Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day

We awoke Christmas morning (7 a.m. - Tyson was under strict orders to not wake up any sooner) to a beautiful snowfall. After waking everyone up the kids lined up at the top of the stairs so we could take the traditional Christmas photo. Lights were turned on, Santa's arrival was verified and the ripping and tearing of wrapping paper began. We only have one "believer" in the family and she is in transition. Camryn so wants Santa to be real and looked for tell tale signs to reinforce her hope. Orange in the bottom of the stocking - check. Carrots for the reindeer and cookies for Santa eaten - check. Presents left - check. Of course Tyson finds great joy in logically explaining why Santa can't be real.

After presents were opened and assembled, we enjoyed our traditional omelet breakfast and a few games of Deal or No Deal. A nap was later enjoyed by the parents. Darren and I cleared the driveway the old fashioned way after discovering that the snow-blower was not working. We plan to reward our hard efforts later this evening by indulging in a surf and turf dinner. You've probably noticed that most of our Christmas traditions revolve around food:-)

Christmas Eve

We spent a wonderful Christmas Eve with Kristi's family enjoying what is a family tradition of prime rib and shrimp dinner. Brian put together a video presentation with family pictures from every Christmas going back to 1961. It was fun to see pictures of the past and reflect on the cumulative memories those pictures represent. We then watched a video of the Nativity (because were to old to act it out at this point).

Homecoming Date

The picture below is of Darren and his homecoming date in the fall. The news is a little old, but something any good blog would have reported. In Utah, its traditional to be creative in how you ask out your date and how she responds. Darren wrote a simple poem to ask her out and cut the sheet of paper into puzzle pieces. He then put the puzzle into bouquet of balloons. She had to pop the balloons and put the pieces together. Her answer was hidden in jar of Hershey Kisses colored gold and silver. If there were more gold pieces, the answer was yes.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Now That's What I Call a Rental Car

I traveled with my boss and our CEO to San Francisco for a budget approval meeting. In these tough times, companies are tightening their belts and looking for ways to save money. No cost cutting initiative, no matter how insignificant can be overlooked. We are no different and we came to show our investors just how serious we are about spending their money wisely. As you can see from the pictures of our rental cars we understand that a penny saved is a penny earned.

When we arrived at the rental car agency, a black, softop convertible corvette and the yellow corvette pictured were waiting for us. We actually reserved two intermediate size cars, but because of our rewards status (theirs, not mine), we're upgraded for the same cost.

Mr. Basketball

One of Tyson's greatest pleasures is playing basketball. He looks forward to playing Jr. Jazz ball each winter. Saturday was his first game. While the team struggled in it's first game, Tyson enjoyed every minute on the court.


We have had unseasonably warm weather here in Utah. These pictures taken last week are evidence that while christmas decorations adorn the neighborhood, snow is in short supply.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Holiday Concert

On Friday Kristi and I attended the Holiday Concert at LaCaille benefiting the South Valley Sanctuary. We were able to sell 100 tickets which was our original goal. It was a beautiful evening of excellent food, beautiful entertainment and coming together to elicit support for a worthy cause. Hilary's performance was masterful. She is truly a professional and captivated the entire audience of about 100. She was funny, inspiring and entertaining. We were so grateful for her participation.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"Parent's" Pride

At our children's grade school they recognize the students' performance by awarding them the "Principal's Pride". Tyson was selected this month and Kristi and I were able to attend the celebration. Tyson is a wonderful young man with a real love for fun and apparently likes Ninja Turtle like creatures.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Taylor Turns 15

Taylor turned 15 today and we celebrated by having dinner at Olive Garden with cake at home afterwards. Taylor is a wonderful daughter and makes us very proud. Not only is she an excellent student, but is a great friend to many of her fellow students and associates. She serves as the Mia Maid President in her young women's group. She can now officially get her learners permit for driving!

Golf = Work

I just returned from a golf weekend, trip. The business trip was very successful with the meetings being held over two days on a golf course in St.George. Temperatures were in the 70's and perfect for soaking up some rays. I was amazed at how quite and peaceful it was on the golf course. Business associates in attendance included: Jay Don Blake, Mike Reid, Bruce Summerhays, Lavell Edwards, Fred Roberts, Hayden Fry, Bruce Hurst, Vance Law, and Vernon Law. Our "business" team was (-19) under for the two days and wasn't even close to the top of the leaderboard. Two teams finished at (-35). Our team did manage to tie Mike Reid's team.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween Fun

Candy, candy and more candy. Halloween started early with our ward "Trunk or Treat" activity, progressed to candy scavenging at Control4 and finished with traditional trick or treating in the neighborhood. The kids collected so much candy it will take (or at least should take) months to eat it all!!

We were fortunate to have very nice weather on the 31st. Kids were able to wear their costumes without worrying about a coat - no rain or snow. Camryn was Hanna Montana and Tyson a Sumo.

Fortunately whatever Tyson got on his face wasn't contagious.

Camryn and her cousin Sage at our ward Halloween party.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


If you are part of our family, odds are you have bad eyes and will need glasses. Tyson became the fifth family member to sport corrective lenses. We went to Costco and he picked out the frames by himself. Doesn't he look handsome (and smart)!

A Fine Day for Golf

We've had unseasonably warm weather for this time of year so Darren and I decided to take advantage and go to the driving range. It has been several weeks since both of us picked up the clubs and it showed. Because of our poor showing, we both decided to wait another year until we went to Q-School. In the mean time, I've got a golf tournament in St. George November 7-8. It is a two day, five man scramble with the fifth player being a "celebrity". Last year we played with a former tour player Bob Betley. Other "celebrities" included Ron Boone (former NBA player), Julius Erving, BYU and Utah golfers, among others.

Do You Yahoo?

Kristi and I attended the Utah Technology Council Hall of Fame induction event tonight at the Grand America Hotel. I'd been invited in prior years but had always turned it down. I always assumed it would be boring. The room was full of 800 of Utah's key government officials, CEOs, CFOs, Venture Capitalists and business leaders. Senators Hatch and Bennett spoke and a keynote address was delivered by Jerry Yang, Co-Founder and CEO of Yahoo. Yahoo is one of those companies that has revolutionized the Internet. In Utah there are 2.5 million residents, 1.5 million of whom are registered with Yahoo. There aren't many products that can claim such broad adoption of their technology. Mr. Yang spoke for about 30 minutes and was a down turn earth, fascinating speaker.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

York Minster

We finished working today and had several hours before we had to travel back to Manchester. We walked the cobblestone streets and toured the York Minster (cathedral of the Church of England).

Typical street and plaza in this great European city.

We really miss out in America because of the young age of our country. It is so fun to see a historical city like this.

Lighting a candle in the Minster. The instructions say that you should light the candle and say a prayer (as well as a donation). I said a prayer for the Boston Redsox who are trailing 1-3 in their playoff series.

View of the city from the top of the Minster.

Another view from the to of the Minster. The cathedral was built starting in the 12th century. It was originally a roman catholic church, but is now owned by the Church of England when they split from the Catholic Church in 1534.

Social Experiment

We had planned to leave by train at 5:00 pm to travel from York to Manchester, but the trains delayed giving us an extra hour to kill at the train station. We grew increasingly bored until we decided to conduct a "social experiment". We had pockets full of British change and started dropping coins on the platform to see how much it would take before someone would claim the money. We started with 2 pence (about $0.04). No one even acknowledged the coin on the ground. We then placed 5 pence, 10 pence, 20 pence and 50 pence ($1.00) coins on the ground. The train station was busy and peopled walked past, stopped next to and looked at the coins, but didn't pick them up. We even set coins adjacent to vending machines of all places and people still didn't pick them up. Finally someone sat down to eat there lunch with their foot inches away from the 10 p coin ($0.20). After five minutes they finally claimed the coin. If you happen to be in York in the coming weeks, the coins are probably still there.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

York - Day #3

I traveled all this way and all I seem to do is work. You'ld think this was a business trip and not a vacation. Nothing particularly exciting to report. I've attached some pictures of our office which is in the country side surrounding York (Sutton-On-The-Green is the name of the city). The office is surrounded by farm land as you can see in the attached pictures.

Outside our York sales office. Today was the first rainy day which is fortunate given the climate here this time of year.

There is a lot of green place and farm land in Northern England with significant restrictions on buidling and development.

Very narrow road that wouldn't be very accodating to our large vehicles in the US.

We had dinner this eveing at a traditional English Pub / Restaurant with the Control4 EMEA team.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Yorkshire Pudding

Most of today was spent working with no time to do any sightseeing. That didn't stop us from enjoying a more traditional english meal at the hotel where we are staying. I ordered the following:

  • Yorkshire Pudding
  • Roasted Chicken and Potatoes
  • Apple Tart
I leared that Yorkshire pudding isn't really pudding at all. I've attached a picture of a typical meal with Yorshire pudding which is more similar to a roll covered in gravy.

The hotel where we are staying at is the York Marriott. I've attached some pictures of the hotel and room as well as view from the hotel garden. The hotel is situated adjacent to a fairly large horse racing track.

Front view of the York Marriott.

A really slow day with the camera as I'm forced to share pictures of my room.

The back garden of the hotel.

Picture of the racetrack I took from the hotel garden.