Thursday, April 30, 2009

Special Night

The Temple president made our Stake president an offer he couldn't refuse. The offer was to open the Temple for a special session with the Stake presidency, High Council, Bishops and their wives. Also attending was the Mission president and his wife, Stake YW president, Stake RS president and her husband.

Due to scheduling problems, not everyone was able to come, but there was only one empty seat. The Temple president, counselor, matron and assistant were the officiators for the session. I expected a huge group for the prayer, but had mainly the Stake presidency and wives. It was an awesome session.

I would have stayed longer in the celestial room afterwards, but felt a cough tickle starting and didn't want to disturb the rest, so Helen and I left.

After we got home, we grilled bacon wrapped filet mignon for dinner with asparagus and potatoes for dinner. Deseret was a fudge bar.

If I was a cat, I'd be purring.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Circle of Life

I retired from my job of 25 years the end of March. I let them know a full month ahead of time so they could get a replacement for me ASAP. They posted the vacancy before I left, which was great. The secretary applied for and now has been given my position, which, in turn, left her position available. The secretary job has now been posted online. My wife, an assistant librarian, just put in an application for that job. I can give her all the help she needs to know how to do that interview. It would be hilarious if she goes to work at my old office with my friends. We of course, would laugh all the way to the bank as it would double Helen's salary. That would put us back at our pre-retirement income. Now when I get another job we will really be in good shape.

Still, I wonder if the fish are biting this week...


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Officially CERTifiable

That's what my instructor basically said today. My team and I are officially certified CERT team members. That stands for Community Emergency Response Team. We are volunteers to work in conjuction with the Citizens Corps, Homeland Security, fire, police and other emergency organizations. When a natural or man-made disaster gets to the magnitude of overwhelming available resources, our group is called in to help. We would go door to door in the case of some disaster and shut off utilities, check for victims, run triage and/or assist in other ways needed.

I have a pretty decent 72 hour emergency kit, but now I also have a CERT backpack with my disaster kit. I may not win any beauty awards wearing my forest green backpack, vest, green hard hat, gloves and safety goggles, but I think that might just be a sight for sore eyes for someone trapped in a house after a tornado.

Now I hope I never need to use any of that training and equipment.


It is to Cry For

I found this at a garage sale yesterday.
I could easily picture this on the wall in the High Council room. There is also a projector screen that pulls down too. I called the Stake President later in the day and described it to him. He said definitely get it. I went back to the garage sale, paid the man $50 and backed up the van. As we were loading it in the back, he dropped his side and the door broke off. A one inch piece of wood all down the side sheared off where the screws attached the door to the hinge. I was sick about it. The man gave me the $50 back and we drove home.

I informed the Stake President what happened and he asked me to go back and buy the pieces and he would see if the man who just made cabinets for him could make a new door for it. Now, this cabinet is nice oak wood and a new door won't be cheap, but even if it costs $100 for a new door, I looked up the price of this on the internet. It normally sells for $2000. Now I just hope it won't be expensive to fix, because it will be wonderful in some classroom.

I will still keep my eyes peeled for more garage sales, though.


Monday, April 13, 2009

I'm Listening

My wife took off Wednesday through Friday last week to go to a job fair with me, since we are both seeking new employment. The job fair was Wednesday, but did not have any dramatic results. We decided that since we were off, we would go camping for a few days in the mountains an hour south of Carlsbad Caverns.

As I awoke Thursday morning my wife said," I don't think we should go camping."

Me: "How come?"

Helen: "I've been thinking about it a lot this morning and feel that we shouldn't go."

Me: "OK. I trust your insight."

I'm not embarrassed to say that my wife is more in tune with spiritual promptings than I am. We have followed her promptings before and never been sorry.

Since we were off I decided that we needed to take the van to the shop to have the brakes serviced, which they needed. When the van call to let us know what the brake job would cost, I told Helen, "Don't be surprised if they say something about a fluid leak I've been seeing lately."

I didn't know what the leak was and had forgotten to mention it to them. Sure enough, they saw the leak and said it was the rack and pinion assembly that needed to be replaced. We trust the mechanic shop quite a bit and knew they were right. The repairs of the van, added to new u-joints on my truck last week meant that we spent about $1k on car repairs last week.

Now I can't say for sure that brakes and steering would have gone out on us high in the mountains of Texas or New Mexico, but I am positive that I'm glad I didn't have to put that to the test.

I wonder if Helen's insight extends to contests.... I'm sure it wouldn't work with the lottery, even if I did play, which I don't.

There will be other campouts.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

It's Not the End of the World

As we left exams in college, someone would inevitably say, "Well, it's not the end of the world, just the end of a career."

I just ended a career. That was a week ago. Last night we went to my retirement dinner, thrown by my ex-coworkers. When we had our Christmas parties, we normally had about 18 people there. Last night a total of 32 people were at the party. The retirees I had previously worked with were all there except one who is in a nursing home. I was highly honored.

I was also totally blown away by all the gifts and the amount that was spent on me. There were multiple gift cards, presents and a money tree. Helen and I were picking the "fruits" of the tree for almost 30 minutes. Don't misunderstand me. I'm thrilled for the monetary gifts, but one I was hoping would be there was there. My manager presented me with a Texas flag that was flown over the state capitol the day I retired.

Standing there at the head of the table, wearing my hawaiian shirt, boar's tooth necklace and a large sash that said "Retired" I almost got emotional. It was really good to see so many people that were my coworkers going back 25 years.

I told them I hope to see them at the Christmas party, but now that I'm gone, I'm not sure they'll get it organized and planned.

Till then, I do have pictures.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Eagles' Nest

At 7pm on April 1, 2009, my youngest son Nathan received his eagle scout award almost 6 1/2 years after his older brother, Chris received his eagle.

As a youth, I never got past second class. There were a host of reasons for that, but I've always tried to follow the scout motto of "Be prepared." I'd like to think that if the eagle award were available to adult scouts, I'd be qualified. Nevertheless, I'm thrilled to see my youngest child receive the award. Of course, like his brother, he won't appreciate it for years, but those of us who understand the prestige are proud of them both.

I will claim only a small amount of credit since most of it goes not to Nathan, but to Helen. She worked with him through merit badges and eagle project. She got a neat mother's pin. I got a cool dad's pin.

I think I need to polish my pins a bit.