Thursday, October 30, 2008

Opinion: The Election

I can’t wait for the election BS to end. Please, for the love, just let it be over!

I have what I call a serious case of the OJ Syndrome. This syndrome harkens back to ’96 when OJ was on trial for the first time. It seemed like there was nothing but OJ on TV or the news for a year. I finally lost my mind and yelled “fine just let him go already!” If the price of not seeing OJ’s face or hearing about him or reading about him is letting him free THAN SO BE IT. Unfortunately, this ended up being the case anyway but that’s a whole other story...

I’m feeling the same way about this year’s election – just end it. If a true conservative (someone we haven’t had in 20 years) were running then I would think differently. In today’s world I can see little difference in either of the parties. Basically, I dislike McCain just a little bit less than I dislike Obama. It seems like we have a democrat (McCain) running against a socialist (Obama). I really wish Palin was running against Obama – that would make things interesting.

All of the contention and arguing and debating and name calling and other general BS the current election has generated has really left me with a bad taste in my mouth for all politics. I’ve said this before: We get what we deserve when it comes to our leadership in this nation. All the true leadership in America wouldn’t touch the presidency with a 100 foot pole. I don’t know too many people (myself included) who could survive the anal exam given by the media, the campaign and the American people.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Life is good...

I really don’t have all that much to write about...

I went to the dentist yesterday for the first time in 10 years and I was amazed to find I am cavity free. I guess I owe my good teeth to genetics because it couldn’t be personal hygiene – 100s of gallons of diet coke and I don’t think I have ever flossed...

My kids are growing up! The Boy is a boy now and the Girl is a little girl now. There isn’t anything better than coming home from work and them running into my arms giving me hugs and kisses. I love it when my kids try to scare me. I will be standing in the kitchen and I will hear them coming down the stairs whispering to each other “let’s scare daddy...” They will sneak around the corner and go “raaar!!” I always pretend to be scared, then I chase them and tickle them. All other joys in life pale in comparison

Friday, October 24, 2008

Scanning Pictures...

I have been sick for the last couple of days so I've had a little time to scan pictures. If you want to see pictures of me when I was skinny and spiritual, you can click on my mission pictures on the right. I have a ton of pictures so I'm still adding to the gallery.

From Kyle's Mission

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Scary world we live in...

A member of our ward went out on Saturday night to get an air mattress at Walmart. Some relatives were on their way into town and they needed a place to sleep. Brad Garrard never made it back home. No one knows what really happened. His body was found less than a block from his house. He had been shot in the chest. His truck was found on fire out in the desert.

Fox 10 news

AZ Family

AZ Central

Brad Garrard was a heck of a nice guy. He served faithfully as one of our 11 year old leaders and in our Cub Scouts.

All of this brings me to some thoughts on our world... Is it just me or are things getting worse out there? Am I going to have to start carrying my gun with me into work at 4:00 in the morning? Are we just going to have to have a curfew in the Christiansen household? Are we going to have to put GPS devices on our kids? Is this what we are coming to?

The Garrard family lived in a nice neighborhood. One that you thought you could walk around in at night. One that you thought you could just live peacefully and raise your kids. We live in a nice neighborhood. I hope we aren’t in any danger... but I guess one never knows.

Let me tell you this... I will up and move to Pima, AZ without ever looking back if I ever thought my family was in danger. My credit or some bank’s balance sheet means nothing to me when compared to the safety of my sweet family. I would sooner live dirt poor a single wide trailer in Pima where my kids were safe.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Scaring me in a good way

I love Glenn Beck and his thoughts on our economy. He scares me in a good, get my crap together, way. He motivates me to get my house in order to be prepared for what's coming in our economy.

It’s funny how a lot of us kind of knew the economic craziness was coming years ago. Haven’t our church leaders been telling us to get our houses in order for years?

Funny/Interesting story: Mela & I sold our house in Avondale and bought a bigger but still modest house in the forsaken land of Buckeye about three years ago. In our new ward we were put in as the ward cannery specialists. It was a calling I really didn’t have any interest in and I knew it was something we were bad at. At that time our year’s supply consisted of a can of El Pato sauce. We would be totally screwed if something bad happened.

Well, I can see how the Lord knew what we needed to do in our family. We are now almost set with food, water and ammo. Now if I can just figure out how I can satisfy my diet coke need during the hard times...

I don’t know what’s in store for the world, America or my family. I do know we are doing our best to prepare.

On another note: Mela and I have been reading a series of books called The Great & Terrible by Chris Stewart. It's a series of books following a family from their pre-mortal life and the war in heaven to our days. It is a very good read.

The author gives the reader an interesting perspective on good and evil. We are all eternal children of Our Father in Heaven. Our relationships to each other and our personalities carried with us into this life. The Lord has plans for us in this life and missions for us to accomplish.

The opposite is true also. Satan and his angles know us. Some of Satan's followers could have been our friends who knew us well before this life. We fought against Satan's plan. In this life Satan is focused on corrupting and destroying us because he hates us. Hate and how to corrupt is all Satan knows.

I'm on book five and let me tell you I'm glad we have food and water stored up at our house.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Old Pictures

Mela has a gray photo album with 100s of pictures. Over the last few days I have been scanning the pictures. Most of them were Mela's high school days. They are totally priceless! Click here to view them all.

I also found these very old pictures in an envelope in with all the high school pictures.

Mela's father John Mattice.

Mela's mom Karen Kempton.

Wedding picture John & Karen Mattice.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I’ve been on a kick of digitizing old pictures

Mela and I have thousands of old photographs that go back for years. All of these pictures are in boxes and old photo albums. I have been going through them and noticing what a treasure they are. I have gone through my parents and Mela’s parents slides and I still have a ton of those to do. Over the last year I have felt the need to try to gather and organize all of these. I wonder if the spirit of genealogy is hitting me finally...

I have an excellent scanner and a lot of hard-drive space so I have been scanning as much as I have time to do. My biggest problem is time. I hate just camping out in my man-cave for hours at a time - I feel guilty when I’m not being with my family or just taking the kids off Mela’s hands.

When it comes to scanning pictures I have to be selective. The pictures have to be in focus and of people. Believe it or not landscapes really aren’t that interesting to me when looking back on pictures taken 20 or even 50 years ago. Pictures of people and family are worth their weight in gold. A picture of the Washington monument from 1966 really isn’t all that interesting to me. All of this has been a lesson for my own photography - I need to document people not necessarily things.

Also I need to make sure I am getting pictures of myself. My wife’s father, John Mattice who pasted away back in 1979, was a great photographer but from all his pictures you’d think he wasn’t involved with his family and then you remember he was the one taking the pictures. So, pictures of the photographer need to be regularly included. When I find pictures of John they are pure gold!

When I get the pictures scanned and cropped I try to determine who is in the picture, where and when the picture was taken. Once I have this information I put it into the metadata of the jpeg images so it is part of the actual file. I need to find a way to share all these pictures. I think I'm going to use my flickr account and post a link to it from my blog.

Some of the more entertaining pictures have been pictures of Mela and her friends back in High School. Most of these pictures have handwritten notes on the back that can be pretty funny. I wish I had time to capture all of these little notes because they are priceless. I’m going to try to run them through my other sheet feed scanner that I use for receipts and bills. We’ll see how that works...

All of this is going to take me months and years to accomplish. I hope I can do it. I need to preserve these pictures for my kids and my grandkids.

Another project will be to scan all my old journals. I have no idea how I’m going to do that...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Riding the Bike

Well, I know I set a goal to ride my bike 50 miles a week. Let's just say that was much easier to say than to do. It's all about time. I haven't had time to ride. I know I'm a loser!!

I have been using my weights everyday so far. So, I'm trying...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I was attacked!

I’ve been riding my bike the last couple of days. I have a goal to ride my bike 50 miles a week. You may think this is easy and for some it probably is...

I try to stay off the road and ride on the dirt. Usually, I try to stay off the paved roads. I don’t like riding on the paved roads because I worry I’m going to get hit by some idiot driver. Back in the day I used to ride my bike to ASU. To keep myself safe I just assumed everyone was out to kill me. I also enjoy riding off road because it’s more of a workout and it’s a lot of fun.

Around my house there are many places to ride. I have a route that takes me through the desert, down a canal, past a Kingdom Hall, up a dirt-bike path, beside a golf-course to an old airport landing strip, along the side of the I-10 and back to my house. It’s about 10 or 11 miles.

So, on Monday afternoon I was riding down some path carved out by dirt-bikes and quads east of my housing development and I got to a low lying area near a golf course where there was a lot of grass and kind of wet. As soon as I went down the hill into the area I was attacked by thousands of grasshoppers. They were all over me! I stopped to try to brush them off but there were too many and they just kept on coming so I climbed back on my bike an pebbled out of there as quickly as I could. When I was finally in the clear I felt something crawling in my armpit and down my back. I pulled off my camelbak and started shaking out my shirt and three grasshoppers fell out. Thank heavens I didn’t have any of the little buggers crawling up my pants. I will be scared for life!

I think I will avoid that part of the desert until it cools off a little bit more.

Monday, October 6, 2008

It's time...

One of my close friends is committing to work out everyday in the month of October. I’m going to make a similar commitment....

I’m going to ride my bike 50 miles a week and do my weights every morning. No excuses! I’m starting today. I will keep you posted.

My last 10 to 15 pounds needs to go and it needs to go this month!

Opinion: I ran out of ideas...

I just kind of ran out of ideas. I have been writing a series on opinions but I have nothing that would be too interesting... Let me do a rapid fire:
  • Government Bailout: I think it’s a bad idea.
  • Obama: very bad
  • McCain / Palin: not so bad
  • Western Digital Hard Drives: good
  • Dell Computers: good
  • Macintosh Computers: I wish...
  • iPod Touch 32 gb: super cool
  • AT&T: I hate them
  • Alltel: they rock
  • Cash: good right now
  • Stocks: bad right now
  • Frozen Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups: good
  • Dark Chocolate: bad
  • Onions: EVIL
  • Current Political Philosophy: when in doubt vote them out – necessary evil
  • Current Political Party: Conservative
  • Second Amendment: good
  • Movies out right now: nothing is out right now that’s worth a damn.
  • Mountain Bikes: I have a Trek 4300 that I need to ride a whole lot more. I just got the cleats and shoes where they lock your feet to the pedals. You have to think ahead in the event you want to stop...
  • Helmet or No Helmet while riding a bike: I hate it but I try to wear a helmet. I feel like such a geek!
  • Taxes: bad and they need to be lower and our government needs to be more responsible with OUR money.
  • Family verses Friends: Mela is my best friend so both!
  • Currently Reading: The Great and The Terrible series by Chris Stewart and Brisingr by Christopher Paolini
  • Cameras: I want a 5D Mark II - Canon all the way! The best cameras and the best lenses. Don’t waist your money one cheap glass!