world championship last year prior to Magnus becoming the best player. In chess, the only way to become "world champion" is to defeat the current world champion.

Q: I thought Garry Kasparov was the world champ.
A: You probably also think that Jack Nicklaus is the world's best golfer. Anand beat Vladimir Kramnik in 2007, Kramnik beat Kasparov in 2000. FYI, Kasparov beat Karpov in 1985, Karpov won by default in 1975 when Bobby Fischer went nuts, and Fisher beat Boris Spassky in 1972.

Q: Wait a minute, how do we know Magnus is the best player?
A: Chess uses an Elo rating system to rank the relative strength of players. I am interested in this because the underlying statistical model is very similar to the models that I use to model peoples' preferences in my academic work. Basically, the model uses your performance against other players to calculate how good you are. If you beat another player rated higher (lower) than you, your rating goes up (down) a lot. Beating an inferior opponent won't raise your rating much, if any. The nice thing about the model is that it is completely objective and updated monthly. Magnus' Elo will be 2810. You need to be about 2500 to be a grandmaster. My rating is about 1680. A complete novice is 1200.

Q: Is there anything else you'd like to tell us?
A: Yes. Aside from the Elo ratings, the chess world is completely dysfunctional. Because the only way to become world champion is to beat the world champion, the only way to lose the world championship is to get beaten. Thus, champions have the incentive to avoid playing except under favorable circumstances. There are no universally recognized organizing authorities, so players tend to break away and form new organizations continually. Sometimes years go by without world championship matches.

Imagine if the only way for the Lakers to lose their crown as world champions was to have a team beat them in a 7 game series. Then imagine that the Lakers did not recognize the NBA's authority to organize a playoff to determine a team to play them. Further imagine that the Lakers decide that they will only play on their home court, etc. etc. You get the idea.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Preference Ordering: Jolly Rancher Flavors

1. Apple
2. Watermelon
3. Blue Raspberry
4. Cherry

Not worth eating:

5. Grape (Apologies to Eric. Grape soda is good but not grape Jolly Ranchers)
6. Strawberry

I remember Cinnamon Fire from when I was a kid, but I haven't seen those for ages.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Once, I got busted doing something crazy and the judge sentenced me to spend 36 hours in a Chick-fil-a parking lot.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

November Happenings

November has been a busy month for the North Carolina Bosworths.

On the 8th and 9th we took a trip to Wilmington. We went to the USS North Carolina, Fort Fisher, and the beach.

On the 22 and 23, I went to the Southern Economic Association Conference in San Antonio where I presented a paper on class size, class composition, and student attainment. I also went to the Alamo and met one of my man-crushes.

On the 30th, I went to VIR for a day of driving fast (tempered somewhat by the rainy conditions) with a member of my stake presidency and a group of friends from my other religious organization. Below is some footage with a familiar white car in it.

Just because

Friday, October 23, 2009

40 YEARS! Oh No!

I got the dreaded postcard in the mail today, no not the one from the doctor. The one from Bonneville's class of 1970 telling me about our 40th High School Reunion. Way to make me feel really old. Having 5 kids and 8 & 3/4 grandkids doesn't matter it's that big 4-0 that really brings it home. You're just going to have to ignore my moodiness for the next 10 months until it is over.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A whole bunch of catching up.....

I think the appropriate term is "slacker", but I am going to claim "busy". We haven't updated this blog forever. The last post was from the first day of a conference in San Francisco and I had these grand delusions that I was going to post fantastic summaries of my trip every day. As it turns out, the conference was outstanding, and I spent all my time doing things for the conference. Not blogging. Since then, our life has been pretty busy and exciting. I will try to give a quick rundown, then just post a ton of pictures...

At the conference, I learned a of great information to help me do my job better. They had a party one night which was a lot of fun. There was free bowling, a Foreigner concert, pool, ping pong, mechanical bull, lots of food, air hockey. They had a baseball throw and I went to show my stuff at the baseball throw. Turns our they only had softballs. It hurts to throw a softball at 60 MPH. On the last day, I had ~6 hours in the morning before my flight to wander around San Francisco. I walked ~10 miles which felt like ~25. San Francisco is a pretty city, with a ton to do. The cable car museum was really cool, but the lighting sucked so none of my pictures turned out.

Gracie had her birthday and turned 3. She had a blast. We did a small family party the night before and then she had a bunch of friends come over and play for her birthday party. She was _VERY_ excited to get a lot of Blues Clues toys to play with.

Noah turned 5 a couple weeks after that. His favorite part of his birthday was the BlueTrak racetrack he got. Heather and I like it because it doesn't take batteries. I am surprised what kind of loops and turns you can get Hot Wheels cars to do with just gravity getting them going.

Our other news recently is that Heather has an official due date (no longer is it a 3 week range). She is due on Jan. 4th. The doctor says that the baby will likely come before the new year one way or another though. In anticipation of this, we bought a van last week. We looked around at a lot of different vans. We were lucky enough to find one that some people in Holladay were selling that had everything Heather wanted. When people ask what options it has I tell them it has all the ones Heather cared about (heated seats and power doors).

Last week Heather and I had the chance to go to Saint George without the kids for a few days. It was a good trip. I attended a security conference for work and Heather had a nice break from the kids. The highlight of the conference is that out of ~230 people, I won the hacker challenge (a bunch of geeky challenges that involved un-deleting files, eves-dropping on network traffic to get information from other computers, picking locks and that kind of stuff). I was pretty happy to win.

The thing that brings Heather the most joy from the last month though, is the basement. The walls are painted. The carpet is re-laid. The doors are hung. We even have some things put away. Our house has a chance of getting back to normal at some point in the future.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

To Be Well Read

One of Matt's friends just posted on facebook that he wanted to be well read by he was not sure what he should read to accomplish that.
So Matt asked me and I made a list.
What do you think?

Science Fiction
Enders Game by O. Card
Foundation by I. Azimov
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
The Princess Bride by W. Goldman
The Postman by David Brin

Crime and Punishment Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Scarlet Letter
Little Women by L. Alcott
Jane Eyre by C Bronte
Gone with the Wind
The Count of Monte Cristo
Les Misérables
The Hobbit J R R Tolkin
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Old Man and the Sea by Hemmingway
I Heard the Owl Call My Name:
by Margaret Craven
Children’s books
Danny the Champion of the World by R. Dahl
The Giver by L. Lowery
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Ugglies by Scott Westerfield
Eragon by Christopher Paolini
The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Inkheart by C. Funk
Holes By Sacher
The Westing Game by E. Raskin
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Doyle
The Beekeepers Apprentice by L. King
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
Non Fiction
Tuesdays with Morrie by M. Albolm
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver,
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

Brent's Theory gets published

Brent observed to me once that being members of the Church seems to erode our social skills, possibly because church gets substituted for sociality. This makes me sad, especially when I think about Brother Joseph's take on the subject.

Anyway, my brother's most recent post at by common consent refers to this by recounting a conversation with me. I observed to him that when we invite non-LDS friends over for dinner, we always get reciprocal invitations. When we invite LDS friends over, we never do. I'm not complaining (insert snarky comment about how I'm a better cook than they are anyway here) but it was from Brent that I first heard the idea, so I thought I better give credit where credit is due.

In case you missed it...

Friday, September 4, 2009

So, I'm teaching yoga...

In the last week or so, I have made arrangements to teach yoga to kids. About two months ago, I heard about a teacher training that was happening in Durham and I thought it sounded fun, but it was expensive. When the teacher said that a lot of students teach right away after attending her workshops, I started thinking about teaching in order to cover the cost of the training. So, anyway, a lot of thought and talk later, I have an arrangement with lady who runs the local Holistic Healing Center (which is only a year old and is very close to where we rented the house in downtown Raleigh near the campus).

I thought you might like to see my little class descriptions on her website. I have put up a couple of flyers and my friend Meg from Oregon is graciously creating a lovely logo for me. So far I have one student, the daughter of the lady who runs the center. But I'm hopeful.

I also found out this week that I will be able to complete the teacher training with my teacher (Carson) before we leave. Her program is going to start in January and finish in April (or May). We'll have 5 weekends together in that time (Friday 5 - 9pm and Saturday 9am-9pm. I'll miss the Sunday class, but she said that she'll still let me come) and every Wednesday. I'm very excited that it will work out! So, Heather, you can start advertising for me--I'll be ready to teach when we get to Logan next July:)

Monday, August 31, 2009

San Francisco day 1...

I am in San Francisco for a conference this week. The conference is called VMworld. 15,000 geeks like me come here and learn more about virtualizing computers. I am pretty excited for it. There is a ton of really cool information, displays and some great training offered. Today was registration and labs. I was only able to get into 2 labs today, but that is okay. The day started kind of early (6:15 for registration). I got to meet a lot of nice people (most of whom I will never talk to or see again...).

As I was planning the trip, I was saying to Heather that I wanted to go see the Golden Gate Bridge. Since I knew I wasn't going to have a car, I told her I was thinking about running across it. The next morning on a blog, I read that a couple guys had decided that they wanted to do an official conference activity of running across the bridge. It was the perfect opportunity. Even though I forgot my running shoes, I decided to go for the run anyways. It wasn't bad at all. We traveled a total distance of ~5.5K.

Here is a photo album of today's adventures. I'll probably post more as the week goes on...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Forget Waldo......

Today, I found the best church book ever created. Guaranteed to entertain for hours and hours. It can be pre-ordered here. Yes, we do need a copy at my house.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Ashley's backpacking

I recently went into the Mountains. The area was Red Castle Peak in the Uintas. Brent did not know the area, so I thought I'd post a few pictures of it. Enjoy.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Family Night Flannel Board Stories

We have used a few flannel board stories from the Friend for family night recently and it has worked really well for us. We give each member of our family one of the pictures to color while we give the lesson, which is based on the article that accompanies the flannel board story. We discuss the lesson and then when everyone is done coloring and cutting out the figures, we retell the story using the figures.

The link below is a nice index of the flannel board stories in past friends:

The pictures are also good to let kids color at church or as a sunday activity.

In case you missed the '80s

Sunday, August 9, 2009

My Southern Girl

Dresses up like a princessand goes to the races!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Things that make Daniel happy

Okay so below is a slide show of stuff that makes me happy. In case you don't know the first picture is Lacy, then Winston, then Ashley, then my new redneck white trash sprinklers in the front yard. Yup their not buried.
Who would of thought that sprinkles would make me happy. I must be getting old.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Ian's talk

Ian gave a great talk in Primary yesterday. He had pictures to remind him what to say and he said almost all of it with no help. He talked about being reverent. He had a great time practicing at the make shift podium and microphone at our house.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

In keeping with Ryan's tradition....

Ryan made a comment about things getting weird if comments didn't keep pouring in. In my effort to keep up with the Bosworth's, I submit the following randomness:

I wasn't going to post this until I realized the dedication to Billy Mays.

Noah and grace

I don't know what Heather is talking about, in this picture at least Noah looks almost angelic. Gracie looks cute as usual.
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kearl kid pictures

I'm sure that you will all be relieved to know that the free photographer that I came across on some random person's blog was not some scary 42 year old man, but was indeed a very nice LDS girl in her twenties. She took some cute pictures of my kids (and Heather's see next posting) though everyone agrees that Hazel gets the most photogenic award for this photo shoot. And yes she did take the 100 or so pictures for free and gave us a CD with all the pictures, she just wants practice so that some day she can be a professional photographer. And yes Hazel is roaring like a lion in her picture.

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requesting help from the technogeeks

I assume that I can have the blog alert me of new postings and/or comments by sending me an email: 1) is this a good assumption? and 2) how do I make it so?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Progress you can see. Finally......

We have had a lot of help getting things done in our basement.  We are really grateful for everything that everyone has done.  It seems like everything we have done up to now (except the first few days of ripping stuff out) isn't really apparent.  We spent a lot of time redoing the wiring, adding light switches and replacing light fixtures.    Last weekend, we finally made some visible progress.  Jake, Eric, Brent, Daniel and a guy from the ward came over and helped us and we got a lot done.

Work done so far:

  • All the wiring that was in or near the water has been replaced

  • Every room has it's very own light switch (in a logical location) - Yea!!

  • New light fixtures in several rooms (needed more than 1 40 watt mini-bulb to make it not feel like a dungeon)

  • Added light fixture in family room

  • Centered light fixtures (instead of wherever they were before)

  • Moved the wall and Heather now has a laundry _room_ instead of a laundry closet

  • Closed in the wall to the storage dungeon and opened up an opening for new french doors

  • Removed big box on the ceiling at the bottom of the stairs (was put there because of a lazy electrician)

  • All exterior walls have new insulation

  • Drywall in the pink room

  • Drywall in the blue room

Work left:

  • Window box in the blue room

  • Drywall in the yellow room

  • Drywall in all of the closets

  • Drywall in the hallway

  • Drywall in the family room

  • Wetboard in the bathroom

  • Install french doors into the office

  • Move 2 wires in the ceiling (where the electrician went around, not through the top plate.... Crossing my fingers - hoping it is easy)

  • Add 2 new outlets in the office

  • Fix all the holes in the ceiling from pulling new wires

  • Do all the taping and mudding (I think we will pay somebody to do this)

  • Lay new flooring in the bathroom

  • Put down new carpet pad and all the carpet

  • Redo the window wells so this NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER happens again

  • Keep tabs on a good realtor in case this happens again

As I look at that list, it seems like we have more to do than we have done.  As I look at the basement I am pretty sure we are well past the hump and entering the home stretch.

Here are some pictures of where the basement is at right now.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Last night's ceremony...

Last night as Heather and I were talking, a small ceremony took place. It was very small and unassuming, but it definitely signified a major event in both Heather and Noah's lives. It got me thinking a little about ceremonies in general. Everybody knows you are getting married long before the wedding. The ceremony doesn't annouce anything that was unknown. If you skip your graduation, you are still a graduate. Attendance is optional. The ceremony is usually just a capstone. The work is done before you enter the ceremony.

Last night's ceremony fits all of these descriptions, but it was much smaller. The ritual has been performed. If you weren't paying attention, it was easy to miss. As we were talking, Heather looked at me and said "Someday, _your_ boy is going to have a little boy, _just_ like him. I feel bad for his poor wife."*

It is now official. Noah is a boy, and Heather is a mother.

* Brief explanation for those curious about what caused this comment. Noah was curious. He wanted to see how well dryer sheets clean a bathroom mirror. When they did nothing, he got them wet. When that left a white film, he tried toilet paper. With the toilet paper though, he was a step ahead. He knew that dry things did nothing, so he went straight to the wet phase. The end result was a bathroom mirror 100% covered in white dyer sheet film with a light spattering of toilet paper pulp. The counter was covered with enough raw materials to do a few more mirrors, including water.

Monday, July 20, 2009

What we've done so far this summer

We haven't posted a whole lot this summer. That isn't because we haven't done anything..... We have even slipped some fun in between weekends of working on the basement. Noah and Matt went on a father's and sons campout. Noah thought it was awesome sleeping in a tent. For the Fourth of July we went to the Plain City celebrations with Heather's sister. Noah participated his first pie-eating contest. The highlight of the day though came with the fish catch. They had a pond that they filled with water before adding fish. The kids got to climb in and catch the fish with their hands. Noah caught a couple of them on his own but had troubles putting them into the bag. Gracie needed a little more help. Both of the kids had a TON of fun running around in the water with the fish. Here are pictures that do a better job describing the summer than I have done.

USU Update

Family and Friends,

I have accepted USU's offer. I'll join the Applied Economics department in July 2010.

We look forward to moving to Cache Valley, but we are sad to be leaving NC. We'll keep you posted.

And now back to the weird stuff.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

You have been warned...

The posts will keep getting weirder until you start commenting.

My Brother the Blogger

My brother used to run his own blog, Dead Seriously. Now he blogs at bycommonconsent, a well-known LDS blog.

Here is a link to his most recent post. (Rated PG for mild underwear and Relief Society related humor)

Here is a link to his other posts.



Friday, July 17, 2009

dad must have one of these...

MASS Manifesto (a work in progress)

Manifesto of MASS (Male Allen Siblings and Spouses)

Are you male? Are you married to April, Crystal, or Heather? Are April, Crystal, and Heather your sisters? If so, you will be required to attend MASS on the First Friday of each month, beginning July, 2010.

Q: What is the purpose of MASS?
A: Ryan’s therapist says he needs more male bonding activities. Moreover, the impending move from NC will leave the first Friday (usual meeting time of the Mazda Sports Car Club of North Carolina) a big empty hole in Ryan’s life that must be filled with entirely male activities.

Q: Is there a female equivalent of MASS?
A: Of course. FUSS (Female Used-to-be-Allen Siblings and Spouses) meets the Second Friday of each month. MASS will assume child care duties. Ashley and Jamie are invited of course, even though Ashley is currently an Allen and Jamie* is, well, imaginary.

Q: Where is MASS?
A: Location will be determined by members on a rotating basis in order of seniority: (Ryan, Jake, Matt, Daniel, Eric.) Possible locations include: a member’s home, golf courses, eateries, remote locations suitable for blowing stuff up, and other semi-legal shenanigans.

Q: What sort of stuff do you do at MASS?
A: Activities are also determined by members on a rotating basis. Inspiration can be drawn from the following guidelines:

Stuff we like:
Shootin’ things
Movies/video games
Blowin’ stuff up
Things with motors
Breakin’ things
Fixin’ things
Feats of strength
Going fast
Sports (spectator or participatory)

Stuff we don’t like:
Supervision (although we do like Super-Vision. One activity may be kibitzing about our favorite super-powers.)
Fru-Fru Food
Going slow

Members may add to either list, subject to majority vote.

Q: Is attendance at MASS compulsory?
A: Yes. If you are not there, we’ll come and get you.

*Remember Jamie? According to Eric, she is 23 and studying broadcast journalism. Her family moved from New Hamsphire to Utah recently after most of family had come out to Utah to go to school. She came to USU because her older brother was going here. We have been dating for about 2 months now and it is getting kind of serious. I have got to meet her family when they were visiting a couple of weeks ago.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Schedule

April is attending a workshop this weekend. I'll have the kids on my own.

What we'll do without supervision from April:

Friday Afternoon: Pullen Park!

Friday dinner: Bojangles!

Friday evening: Stock car racing at Wake County Speedway!

Saturday a.m.: Cold cereal and cartoons, what else?

Saturday p.m.: Crying, fighting, peeing.

Saturday evening: Really glad April is home!

Cheap Insurance

Carrying a picture of a baby in your wallet makes it more likely your wallet will be returned if lost.

(OK, maybe not that picture)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

News that may interest some of you

I have an offer from Utah State's Applied Economics department.
Details forthcoming.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Man in Black would be unbeatable...


The things my husband does for me...

Ian says: Daddy putting the pizza on.

I talked Ryan into to grilling pizzas for me last night. They were delicious, if a bit involved. But, we now have a good way to make pizza in the summer without heating up the oven.
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Monday, June 22, 2009

A Preference Ranking of the States

Note: These rankings are “ceteris paribus”—holding income, family, friends and other attributes constant. Yes, California appears twice, once for weather and recreation, and once for being California.

Charges that I suffer from Confirmation Bias and Choice-Supportive Bias are obviously ridiculous.

Great places to live:
1. Idaho
2. Montana
3. Oregon
4. New Mexico
5. North Carolina
6. Colorado
7. California

Wouldn’t hate it there:
8. Washington
9. Utah
10. Wyoming
11. Maine
12. Massachusetts
13. Arizona
14. Tennessee
15. Virginia
16. Texas

Looking hard for a new job:
17. Georgia
18. Nevada
19. Delaware
20. Vermont
21. Connecticut
22. Rhode Island
23. Hawaii
24. Alaska
25. New Hampshire
26. South Carolina
27. South Dakota
28. North Dakota
29. West Virginia

Please get me out of here!
30. Wisconsin
31. California
32. Florida
33. Illinois
34. Michigan
35. Pennsylvania
36. Indiana
37. Kansas
38. Maryland
39. Iowa
40. Minnesota
41. Missouri
42. Nebraska
43. New York
44. Ohio
45. Oklahoma
46. Louisiana
47. Alabama
48. Kentucky
49. Mississippi
50. New Jersey
51. Arkansas

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Preference Rankings: First in a Series--NBA

Preference Ranking of NBA teams:

1. Utah Jazz

Kinda like:
2. Memphis Grizzlies
3. Charlotte Bobcats
4. San Antonio Spurs

No strong feelings about:
5. Boston Celtics
6. Indiana Pacers
7. Milwaukee Bucks
8. Atlanta Hawks
9. Phoenix Suns
10. Minnesota Timberwolves

11. Oklahoma City Thunder
12. Sacramento Kings
13. Los Angeles Clippers
14. Golden State Warriors
15. New Jersey Nets
16. New Orleans Hornets
17. Washington Wizards
18. Orlando Magic
19. Miami Heat
20. Toronto Raptors
21. New York Knicks
22. Philadelphia 76ers
23. Portland Trail Blazers
24. Detroit Pistons
25. Cleveland Cavaliers
26. Chicago Bulls
27. Dallas Mavericks
28. Houston Rockets
29. Denver Nuggets

Really Hate:
30. Los Angeles Lakers

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Compost Update

We emptied the composter that dad got for my birthday this week. I thought some of you might like to see.

Ian is showing you the finished compost. And I thought you might like to see the inside of the composter after I had emptied it. The smallest finest stuff was still stuck in the grooves, but that should help the next batch to get off to a good start.

My batch was in for about a month and a half. I just scooped up my existing pile, so it was partially composted, but still to get all of it to be good and usable in 6 weeks is definitely faster than my piling method.

I think I'm a definite fan, although, I will still have a pile for the daily additions, that is the one downside, if you keep adding to the barrel, then you'll always have some stuff not broken down.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Random Rant of the Day

A while ago I watched a discussion play out. The topic was very emotionally charged. It started with an offhand comment, to which others chimed in and added their thoughts. The discussion quickly passed through debate and straight to mudslinging. It was interesting for me to see how as the discussion got emotional, tempers flared and logic became moot. Rather than point/counterpoint the discussion was full of insults ranging from childish to slanderous mixed in with a few threats.

As I sat on the outside watching things play out I thought back to when, as a kid, I took a debate class. I wasn't the best in the world, and I don't practice what I learned very often. I decided that I want my kids to take debate. I want them to be able to have intelligent discussions with people even though they are on different sides of the issue. I want them to listen to points made, think about them and offer counterpoint. Perhaps their own thoughts and beliefs (and/or those of the other person) will come out stronger, slightly altered or possibly end up take the other person's side. I want them to be able to strongly disagree with someone on a point, yet still be friends with them.

The discussion I observed was diffused and everyone walked away with little more than bruised egos. I think that the people that were friends at the start were friends still in the end. I couldn't help but wonder if some of the participants might miss out on what could possibly be a great friendship. Circumstances formed a first impression that will be difficult to overcome. Some of my best friends have been people that held drastically different beliefs from me.

I am not totally sure of the point of this post. Perhaps a future reminder for me. Something that will be etched into the archives of Google's cache. Awaiting my future browsing. When my kids are old enough, I may stumble across this post. At that time, I will read this and find my own advice brilliant. I'll remind myself just how smart I am (or perhaps was). The other option is that I will read this and see my naivety. Laughing at the similarities of this post and how much I was positive I knew about kids before I had some of my own......

Monday, May 4, 2009

Question for you all...

See my blog here. Please vote. I'm not sure what to do.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Daniel and Ashley update...

I know we told Brent and Nedra, but we should tell the rest of you. On Friday, April 24, I got a message on my voice mail that night. Our caseworker had finished our home study and submitted i to the Director for approval. He approved. We are officially approved to adopt. We'll "go live" with our profile at the end of this week. Spread it by word of mouth. Search by Daniel and Ashley among the profiles.

Here is the site for profiles.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Autocross Video

I finished 6th (out of about 20) in the Street Tire class. Below are videos from my DNF run (I lost control and went into the grass) and from my final run.

Fun going fast

Here are some pictures from my day at Virginia International Raceway.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Cleaning to Clean

So for Ashley's birthday her sister is going to clean our house for her. Which causes an interesting conundrum. How much do I need to clean up before she gets here?
She knows that I have been on my own for almost a week; but, how much mess is okay?
I'll let you know the out come.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

North Carolina Vacation

Hey I found a vacation that April and Ryan will have to take for me to North Carolina's Outer Banks.  
It sounds great to me, laid back quiet beaches, activities to do with the kids, and free stuff.  
If only North Carolina was closer. Sigh.
North Carolina Outer Banks >> 
FamilyFun - May 2009
Let me know if it won't let you view the whole article. I especially liked the "Coolest Nature Escapes," "Favorite Day Trip," "Best Animal Adventures," "Favorite Souvenir Shop," and "Where to Eat."
Okay so I liked pretty much all of it.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

My new gasser

Okay Jake.  You win.  Volkswagon convinced me.  As soon as they bring this to the states, I'll get a gasser. Click the image for more pics and info.

Friday, April 17, 2009

More clouds and the silver lining....

Here is an update on the flooded basement situation.  At first our insurance was iffy if they would cover anything at all.  The adjuster was really nice and good to us though.  He concluded that the water did in fact come through the windows and all work will be covered by our home-owners insurance.  The Alpine guys ripped out the dry wall below three feet in the rooms and discovered the next problem.  The guy who owned the house before us finished the basement, but didn't do a stellar job with the wiring.  Rather than frame the basement with 2x4's like you normally would do, he affixed 2x2's to the foundation.  Since 2x2's aren't really big enough to put wiring through, he decided to run the wiring along the floor underneath the 2X2's (they don't quite go all the way to the floor).  We are all lucky and glad that we didn't get electrocuted during clean-up.  It is also kind of a miracle the house hasn't burned down.

Alpine has seen sub-par basement finishes before and knew that some home insurance policies include "code upgrade clauses".  Turns out ours is one of those.  Thanks to the restoration people being on the ball, Heather and I get to have all of the wiring in our house upgraded to meet code.  This will probably mean all new drywall and framing on all exterior walls in the basement, new wiring throughout the basement, fix the stupid light switch in the hall that controls 2 bedrooms (putting switches in each room) and put a light in the hallway downstairs.  I think they will even fix the fact that the circuits all have too much stuff on them (outlets upstairs are hot to the touch right now as the fans run in the basement because of power draw).  A couple of the breakers trip when you run multiple things at the same time (the fans in the basement require us to head out and reset the breaker several times per day).  Hopefully we will get a couple new home-runs for the basement instead of just tapping into the upstairs circuits like we currently have.

We aren't excited to have our basement ripped up for the forseeable future.  It seems to be for the better though.  I am really glad that we found the wiring problems.  It really is scary/dangerous having the wiring as bad as it is; it really needs to be fixed.  I probably would not known until the house burned down.  Once they found the bad wiring, I probably would have rationalized and justified my way out of ever doing all the work to fix it if it wasn't being done for us.  It really does need to be done though, and sooner rather than later.

All in all, for how much I was upset at things when I heard the basement was flooding, things are turning out about as good as they possibly can in this situation.  Just to top things off even more, the insurance company is going to count the work we did to take things out of the rooms and vacuum up the first 150 gallons of water.  They taking several hundred dollars off the deductible.  Life is good.

I was pretty happy with all this news.  We are getting all of the wiring in the basement fixed (on the same insurance claim/deductible no less) and therefore my house not burning down.  Heather wanted to sweeten my day a bit more though.  She made me home made corn dogs and churros for dinner tonight.  It really has been a pretty dang good day here in Smithfield.

Here are some pics of the current status of our basement:

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter 2009 in Smithfield

Easter in Smithfield was exciting. The fun started Saturday morning. Smithfield City did an Easter egg hunt at Mack Park a few blocks from our house. It was more of a candy hunt, but that is what the kids wanted for anyways. I am still amazed at how much candy was strewn across the lawn at the park. I would guess there were 200 kids there. Noah and Grace probably had less than average and they still came home with more candy than they needed. After Mack Park, we went to the store to grab some things for dinner. The grocery store was also having an Easter celebration. More candy for the kids. More sugar highs.

Next on the agenda was building a sandbox. Brent and Nedra came up and we started clearing out a spot in the lawn. Noah was ecstatic to go to the landscaping supply place and pickup the sand. We got to talk about the skid-steer that loaded the sand. He thought the name was silly, and thought the reason behind the name was even funnier. After we got home, I learned that while the tires on the truck are good enough to pass state inspections, they aren't good enough to drive on wet grass. It didn't make Heather's day to see me ripping up the grass in the yard.

When we got back, we finished digging the hole, and building the wooden frame. We were about to start unloading the sand when Heather came and told me the happy news of the night. There was ~2 inches of water in the three bedrooms in the basement. There were 4 of us that spent ~2.5 hours with wet-dry vacs sucking up water. I have no idea how much water we got out, my best guess is around 60-70 gallons. We finally gave up and called in the big guns. The Alpine guys ripped out all of the carpet pads, did their own extractions (getting who knows how many more gallons of water) and set out fans and a de-humidifier.

After looking around at things, it turns out that I caused the flooding. As a part of the Spring preparations, I turned the sprinkler valve back on. The guy we bought the house from showed me the valve out front, but everything else was under snow. We never opened up the sprinkler control boxes and I didn't see that he had a drain valve installed there. In case anyone cares, you need to close the drain valve (in both boxes, front and back), before you turn on the main sprinkler valve out front, or life gets exciting. Luckily we caught it within 6-8 hours of turning the water on. We rarely go into the basement and it could easily have been days before we caught it.

Today has been a lot better. The kids actually slept in. We got ready and headed to church. After church, we spent the afternoon just relaxing. We took a nice walk, and the kids played in the sand box, and most of us took naps (Noah is too big for naps...) All in all, it was a very eventful Easter weekend, but pretty nice.

Here are some pictures of the happenings at our house this weekend.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

What did you do today?

  • Ian, April, Molly ran, walked, strolled the one-mile Cary Road Race Fun Run
  • April invited our neighbor to church with us next week (Easter Sunday) as well as giving information about general conference, a pass along card, and our inspirational Linguine Amatrice recipe
  • April watched 4 hours of conference (well almost, with kid interruptions it's hard to say exactly)
  • Ian, Molly, and Ryan watched 2 hours of conference (Molly a little more than that as she sat on my lap at our friends house for a while)
  • Ian played guns (and probably other stuff, but who can tell) for two hours with his friend Nate (At some point he was playing dodge the dominos. When Nate got in trouble with is home for hitting Ian with the dominos his defense was, "but he was great at dodging!")
  • Ian and Molly chased the ducks in our front yard (we have a couple of "squtters" escaped white ducks who hang out at our neighborhood pond--for some reason they had wandered all the way down the block to eat around the bottom of my bushes--I hope their eating icky bugs)
  •   April, Molly, and Ian made Spanokapita including the dough bits from scratch. (We ran a little short of layers because Molly appropriated about a third of the dough balls into one large play dough ball, which she kept smashing into her face, primarily her hair line and laughing hillariously.)
  • Ryan drove his car really fast around the North track at VIR and rode in it while Ashraf drove it really, really fast.

I don't recall ever having a Saturday conference in which I felt like I did so much. 

Friday, April 3, 2009

And now, the moment you have all been waiting for....

The verdict is..... We are allowed to adopt children. No wait. Poll. T-Shirt. That verdict is...Both. He is currently wearing the "meh" shirt. Thanks for the input. I think he enjoys them.

About the adoption. We spent our second anniversary at interviews. Isn't it romantic? I thought so. Long and short is - we cleared. We have to turn in our letter and do a paper copy of the profile, but our case worker said there will be no problems with approval. She will write our home-study next week or the week after. It will then be sent to the director for approval and then we will be approved. Yay. Next: the waiting game. Wahoooooo!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Daniel posts again

Okay I have added another link. On the right is a link to Ashley's blog. It is the blog that we will show people who are interested in placing their child with us. Also she actually updates this one.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Allen Family Calender Update

So I forgot when Dad's birthday was. So to make sure that this doesn't happen again I used the family calendar. Please check and make sure I didn't miss any. Also if you want a present from me make sure I'm set up to get an email reminder.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

It's A New Link

So if you will notice off to the right there is a new link. Yup that right Daniel's Weight Loss tracker is out there for the whole world to see. To participate fill out the first couple of columns on a new row with your name current weight and goal weight. It then will figure out what you need to lose this week to meet you goal in twelve weeks. And the best part is everyone sees how everyone else is doing. I think peer pressure is a great way to help. :) I recomend using a standard monday morning pre-shower weight.

If it doesn't work let me know...

On a different note, Ashley and I watched a new drama tonight that I recommend which is big cause we don't like dramas. It is Kings on NBC.The first episode is two hours but it was really good. Hopefully they don't "Jump the Shark" like I feel Heroes.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Awesome read....

It may be my love of the movie "The Italian Job" getting to me, but I found this wired article about the world's biggest diamond heist to be beyond fascinating... I highly recommend reading it.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Let's All Join Daniel

So the Doctor's office called today and said that I have three options: 1. Take more drugs, 2. Lose at least 15 pounds in the next 6 months by changing your diet including lowering you LDL by 30 points or so and "we can set you an appoint with a dietitian if you need help", or 3. die ten to fifteen years sooner.

As you may have guess I have chosen option 2 as I currently take more than enough pills. So there is the challenge lose 15 pounds by changing your lifestyle so it stays off.

April, can you give me admin rights? I think I will post something to track people's weight lose...

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Calling all Daniels!!

This one is asking a lot. Maybe. We are trying to put together pictures for our profile now. Do you know how hard it is to find a picture of Daniel in his collection of pictures? Impossible because he doesn't like his picture taken. So I am calling in reinforcements. Do any of you have pictures of Daniel from the last 2 or 3 years? Graduation? Pictures you took at our wedding? Sneaky pictures when he wasn't looking? I would be grateful for any. Oh, and Eric - can we get copies of the pictures you took with Daniel's camera at our wedding? Thanks all.

Ashley said I choose this shirt but I doubt it

So Ashley and I were shopping at Old Navy and somehow I ended up wearing this to Matt and Heather's open house.

Best Idea


Members of Congress should be compelled to wear uniforms like
NASCAR drivers, so we could identify their corporate sponsor

Friday, March 6, 2009

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Holy long post Batman!!

Before I lose everybody in the long, boring bits; we have an invitation to extend. This Saturday (March 7), we are having an open house at our new house from 5:00 - 7:00 PM. It isn't going to be super formal. Just hang out, play games, chat, whatever. We will have a few treats to snack on too. We would love to see you there. If you can make it and/or need the address, get a hold of Heather or me. If you can't make it, that is fine too. You are all welcome to visit any time you want (whether or not you make it to the open house).

Back to the post....

I have been doing a bad job updating the blog again. That probably shouldn't surprise anybody. :) Things at hour house have been crazy lately. I have started a post for the blog about 5 times, but never finished it. I'll try to do a quick sum-up as to what has been happening at our house.

We moved into our new house in Smithfield. The move went off pretty well. Shockingly, the only thing that broke was a cookie jar. I kind of expected more stuff to get busted in the move. Heather did 98% of the packing and 99% of the unpacking. I feel pretty bad about that, but she did an awesome job. She also coped with the kids while she was at it. I took the easy route and went to work.

We love the new house. It is much bigger than our old house. We love having all of the space, and finally being able to put everything in it's space (although, the truck hasn't made it into it's place in the garage yet, I still need to finish cleaning out the garage...) As it warms up, we all get excited about the yard. The people who owned the house before us did a pretty good job at landscaping, and loved their patios. We have 3 large patios, and lots of trees. The kids can't wait to put their swingset together and play more in the backyard. Heather and I are getting excited for the garden.

The university is not immune to the economy. IT at USU recently let 20% of their employees go via either reduction in force, or a voluntary termination. Thankfully, I still have a job. I also have some free time coming up next week. Whether I like it or not. We are going to make the best of it by finishing getting settled into our house.

Heather has wanted to go to the beach for a while. I thought: Hey, my brother lives a couple hours away from a beach. Why don't we go to Texas to go to the beach? We are hoping to make it work out for us to go down there. It will be a LOOOOOONG trip. We will see how that pans out.

I am sure I am forgetting several things, but this post is plenty long enough already. I'll leave off with some pictures for everyone to enjoy.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Who's your man crush?

You know you have a man-crush on another male when you would have a hard time avoiding acting like a blushing schoolgirl in their presence. My current and former man-crushes include:

Stefan Edberg

Tyler Cowen

Greg Mankiw

Payne Stewart

Jeff Hornacek

Greg Maddux

Vladimir Kramnik

Matt Kenseth

Michael Kitchen


Can you have a man-crush on a female? I say yes:

Alison Krauss

Brent, Daniel, Eric, Matt, Jake: Time to fess up. Who's your man-crush? We already know some of them (correct me if I am wrong):

Brent's new main squeeze.



Daniel. OK, maybe that's me.


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Snow day

I'm a little slow to get these pictures up. But we thoroughly enjoyed our two days of snow this winter! (By the third day, we were glad it was finally melting and we were questioning whether we really want to return to the land of witner.)

Ian's birthday

Ryan made a great cake for Ian.

We had a great time with our friends at the party. We made race cars out of soap boxes and had a relay race driving our yellow speed racer box car and changing its paper plate tires during the rest stop.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Daniel was right!

I just want to let everyone know that Matt has admitted that I was right. Big Bang Theory is funny.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Daniel posts again...

So Daniel is posting again. We had a first of five adoption class this week, tuesday for those of you who care. The most interesting part of it is the demographic of people who were there. About half of the class this was their first adoptions, about a fourth had already adopted one, and about a fourth had atleast one biological child.

Oh yeah it also seems if you would perfer a healthly anglo-saxon child it will be like 2-3 years, so just keep that in mind.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Daniel this posting is safe to read

yes, it will not contain any reference(other than this reference) to your favorite family dinner conversation topic. But it is in reference to my great appreciation of making it to week 10 in pregnancy without throwing up. Those of you who have been pregnant or who have observed pregnancies should realize the magnitude of this feat. Anyhow let's all hope that my luck holds.

On other news, next week the kearl family embarks on a trip to the (hopefully) warm and beautiful San Diego. We are going on this trip because I am pregnant and the only time we go on good vacations is when I am pregant. Actually due to 2 free airline tickets (hooray for getting bumped) and a toddler that travels free for 2 more weeks, not to mention the free housing at Natalie's. Anyhow, we will let you know how warm it is when we get back.

P.S. Gh is doing better, but Nedra has a sinus infection and we are talking about bringing in meals. Just kidding.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Another housing update.

It will be sad to leave our Meadow Circle house.  Neither Heather or I have any doubts that this was absolutely the right house for us to be in.  We all love it here.  The location, the house and the ward.  As we talked, it felt like it was time to move on.  We feel that this is the right time for us to move.

Right after we put the house on the market in November, we had a couple showings a week.  We have only had 1 showing at our house since the week of Thanksgiving, but I guess 1 is all it takes.  Our current house went under contract about a week ago.  We feel like we are getting a great market value without ripping the buyer off.  A win-win for both of us.

Once our house was under contract, it became crunch time.  We either had to find something new for us, or a place to rent.  Last week I think we looked at ~20 houses in 2 days.  The last one we looked at, we made an offer on.

We now have that house under contract.  There was an existing offer on the house that was contingent upon the buyer selling their house.  Since we have our house under contract, we made an offer and the seller has accepted it.  The other buyer has a couple more days to drop all contingencies from their offer, but that is unlikely.  It looks like we will become the primary offer and get this house.

The house is in Smithfield (~4 miles north of Logan).  Across the street is the church, and behind the house across the canal is the elementary school.  The house is _HUGE_.  We have no idea what we will do with all the space.  The home was built in 1991, then they remodeled in 2000.  It has 6 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms.

Assuming all goes well, we will close on both houses on Feb 23.  That means we will have to move out of our current house on ~Feb 21, and we hope to do some work on the new house before moving in, so it will probably be Feb 28th before we move in.  We are pretty excited.

Here are some pics of the house for all to enjoy....

Monday, January 19, 2009

Small favor...

Daniel and I had our intake interview for the adoption process on Friday. We have some pretty serious self evaluating during this application process. But also part of the application is called the "matching" sheets. This is where we list our interests, physical descriptions of us and what we are looking for in a baby. Part of the matching information that they request also extends to our family. We need the following information for Brent, Nedra, April, Crystal, Heather, and Eric.

Physical Description

You can either just leave a comment or send it to me e-mail form.

Thanks a bunch for your help.

(Heather did it just right. Thanks Nedra for yours and Brent's.)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It's official.....

Today, we signed the paperwork and our house is officially under contract.  We are pretty happy about this, but at a bit of a loss since we have no idea where we are going to go....  Closing is February 25.  We hope to find something in the meantime.  If not, we will rent or do what is needed.  We scoured all of the listings pretty thoroughly and nothing screams at us that we need to buy it.  We are going to kind of play it by ear for a while and walk through every house in our price range to see what there is....

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I just wanted to let everybody know that we got an offer on our house today. It was a little low so we countered but hopefully tomorrow we will know if it is sold or not.

Biggest Suprise Every

I don't think your ready for this..... Daniel at salmon and liked it.
Now back to your regural posting.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

On the Menu

Pepper Car Soup


Monday, January 5, 2009

food storage website

I just wanted to let everybody know about this website. I know that Daniel and Ashley are starting to think about food storage and that Crystal is alway thinking about it. Anyway this site covers all areas, planning, shopping, cooking. I hope you like it.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Hiking on Jan 3, 2009

This is my first attempt at doing a blog. I went snowshoeing up to Cutler basin. It was 9 degrees. It was very beautiful. Eric is helping me do this.
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