Friday, February 29, 2008

Mapping out and stumping

You may recall that I was recently given a back yard to play with. Initially the owners gave me the whole backyard, but they later clarified and said I get a portion.

Tonight I met with the owners and mapped out the area for the garden, but it will be pretty big none the less. The owners gave me the best piece of land that the back yard has. They wanted me to have the best soil to work with and the soil with the least amount of rock in it. We talked about ways to kill the weeds and we talked about how he would like to see the land get developed. He has access to a bunch of steer and horse manure that we will be able to pour into the soil. He has a v8 pick-up truck and a double axle trailer to haul manure and top soil in. We think we know someone in the ward that has a tiller I can use, to till the manure and top soil in.
(I'm working in an area just right of the picture)

So all that is left is to start working the soil and getting it ready. Today was the first day in several weeks where I didn't cough (I think it's the donuts I had for breakfast that did the trick). So today was also my first day working the ground. I started by trying to remove a wroughted stump. Things were going well until I got about 4 inches down and broke a sprinkler pipe. The pipe was under the stump and the stump had grown around it. It was impressive to see (I'll try to get pics tomorrow). I ran out of daylight before I could get the stump out, so I'm hoping Monday has good weather.

Mobile Home

Not sure where the hell I was, CA

I took a drive during lunch. I'm somewhere between Jersey Island, Oakley, Bethel Island and Knightsen. Beyond that - not a clue.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

hearted shutters

Oakley, CA

This house is a few blocks from my office. I thought the heart shaped shutters were cute.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wrong Language

Fremont, CA

Why is this not in Chinese or Japanese?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Oakley, CA

I was thinking about posting this under mystery photo, but I decided not to.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Business park scenery

Pleasant Hill, CA

I had an all day Employee Training meeting today that would have been a total waste if it wasn't for Alice and Claudia keeping me awake and for all of these beautiful water ways surrounding the facilities.

(BTW - Melinda, there are pine trees, weeping willows, grass and moss in this picture. Because i know you'll ask)

Sunday, February 24, 2008


San Leandro, CA

This is the first place I took KNJ on our first date in 2002. Today I was back near here to see her little brother's missionary farewell talk. I knew him when he was 14 and awkward. To see him now - 19 and a young man ready to share the gospel in Brasil...amazing.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A used Umbrella

Pittsburg, CA

We had a windy day today in CA.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Jean Val and Offred

Antioch, CA

I finished reading "The Handmaid's Tale" on Monday and started reading "Les Miserables." I've seen Les Mis twice on stage so as I'm reading the book occasionally a song will pop into my head.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

getting through the day

Antioch, CA

I've had a bad cold for the past week, which got worse on Monday night. On Tuesday I didn't see any clients, nor did I on Wednesday. But today I was seeing clients again, so being horribly sick wasn't an option. Thankfully I was able to suck on these long enough today that my boss didn't send me home and I was able to treat without coughing on clients.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Travesty adverted

I love real Donuts. I'm not sure how we lucked out in life, but my family grew up near a donut store that made real donuts. They didn't use imitation materials or skimp on the good stuff. No - instead they made honest donuts that taste good.

For several years, my brother worked at that donut store, bringing home fresh donuts. When I was old enough to drive I would make frequent trips on my way home from seminary to go to that donut store. When my mom was having surgeries (which was pretty often growing up), she would have me sneak her in donuts from our family favorite donut store into the hospital rooms she was in. (She loved the maple bars.)

I start with that so that you will understand how tragic Idaho was. Rexburg does not have a donut store. So I was left to eat donuts from the grocery store that just weren't up to par. Then I moved to Antioch and there aren't any donut stores near by. I was definitely going through donut withdrawal.

Thankfully, last Tuesday (the 12th) I found a donut store that is on my way to work. Even better, their donuts almost taste as good as the donuts from my childhood. So for three straight days I had donuts for breakfast. It was like being in heaven - except for two small problems:
1. I'm trying to lose weight.
2. I was unemployed for 6 months - I have a lot of debt to pay back.

So imagine my great happiness (and a little sadness) when the new highway bypass opened up. With the new freeway extension, not only do I save 5 minutes off my commute, but I don't even come close to the donut store. I literally have to drive out of my way to get the donuts. So now I can only buy donuts when I'm running early for work. Travesty adverted. No huge donut debt. No additional fattening of Sean. But still close enough so that when I need comfort food, it's right there waiting for me to get beautiful mouth satisfying donuts.

Ansel Day

Oakley, CA

Today is Ansel Adams' birthday. In light of that I give you a black and white picture.

(More Cherry Blossoms)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Antioch, CA

I think it is a cherry blossom tree.

Monday, February 18, 2008

32 Stories up

San Fransisco, CA

I had a "Father and Son" day in the city today. My father forgot about my fear of heights and took me on two death defying adventures: To a bar 32 stories up and to a hotel 51 stories up. This shot is from the bar. The other shots are in the BTC shots.

(BTC - 32)
(BTC - 51)
(BTC - San Fran)

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Antioch, CA

It was finally warm enough that John and I could Bar B Q. I couldn't decide which was better - this picture or this one

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Riding the rail

Crockett, CA

John and I went on an adventure today. We started out by going to Emeryville, but ended up in Port Costa eventually.


Friday, February 15, 2008

Frogs and Turtles

Oakley, CA

At work, each time a child touches a toy in therapy, it has to be washed. Certain clients will only respond to certain particular toys. So some days I spend all day long washing the frogs, the turtles and the Velcro fruit.

(This is post #250)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day

Pittsburg, CA

A young at heart married couple I know.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Just imagine a garden

Antioch, CA

For an explanation of this picture, go here.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Fire and Rain

The last 48 hours have been a whirlwind of emotions and I'm just not sure how to feel today. In the last 48 hours, a friend has gotten engaged, another friend was layed off from his job, while yet another friend has found out she may have to go back to work. I lost a friend and I have grown closer to another friend. A friend got pregnant, while another friend struggles for the miracle of starting a family. A lot of ups and downs and unsureties. And when ever my mind gets heavy with emotions - it always turns one place.

In the book, the 5 people you meet in heaven, our main character finds out that the fourth person he met was his wife who died several years before him. She was his best friend and he missed her terribly. When he finally is reunited with her he tells her about his life, by sharing the regular every day stuff.

I so badly want to have a best friend to share my life with, and yet I don't. I haven't had a best friend in years and so on days like today, when all the world is changing - I always turn my thoughts back to KNJ...and wish that some how I could tell her about Cindy, Dun, Gu, Allison, Mentzers, Erin and others. Instead my mind just plays snapshot images of her with a sound track of songs.

Song one
Song two
Song three
Song four
Song five

Wrinkle Free

Antioch, CA

Monday, February 11, 2008

This much

Antioch, CA

My Massage Therapist suggested I start drinking more water. She suggests at least 32 ounces every day. So I started drinking 32 ounces every day. Over the past two weeks I have found my self refilling it half way through out the day so I guess I'm drinking 48 ounces now.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Green thumb

I can honestly say that i don't have too much stress in my life. I love my job and am loving getting pay checks. I do have some major monetary expenses coming up - but I have faith that everything will turn out. In case you didn't hear, Tina and I broke up, so I don't even have relationship stress. I am doing pretty good with life and am pretty happy.

That said, I'm still trying to create stress relievers in my life - in case life ever does get stressful. One stress reliever that I started was going to the gym (by the way, my massage therapist has convinced me to start lifting weights in addition to swimming - so as soon as I figure out an exercise program - I'll start lifting weights). No matter what is bothering me, I am usually a lot less bothered once I've swallowed some chlorine and swam half a mile.

Another way that I combat stress is by working in a garden. For me, pulling weeds is therapeutic. Working with the soil and tossing it over inspires me. But I live in an apartment where there is no room to grow unless I want to create a florescent harvest and I would only do that if I was growing pot.
Since moving to Antioch, I have been trying to find a community garden to grow in, but all of the community gardens have gone under thanks to CA's push to develop land. So I was at a lost as to where I could garden. I was lost, that is, until tonight.

In the LDS church, there is a program where two men go and visit various families in the area to help make sure their needs (that families' needs) are being take care of. It's called "home teaching." My home teaching companion had me over to his place for dinner tonight. When I arrived I found my self staring out at his HUGE back yard. Since moving in 4 years ago, they haven't done anything with the back yard. Commenting on how jealous I was, both him and his wife turned to me and said, "Well - if you want it, it's yours. All of it. All we ask is that whatever you grow - you give us half." I mentioned that all it will probably be would be corn, potatoes, zucchini and snap peas. They said that was fine. They just want half.

I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am. This is such a great blessing in my life. The land needs a lot of work, which will make this that much more exciting of a project. I will try to get a "before" picture some time in the next two weeks, but as soon as the days get a little longer, I will have a whole back yard to my self. I am so EXCITED!

Knock and it shall be opened unto you.

Antioch, CA

It was so warm today that we opened up the apartment's windows and door and let the warmth and breezes sift through the house.

Friday, February 8, 2008

more games

Antioch, CA

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Barred Windows

Antioch, CA

I represented my office at a farewell party for one of the therapists in the county I work for. Today was her last day and we ate at a Mexican restaurant that not only had bars on the window that faced out, but bars on the windows on the inside.

(On a personal note, I generally don't eat Mexican for lunch when I'm working. The reason being, for the rest of the day, when my unit would smell funny I was forced to look innocent when instead I wanted to admit, "Yup - that's my butt.")

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Flashed Hall

Fremont, CA

After cleaning out my storage unit tonight, I decided to experiment with my flash.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Antioch, CA

(Forgot my camera this morning. Oops!)

Monday, February 4, 2008


Antioch, CA

Memoirs of a Gym Member - The Beginning

In what I hope will be a lengthy series, I introduce to you tonight "Memoirs of a Gym Member." In an effort to be more like Mike (though not gay) and more like Liz (though not a woman) and more than anything because I'm tired of looking pregnant - I joined a gym. It turns out that as a County employee, I get a 65% discount and I don't have to pay any initiation fee or activation fee or any other fees. I just get to go for an incredibly low price.

I joined on the 22 of January. I went on the 22 and did 10 minutes in the hot tub, 12 minutes in the pool and 10 more minutes in the hot tub. I swam approximately 150 yards or 6 laps.

The next time I went (Thursday the 31st) I swam for 20 minutes and I swam 300 yards (or 12 laps) before going to the hot tub for ten minutes. So far I haven't been very impressed with my performance, but I'm learning. I'm learning to stretch first because it hurts less later. I'm learning to eat dinner after a good swim, not before. I'm learning to walk to the gym because parking sucks. I'm learning to use the hot tub after and not before.

I learned all of this and came to the gym tonight. I stretched, I swam, I walked there and I didn't eat until I got home. I swam 600 yards (24 laps) almost continuously (I stopped every 8 laps to rest). In total I swam for 22 minutes and went to the hot tub for 8 minutes.

So for my next paycheck I'm pricing out fins and new swim shorts. I'm really excited that this is going so well. I know the hard tasks are still ahead (In a week I'll start doing crunches to start to do something about this baby inside me.) but it's a good start. Maybe in 18 months I'll be healthy enough to run a half marathon.

Sunday, February 3, 2008


Antioch, CA

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Best Soccer on 4 wheels

Berkley, CA

Friday, February 1, 2008


Oakley, CA

Four (4)

Per Gu's Request:

4 Jobs You've Had:
1.Special Education Assistant Teacher (6 Years)
2. Garden Maintenance (6 Years)
3.Telemarketer/Telephone Surveys (18 months)
4.Meat Counter Associate (4 months)

4 Places I've Lived:
1.Beaverton Oregon
2.Rexburg Idaho
3.Tucson Arizona
4.Union City California

4 T.V. Shows You Love to Watch
2.The Daily Show (and A Daily Show)
(Why is Jon Stewart funny without writers and Dave Letterman isn't funny with writers?)
4.Mad Men

4 Places You've Been on Vacation
1.Springville Utah
2.Madison Wisconsin
4.Miles City Montana

4 Websites You Visit Daily
2.Blogger Reader
4.Live Journal

4 of Your Favorite Foods:
1.Donuts from Safeway (specifically the ones that have white frosting and sprinkles)
2.Cinnamon rolls
4.Not too Spicy Mexican Food

4 Places I'd Rather Be:
1.On the open Road
2.On a porch in Springville Utah
3.Out of debt