Christmas Cheer

Most of you will have already seen this, but it was really just too good not to post.

Merry Christmas!


The Stones still have it

I heard this song while traveling over Thanksgiving. With all of the band members nearing 70 The Rolling Stones have still got it. 

FYI- On the wildlife count in the garage I can now add lizards.


Let's Talk Turkey

Every year, in my post Thanksgiving, indigestion riddled, bleary-eyed traveling daze I swear off Thanksgiving. Nevertheless, as soon as early November arrives my mouth starts watering for pie, stuffing, potatoes, and turkey. This year I trekked up to Northern Idaho to spend the holiday with friends (I mean, after all who knows potatoes better than Idahoans?). Plus, there had been talk of Huckleberry pie and that could not be passed up.

 Calling in a favor, I borrowed a friends Passat TDI for the trip. As you can tell from the pictures I took the scenic (and overly slow) route.

It was a nice car and the 42mpg didn't hurt, but sweet and crunchy crackers the keyless system was FANTASTIC! I usually am not an avid new car proponent, but if it means I get one of those keyless systems I may have to convert.

 Idaho was great apart from the lack of sunlight and the pervading dampness. It was in the mid 30's to low 40's during the day and I was freezing. The food (and potatoes) did not disappoint though. For the trip home I used leftovers to make thanksgiving hoagies. They turned out pretty good, but after 900 miles and my fourth hoagy I was a little tired of them. Of course no trip to Idaho would be complete without a trip to my favorite bookstore. 

My goddaughter's birthday was the Saturday after Thanksgiving and after opening each package she would respond with "I always wanted a_____" even if she didn't quite know what it was. So, that was my holiday. All goals were met - ate too much, traveled too far, laughed too much, slept too much. I hope all of you had a good Thanksgiving too!


Say What?

So, dealing with some businesses and having my own LLC I end up having a fair amount of interaction with this guy's office:
Meet Ross Miller, Nevada's Secretary of State. What appears to simply be a mild mannered professional politician...  or so I thought.

Apparently Nevada's Secretary of State was also recently involved in this:

And he won.

Yeah, my secretary of state can armbar your secretary of state (incidentally, that is what was on the t-shirts they were handing out at the match).


Happy Nevada Day!

My poor attempt at Halloween decorations.


No Excuse

 We've had our first snow, Nevada Day (observed) has come and gone, and I've tossed no fewer than TWO scorpions out of my garage. It's been a busy coupe of months. As I'm looking at these pictures that I'm about to post I can see that the lens on my camera phone really needs to be cleaned. Oh well, you'll get the idea.

Here's the house I'm living in currently. No grass, no problem. The scorpions that seem to find their way into the garage as the weather gets colder ARE a problem. I don't seem to notice them until I'm standing right next to them. They like to hang around the door where I stand looking for the light switch. Not cool.


Here's the view out my living room window at our first snow storm of the season. All the snow that fell is gone and now we'll probably have decent weather until Christmas. Here's hoping anyway.

I've still been driving all over Nevada. Road construction season is pretty much over, but now ranchers are moving cattle so I've come across a couple of cow road blocks. The picture at the top of this post is of a sign that hangs int he Esmeralda County Courthouse (where I've been doing work recently).

All minor catastrophes aside, things are going great. More updates soon.


Great Movie

It may come as no surprise to some of you, but I loved this.


Late Summer Doings

 Wow, where did August go?! A lot has gone on in the last few weeks. I was on the pit crew for a team doing the Vegas to Reno off-road races. The picture below is at the staging area at the start. We are dead center and are surrounded by Robby Gordon's 25 chase trucks. The other pictures is of our car waiting in the line-up to start. (We are the red bug and the thumb in the picture is mine)
The car ended up munching an engine bearing and only making it 200 miles into the race. Oh well.

For work I've been traveling all over the state. I've been on a 24/7 shift drilling a water well for the city of Pahrump.
I've also been inspecting the wrap-up portion of a tank project in the previously mentioned metropolis of Manhattan.
I know you always wanted to know what a water tank looks like on the inside. 

I've also been to Tonopah, Goldfield, Eureka, and other places I can't remember. All of this traveling went well until coming home from Pahrump on Thursday when the Jeep quit suddenly leaving me on the side of the road about 35 miles North of Las Vegas. I began poking around the engine bay only to discover that some mice had decided to strip the insulation off all of the wires going to the coil packs and use them to make a nest. This let the wires eventually short out and leave me stranded. The day ended with me spending 3 hours in a tow truck and getting to Ely around 10:30pm. Mice have officially made the list. Chrysler's choice of using a cheese based insulation on their wiring doesn't help and so they are on the list too.

In other news: I finally moved into the company house. Having my own space is nice, but it has reconfirmed my suspicions that a single person does not need 1500 SF of house. The plus side is that I do have extra room so anyone who wants to come and visit is welcome (because when I finally move into my 500 SF miner's cabin anyone who comes to visit is sleeping on the couch or in a tent in the yard). The days having been getting cooler, the August monsoons have left the countryside green, and fall (i.e. pumpkin flavored everything and Nevada Day) is right around the corner. I can't wait!


More Travels

WARNING: Mildly boring travel log with pictures of cars.
I went to the exhibit "Speed: The Art of the Performance Automobile" at the UMFA a few weeks ago. I'd definitely recommend it if you're in the neighborhood. 

I took this picture (above).
(it said not to touch, nothing about taking pictures)
10 points to whoever can tell me the make of the car in the picture.

On Friday Ginger and I went up to Camp Success to help make breakfast for the kids at Youth Conference. It was a nice morning trip. By the time I got back to town a small crises was brewing at one of our projects over in Eureka so I ran over.

I spent the rest of the afternoon taking measurements and talking on the phone with our engineer in Fallon. Also, let me know introduce you to the company car, a Jeep Navigator (... or Patriot, or something. I forget). It's white and resembles a Whirlpool Refrigerator in looks and driving characteristics.This morning I headed off visit a some friends in Garrison (a little branch of our stake over the boarder in Utah) so they could introduce me to someone. She seemed extremely uninterested, but the visit with friends was nice and morning drive was a great one with the windows rolled down and the wind from a distant rainstorm blowing through the car.


Where Was I

I couldn't help but notice that it has been more than a month since I posted. That being said, I then had to look back through the pictures on my phone to remember what happened in the last month. Bare with me...

So my boss picked up and took a job in Alaska and I spent the first half of the last month helping him wrap things up, getting the office moved, etc... and now I've spent the last half of the past month cleaning up his house and moving the office up there to get set-up all while trying to keep all the projects I'm responsible for running. This includes driving around eastern Nevada to places with no gas stations (I haven't run out of gas yet, but I've come close). Driving 6 hour round trips for 30 minute meetings has become the norm.

This is a water tank project I've had to visit

This is Manhattan, Nevada

This is a working phone booth in Manhattan
These are some valves and pipe
This is the mid-summer sky in Nevada
All very fascinating. In the middle of the office moving and my boss leaving the Robertson's had a big reunion. This is the only picture I have of the whole thing:
The Volkswagen club I belong to had their annual show during that same week and some of the family came down to see that. The Anti-Chrysler has been repaired, inspected, cleaned, had its glamour shots taken and it is now up for sale. 

The Blazer went topless for a few days, but sadly I have no pictures.

Here's the Blazer coming home after it's length stay in Provo for a transmission rebuild.

I had my 10 year high school reunion at the beginning of the month. I wasn't going to go, but a friend made me go and I was glad I did. The people I thought little of in high school were still miserable people only fatter. Total validation! Also, it was fun to see and catch up with some of the people I hadn't seen in 10 years. 

(I'm sure there must be some on Facebook somewhere, but who uses that?)

I can't believe July is gone. Hopefully August will be a little slower and I can take some time to settle into my new office and house! Moving is my least favorite thing in the world and July has been full of it. Thanks to everyone who has helped me out.


Adventures in Home Ownership

Well, long story short: the house closed. I now have my own space in East Ely. The house came with all sorts of treasures not the least of which is the lawn mower in the video above. It's like one of those Roomba Vacuums, if I let it go by itself long enough it will mow the whole lawn (it also chases any cats and the neighbor's kids away). So far I've replaced the kitchen faucet, fixed a window, and spent time watering the lawn. My new refridgerator should be in my kitchen this week if all goes well. 


Hawaii and Everywhere Else

Where to start. My last post was about the morning I was leaving for the Aloha State and I haven't said anything since. So to make a long story short Hawaii is great. I thought it would be dumb and touristy, but I had a real great time. I ate a lot of good food, saw a lot of great stuff, and got really sunburned. There are loose chickens everywhere, the beaches are beautiful, and the weather is perfect.

Hula Pie at Duke's on Waikiki

Me on Waikiki

Live filming of Hawaii 5-0 (I was suppose to be touring the supreme court of the state of Hawaii, but the court guards wanted to watch the filming.)

Hanging out with family at the Polynesian Cultural Center. (you know cause we're Tongans)

Laie Hawaii Temple (I took this picture. Yeah, I'm that good)

(you may not be able to tell from this picture, but my stomach is the color of a Ferrari)

Some Beach we went to (Waimea)
Really, go to Hawaii. It's great.

In other news: The Jetta got sold to an old WWII vet from Ogden. 

This is the Jetta on it's last day. That makes three cars sold this year alone!

The Quantum had a its clutch hydraulics fail last month so it went to Salt Lake where I paid an insane amount for repairs on a 26 year old car. Somebody get me shrink!

 I don't know if anyone remembers this car:

It is currently in Blackfoot Idaho being rehabilitated after spending 30 years in an airport hangar in Kentucky. I flew up to Idaho with the owner a couple of weeks ago in this:

The car looks mostly the same, but they've been working on the engine which now looks like this:

To occupy myself in the mean time, I've taken on the recommissioning and sale of one of these:

This project will henceforth be known as "The Anti-Chrysler". I will probably be taking this one to a live auction which will be fun. 

I am also days away from closing on a house that looks a lot like this:

Yes, I know. It is stop sign adjacent. Pretty impressive. However, I may not be living there. I may be renting it out. (pink houses rent for a mint). Stay tuned for further developments.


Norway or Bust

I am happy to report that the Ghia finally sold. A guy named Trond purchased the car and is having it shipped to Norway. The car transporter who can't read e-mails called me to pick the car up the morning I was leaving to catch a flight in Las Vegas. He barely caught me, but it was quick and I made my flight and the Ghia rode off into the sunrise.


Gratuitous Baby Picture

This is my niece, and she is an adorable disaster; and her mom takes great pictures.


Let's Talk Meatloaf

All you have to say is "meatloaf" and my mouth starts to water. Granted there are a lot of really bad meatloafs out there, but of those we shall not speak. Last week I was reacquainted with a meatloaf recipe that my friend makes. I had not had this meatloaf in probably five years, but when meatloaf enters the brain nothing can be done you must have it. So I called my friend up and procured the recipe and it was every bit as good as I remember it. Even better she let me in on her genius move of pairing it with dijon mustard mashed potatoes.

This meatloaf in particular is made with a respectable variety of roasted vegetables, mozzarella cheese, and a bunch of other stuff that makes it taste great. And despite my bad picture taking the dish really looks great. One of my favorite things about meatloaf is that there's no complication to its preparation; you just mush it up and throw it in a bread pan.  In short, meatloaf is full-proof and delicious, and really what's not to love about a pan full of meat.


Moving down the road

This weekend I got to participate in my least favorite part of the car hobby, selling.

Eleven years ago or so I decided I needed an upgrade from my first car (a 1984 VW Quantum GL5 Sedan). After giving it some thought I decided it had to be a 1973 VW Super Beetle because I wanted the curved windshield and the thinner, non-energy absorbing bumpers. Eventually I spotted a 1974 model in a Vegas news paper while visiting my grandparents in southern Nevada. For reasons I can't remember we didn't go look at it. It wasn't until the following weekend that I had convinced my Dad to drive back down to Vegas so I could look at the car (he was really only game because he wanted to look at a dirt bike that he wanted to buy). We arrived in Vegas and picked up the dirt bike. We finally got over to the guy's house that was selling the 1974 super beetle. It was dark by the time we got there, but I could tell that the car was blue, very blue. Being the novice car collector that I was I overlooked its obvious faults and after a quick test drive around the cul de sac I made him an offer (as I recall I had my dad make him an offer as I was too awkward and shy). Never mind the fact that this car was a 1974 and not a 1973  so it had the large EPA mandated bumpers, or that the whole car inside and out was 100 shades of light blue or that the paint was a rattle can job at best or that the brakes were somewhat iffy; it was a VW Bug and it was now mine. Dad and I put the front plate of his truck on the bug and leaving Vegas at around 10pm at night we started the 4 hour drive back to Ely. I remember being ecstatic. Finally! I had a proper air-cooled VW. The drive home was uneventful. I quickly sold my other car and got the bug registered. On the very day I registered the bug it promptly decided to quick working for about 3 weeks. As suddenly as it quit working it suddenly started working. I never did figure out what was wrong. I drove it through the rest of high school.

This is the bug in it's assigned spot in the high school parking lot.

The summer after high school I went about getting the engine rebuilt and eventually took the bug to college. 

I had always planned to repaint the car, but i never did. The best I did was paint the wheels myself. During my first year at college the school required that your car pass the state smog test to get a parking permit so I spent a good portion of my freshman year dodging parking enforcement. When April came I moved home in the bug. That thing was packed! When I left for my mission to Brazil I carefully packed the bug into long term storage where it waited for two years and when I got home it was back to college; once again I moved everything in the bug. One year during college I bought another car and drove it until it ruined my life and broke down and I had to sell it.

Some of you may remember the martini cooler.

I eventually sold the bimmer and the trusty bug and I went to California for the summer for an internship. 

We had a good time sightseeing.
After college the bug bummed around Ely in the summer, but spent most of its time resting in the garage or down at the warehouse with the rest of the collection. This past year I decided that the bug just wasn't getting used enough and it was time for it to find a new owner and move on down the road. I nice family from Ogden came out this weekend and drove the bug home. It was harder to give them keys then I thought it was going to be. For not being exactly what I as looking for when I bought it the bug sure was a good car and traveling companion. It always started (well usually) even on the coldest mornings. It never left me stranded on a trip. What I'll remember enjoying most is just tooling down a lonely Nevada highway in the summer with the window down and radio off listening to the sound of the motor; just me, my car, and the open road.