Monday, December 22, 2008

Aaron has glasses!

About a year and a half ago, Kaylee got glasses. Well, Aaron went in for his 5-year doctor appointment, and they did an eye exam. Based on his results, they told us that we should probably take him in to an optometrist for a more thorough eye exam. So we did and sure enough, Aaron needed glasses. He was excited to pick out the frames. Anyway, he sure does like them, even though it takes a while to get used to them. We have to keep telling him to stop playing with them. Here's his first picture with glasses:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Family Dances

Well, last night for Family Home Evening, we decided to dress up and go dancing. Anyway, while we were out, I wanted to get such a fun occasion on video. I have posted videos of four different dances. Anyway, it was a very fun night, as you can probably tell from the video. Now we want you to vote on your favorite dance in the poll on the right side of the page.

Update: They removed the videos from their site, so they are no longer available. Sorry!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Post-Election Thoughts

After a very busy and exciting election night, here are some of my thoughts about last night and politics in general.

First off, I have to say how much I dislike the 2-party system. I think that politicians have to change their views in order to align themselves with their own party just to get elected.

That said, I believe it is possible for both parties to work together to accomplish good things. However, it feels like it has been a while since that has happened. Now that the democrats have full control in Washington, my fear is that they will feel like they don't have to work with republicans and will do whatever they want.

I was not an Obama fan at all, and am still not an Obama fan. I do not like some of his policies and ideas on how to improve the country. However, I hope that he truly can bring the country together. We are very divided right now.

It was evident to me that this election was a "retaliation vote" for many people. Many voted for Obama because they thought that McCain was too much like Bush (something that the media helped propogate quite a bit, I might add). I realize that this is not the case for everyone, so if you don't feel like you fit in that category, don't get all upset with me.

On the topic of Bush, I also feel that people were blaming him for problems that he had no control over. I found a good article in the Wall Street Journal talking about how our country has treated President Bush. Now while I don't feel that President Bush has been perfect, I do think that he has done a better job than people give him credit for.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Assault on police officer

So I read this story about a man who was arrested for assault on a police officer. I just have to say, I know a few people who need to be very careful or they could find themselves in jail as well!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Nathan turns One!

Last Friday, we celebrated Nathan's first birthday. We had Elayna & Richard, ElRay & Christy, and John & Ashley over for cake & ice cream and presents. Stacey had made his birthday cake and then made a smaller cake just for Nathan, of course. Nathan was so funny with his cake. He was very methodical. He didn't dive right in with big handfuls, he took small pinches of frosting at first, then started going at the cake. It took him about 30 minutes, but he eventually cleaned up his plate (well, as much as a 1-year old can clean the plate). He like it so much, he then picked up the plate and started licking it. It was hilarious watching him and how much he enjoyed the cake.

Here's a video showing the evolution of the first birthday cake eating:

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As you can imagine, the cleanup was quite fun. I ended up taking his high chair completely apart and washing every piece of it, then putting it back together.

What a cute kid!

Kaylee's first year of soccer

Kaylee started playing soccer this year. She was very excited, and has done pretty well. It is so funny watching 5 & 6 year old girls play soccer. I was concerned that Kaylee would be timid and not get out and play hard. Sometimes she does have a tendency to kind of hang out behind the "pack" and run behind them, but every once in a while she does get the ball and get a good kick or two in. She has scored one goal this year so far. She needs some practice kicking the ball, because she sometimes doesn't pay enough attention and ends up missing the ball completely. I try to practice with her at home when I can. It'll come. Here are some action shots of her at her first game:





We have a new model for Wilson

Stacey put my headband on Nathan a few weeks ago, and took some pictures. He looks so cute that we think we should contact Wilson and see if we can't get an endorsement.







I think he would increase their sales, don't you?

Aaron the bully

Ok, so he's not really a bully. He really is a very kind little boy. However, in this picture, he sure does look mean:



We were starting to give him a haircut, which he really doesn't like. To help him be in a better mood, I said, "let's give you a reverse mohawk!" He wasn't quite sure what that was, but once I showed him, he loved it, and loved pretending to be a mean guy. Luckily, we were able to finish the haircut and he didn't end up this way.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ogden Valley Triathlon Results

Well, last Saturday, I went up with Stacey to Pineview Reservoir for the Ogden Valley Triathlon. I was a little nervous, but surprisingly not as nervous as I thought I would be. The first wave started at 10:00 AM, but my wave (the very last one) didn't start until 10:34:40. At 10:20, I ate the first of 3 energy gels, then went down into the water, over to the side of the start to get used to the water temperature, practice some deep breaths. Then, at about 10:30, I went up to the starting line. The horn sounded at 10:34:40 and off I went. Now, if you have been reading any of my previous posts, you will know that the swim leg is my worst leg and I was most nervous about that. Anyway, there were 3 buoys, and we had to go around all three of them. About halfway to the first one, I thought, "Man, this buoy is farther than it looks." Anyway, after I made it to the first buoy, I was feeling pretty comfortable in the water. The long straight swim past the second buoy and to the third was by far the best portion of the swim for me. After rounding the third buoy, I started heading back to the shore. Every 4 or 5 strokes, I would look up to make sure I was still on target. It didn't look like the shore was getting any closer. That last bit of the swim was the most difficult. Anyway, I finally got out of the water, and started running up the ramp. I glanced at my watch and saw that I did the swim in 26 minutes. I was pleased with that time. During practice in a pool, I was able to do 1000 yards in 20 minutes, so I knew that I wouldn't be that fast. In my wave, I came in ahead of 4 of the men in my wave (There were a total of 15 men in my wave).

The transition went well, I quickly took off my wetsuit, slipped on my cycling shoes, and took off. The bike was my favorite leg, as I was able to get a decent speed, and I was flying by people left and right. I probably passed about 20-25 people on the bike, while not being passed once. The course was somewhat up and down, but no one hill that was really bad. About a mile from completing the bike, I had my mouth open and a huge bug flew in. I'm not sure what it was, but it almost went straight down my throat without even swallowing. I was able to cough it up and spit it out, though. Pretty gross. In just the bike leg, I came in 8th, which I am happy with, but could have done better. I passed 1 guy in my division, so I was in 10th overall.

The run started out somewhat difficult as my legs were getting used to running. But after a while, I was able to pick up the speed and get in my groove. I was very anxious for the first water station at the 1-mile marker. I had eaten the last of my energy gels, and while they may be fine for giving you energy, they are horrible for quenching any thirst. :) My mouth was so sticky, that I was very glad to get some water to rinse it out. Anyway, the second mile was by far my best, because just after the second mile, we had to turn around and then run on a hiking trail. It turned into a cross-country race through the woods. I REALLY did not like that. The trail was narrow, so passing was difficult, and it was very up and down. Not a good last 2 miles. That said, I am not too displeased with my run, because the only person that passed me was a guy that was on a relay team, so he didn't swim or bike. In just the run leg, I came in 5th, which surprised me, I didn't think that I had done that well. I ended up passing 2 more men in my division, so my end result was 8th place in the Clydesdale 39 & Under division.

Here are my official times:

Swim (1K) - 26:23
T1 - 4:31
Bike (15.2 Miles) - 47:26
T2 - 1:24
Run (4 Miles) - 38:52

Total - 1:58:37

The way they did this race was an equalizer format, which meant the corresponding women to our division started 22 minutes ahead of us, and then they ended up taking 22 minutes off of their time. It was kind of weird, but if you count the women (getting a 22 minute head start), I took 15th.

It was a fun race, well organized, and I think I will have to try some another triathlon or two next year.

Stacey took some pictures during the triathlon. She was able to get a couple of Gordon and Cathi who did it with me. They are all located here:
http://picasaweb.google.com/GridleyFamily/OgdenValleyTriathlon

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Practice Duathlon

This morning, I decided that I would practice both the bike and the run portion of the triathlon. So I mapped out the bike here:



And the run here:


I did it just like I will in the triathlon, even timing myself in the "transition". My time on the bike was 45:57, which is a 20.33 MPH average. My transition time was 1:30. I was able to get the run done in 34:44, which is 8:37 min/mile average. That puts the total time for this practice duathlon at 1:22:11.

I am very pleased with the bike, but I was hoping to do the run a little faster. I guess that's what happens when I run right after biking...just don't have the energy I normally do. The first 1/2 mile of the run, my legs were very sore, but then they loosened up from the bike and weren't too bad. I hit halfway of the run at 17:45, so I was able to cut some time off on the return route.

Now I just have to add the swim leg to this and I've got it made. The problem is that the swim leg is going to be my biggest challenge. This definitely gave me more confidence, though. My goal on the triathlon is to get under 1:50 total time, which I think is doable.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Mile Swim!

On Wednesday, I went for a swim, and after 1000 meters, I still felt pretty good, so I went another 100 meters, but then had to get to work. So then I decided that I wanted to do a mile swim before the triathlon.

Well, today I went for another swim, and after about 600 meters, I thought that maybe I would go for the mile. Anyway, after 1000 meters I was still feeling good. I kind of lost track of the laps at around 1300 meters, so I played it safe and went with the lower number so I wouldn't cheat myself of any laps. At 1500 meters I started to get some small cramps in my foot, but nothing too bad. On the last 50 meters, my left calf started to cramp as well, so I wasn't able to swim as fast as I normally would, but I was able to finish the mile swim. Just in case I had miscounted the number of laps, I decided to do another lap. So I think I actually went a little over a mile.

That is the first time in my life that I have ever swam a mile without stopping. I don't know exactly how long it took me because I realized about 400 meters in that my watch was acting up and not keeping time accurately, it was WAY slow. According to my watch, I swam 400 meters in just over a minute. If that was true, it would be Eric Gridley with 8 gold medals, not Michael Phelps. I think my battery is dying.

Only two weeks from tomorrow until the triathlon, and the nerves are starting to hit me. I went this week to SBR Sports in Orem and reserved a wetsuit rental. Tomorrow, I am going to go for a 15-mile bike ride, immediately followed by a 4-mile run, the same distances as the triathlon. We'll see how that goes.

I am excited, yet nervous for my first major triathlon.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sore!

This week, I have put my body to a big test. Tuesday night I went and played racquetball at the SDRC (South Davis Rec Center). Justin showed up a little late, so I ended up playing another guy that was there looking for a game to play. Those were some fun games. The first one, I was up 12-4, but couldn't hold on, and he came back for the win. The second game, I was able to pull it off 15-10. The third game, we only played to 11, and he beat me 11-8. He was the best player that I have played in a while, he really made me run and tested my shots. He also had a VERY good drop shot that would just bounce twice before I could get to it. Once, while going for a ball, I dove and landed on my knee. That hurt quite a bit, but what makes me so upset about it is that I didn't get the point. I had quite the goose egg on my knee from it.

Then yesterday after work, I went for a 35 minute run. I was able to get 4 miles in, but I hadn't had a good run in a couple of weeks, so it was hard. Also, the heat was pretty strong, so that was a factor.

This morning, I then went and played racquetball again at the SDRC. I played 3 singles games against Dan, 1 doubles with Dad against Dan and Gordon, then a cutthroat against Gordon and Dan. During the doubles game, I dove for another ball, and somehow my racquet hit my knee. It started bleeding, but I kept playing anyway.

Very fun week, but my body is complaining about it now. As I walk around work, I feel like an old man gimping around, like I need a walker or something.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Kid Wash

I saw something pretty cool on the web last week: a kid wash. You might ask yourself what that is. Well, here it is:





I found the instructions to build it here. It didn't look very hard to make, so I decided to do it. I went over to Lowes and bought all of the parts and put it together. It took me about an hour, which included another trip to Lowes to make a minor modification. It's just some PVC pipe put together with some misters attached to it.

It turned out really cool, and the kids loved it. It's actually quite nice because the kids can run through and have lots of fun, and even if you don't want to get really wet, you can run through it, and because it's a mist, it doesn't get you that wet.

The modification that I made was at the base of the Kid Wash. The instructions say to use a normal T piece to attach it to the base. However, I decided to use a threaded T to attach the top part to the two "feet" so that I could remove them for easier storage. I am very glad I did, because it detaches and becomes very compact.

Even Nathan liked it as you can see in this video:

video
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We thought it was so nice that we decided to put some misters around our deck in the backyard. So yesterday, I went and bought some 1/2" black poly tubing and put it up. I don't have any pictures, but it works very nicely and adds a nice touch to the backyard. Now we just need to have someone over to help enjoy it!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Treeing a bear

While we were up at the cabin last week, one morning some guys came to the door and asked if they could go up above the cabin because their hunting dogs had treed a bear. After we consented, they asked if we wanted to come with them to see it. I shot off the couch (Stacey was talking to them at the door), and ran upstairs to get dressed.

When we got up there (it was about 200 yards up the hill above the cabin), the bear was just laying down in the tree, not too concerned about the dogs or humans. It was a female weighing about 150 lbs. There were 12 dogs at the base of the tree just barking and going crazy. It was so cool to see. Here are a few pictures of the bear and dogs.














It really wasn't scary at all being that close to the bear, though it wouldn't be the same if there weren't 12 dogs right around me barking and really to pounce the bear.

Right now, they can't hunt bears, it's not bear hunting season yet. They just tree the bear to train the dogs. The hunters said that sometimes a bear can run for over 30 miles before it finally climbs a tree, so their dogs have to be in excellent shape to be able to run for a very long distance through the woods. They release the dogs in the morning and let the pack go and find a bear. Then they pull the dogs off and the bear runs away.

I was thinking that we would have to be 50+ feet away before the bear would come out of the tree, but we were only 10-15 feet away from it when the bear starting climbing (very quickly, I might add) out of the tree. Because I wasn't prepared, I was only able to capture this short video of it.

video
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We told the hunters that if they treed another bear nearby to let us know because there were more people coming up later in the week. Well, Saturday morning, they knocked on the door again and told us they had another bear. This one was a male, a little bit larger, and seemed far more aggressive than the first one. Here are some pictures of this one.













While I was taking pictures, the batteries on my camera died, so I saved whatever battery juice I had left for the bear coming down the tree (I was going to be ready this time). However, I only got 3 seconds of it before my camera died again.

Here's a decent video of the bear up in the tree:

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And here's the 3-second clip of it starting to come down the tree:

video
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This bear was quite upset that he was up in the tree. A few times, I walked closer to the tree to get a better shot. Every time I did, the bear stood up, looked right at me, and kind of arched his back. It was quite unnerving, so I slowly walked away from the tree.

It was quite an experience to see the wild bears so closely, I just hope I never see one without a pack of hunting dogs by my side.

You can see all of the pictures from our cabin trip here.

Cabin Trip

We just returned a few days ago from our annual trip to the cabin.


We sure do have lots of fun up there with Stacey's family. Here are some pictures of a few of the activities that we do up there. The kids love to hang out with their cousins.



Aaron's favorite is riding the ATVs.



There are two tire swings that keep the kids busy.



And what would Aaron do if he couldn't hit things with sticks?



We took a day trip to Flaming Gorge, which the kids loved.



Kaylee really liked being primped by cousins and friends.



Stacey does a fabulous job of taking crafts for the kids to make and enjoy.



The women do each others hair. Stacey didn't last too long in this style before she had to take it out - it was hurting her head.



Aunt Sandi brought up a pinata full of candy. The kids scored big time on that one.



The kids also love night time stories from Grandpa.



And everyone loved holding Nathan, and Nathan loved all the attention.



One of the most exciting events happened not one, but two mornings. Up there, it is now bear treeing season, and we were able to go with the hunters up to a treed bear. I got plenty of pictures, but I'll make another blog entry with the details of that.

I have more pictures of the vacation at the cabin here. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Awesome Swim!

Today after work, I went swimming. I decided that I was going to swim as long as I could up to a maximum of 1000 meters (which is how long the leg in the triathlon will be). Anyway, I started off and was feeling very good, so I just kept going. I ended up doing the full 1000 meters without even stopping. I looked at the clock and it was 22:15. That is much faster than what I would have expected. I was very happy that I was able to do the full 1000 without stopping to rest. Very nice workout. After I finished the 1000 meters, I did a couple sprints (more like kind-of fast swims for me), then finished my workout.

I also ordered a new triathlon bike last night. I didn't think I was going to be able to afford one until next year, but after a huge project at work, I got about 30+ hours of overtime. So I was able to get one earlier than I planned. Anyway, I got a Motobecane 2008 Nemesis. This bike has a no-name frame, but the reviews of it were very positive. The components on it, however, are very good quality, so I think it will serve my needs just fine. I am very excited to get it and start training on it. I have greatly improved my speed since I got clipless pedals and biking shoes, and had my bike tuned up and the wheels trued. However, I can't seem to feel like the bike is holding me back. We'll see how it goes with it. By the way, the guy that tuned my bike did an excellent job and only charged me $25! That is an awesome price. Here's his website if anyone needs great bicycle work done and a very good price.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Goodbye Obesity!

This morning, I weighed myself, and was very happy to see that I am no longer obese. At least that is according to the BMI scale. Personally, I think the BMI scale is a bunch of baloney. It is too simple and doesn't take other factors into consideration. Having said that, it still felt good to see that BMI number finally under 30.

The triathlon training is going quite well. I am seeing excellent progress with all three categories. I read an article a while ago that said that you can burn more calories and get a better workout doing sprint drills than by doing a long run. So yesterday I tried that. I ran for a mile to get warmed up, then did sprint drills where I would sprint about 150 meters, then walk 50, sprint 150, walk 50, and so forth. I did that for about 10 minutes. After that, I ran another mile, then jogged home. It felt good and my legs are very sore today. I'm definitely going to keep doing sprint drills.

At work, last weekend we had a huge computer upgrade project going on, and I spent a total of 50 hours at work from Friday to Monday. Because of that, I was not able to get in very many workouts. So it feels very good to return to the training schedule.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Firefox 3

I have been using Firefox for many years now, and I love it. Anyway, a few weeks ago, I saw that they were planning on attempting to set a world record for the most downloads in one 24-hour period. The had over 1.5 million people pledge to download it on it's release day. That day is today. However, the only problem is I have been trying since 11:00 AM MDT (that is when the 24-hour period started) and I have been completely unable to get to the Firefox 3 download page. It is either unavailable or still showing the Firefox 2 download. I'll get it eventually, but I would like to get it sooner rather than later. Oh well, I'll keep trying.

For those who ask "What is so neat about Firefox?" Here's your answer. My favorite thing about Firefox is the add-ons. It is very customizable and you can make it do exactly what you want.

For those who want to try it out, go for it (once the servers come back up), you won't be sorry.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Aaron's Preschool Graduation

Yesterday, we went to Aaron's Preschool graduation from Jump Start Preschool. It was originally scheduled for last week, but the wind and rain forced them to postpone it for this week. They sang the songs that they had learned throughout the year and each child came up to talk about one thing that they had done. Aaron's speaking part was about when they learned about transportation and went to the aerospace museum. He had been working on that part with us for weeks, and he had it memorized very well. We had to work with him and saying it slowly and clearly, though, so it could be understood, but the video may show that we didn't quite succeed. During the entire ceremony, Stacey and I were trying to get Aaron to give us a thumbs up. He finally gave us one in the last few minutes of the program. Here are a few pictures/video from the graduation ceremony.















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Memorial Day Celebration

So for Memorial Day, we had my family over for a barbecue. We were nervous that we would have to all pack inside our house because it had been raining all morning. However, when the time came, it was quite sunny and good weather, despite a little wind.

I was able to cook all the meat on the grill that I finally talked Stacey into letting me purchase. I have to say, I really like the grill, it sure does a good job of cooking the meat quickly, but also leaving the juices inside, making for a very good taste. We enjoyed eating and talking and just relaxing. It was Gordon's birthday, so he opened some presents, and we had cake and ice cream.

After the meal, Elayna and Richard had brought their Wii Fit, so we hooked it up and played that for a while. It seems like the Super Hula Hoop game was the biggest hit and was quite funny watching everybody try so hard to get their waist to go around as fast as they could.

Here are some pictures from the Wii Fit activities:




















And the best of all, the video of Gordon doing the Super Hula Hoop:

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Nobody was able to surpass Elayna's record of 848 spins. Stacey came in second with 813 spins, and I was third with 811. So close!

The best news of the night had to be Elayna announced that she and Richard are expecting a baby in January. That is awesome, we were all very happy for her and hope she doesn't get too sick. :)

Very fun day with the family.