Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Gary-the newest member of our family!

Last week my little brother, robby, came and spent a couple nights with us. (I'll tell more about that adventure later....still working on the video) ;P So, robby had this idea to go to Petsmart to buy me another fish. We had nothing else planned that day besides swimming for 8 hours (turning me into a lobster of course) so we were off!

By the time we got there and I had thought things through a little, I realized I didn't really want a new fish to take care of...We already have trouble remembering to clean the fish bowl we have now, with only one beta. Anyone who knows anything about Beta's knows that you can't put two in the same bowl-meaning we would have to put the new beta in a new bowl. Meanwhile, robby was hypnotized by all the different fish. He spotted some "really cool snails" for sale! He showed me and...it was pretty much love at first site. I knew that this would be the perfect addition to our family! I have always loved the little "sucker fish" (I don't know what they are really called) lol but that would require a a tank with a pump. We only have a couple cute fish bowls for beta's.

We got back home and were trying to find the perfect name for him. Myself, being a fan of Spongebob in my younger years, lol, agreed to the name robby suggested- "Gary". So there you have it. Gary, the newest member of the merriman family :D and for those of you who haven't met my fish that I got when I was a lonely single...this is Blanquita (in the pic below). I named her Blanquita because in spanish "blanca" means white-so I turned that into a nickname because when I bought her, she was so white/clear that you could see straight through her. You could even see her intestines. I felt a special bond because growing up, I was teased a lot for being so pale. Kids at school would call me albino, clear, whitey etc. So we have a lot in common. :P Hope I didn't bore you too much with my stories!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Date Night!

Just a little snapshot of life from today. Tonight we decided FHE was a date night. We didn't do anything crazy; we just went to Gatti's Pizza. On the way home, we stopped by the pharmacy to pick up Ashley's perscription, and it took FOREVER! To make matters worse, Ashley needed to use the ladies' room about 5 minutes into the wait. 15 minutes later, it was about to be a national disaster! Finally we got the meds, made an emergency pit stop, and were on our way home. That's when we had this exchange, which we decided we had to share...

David: Isn't this a great date? A pizza buffet, medicine, and an emergency bathroom stop?
Ashley: We sound so old!
Yeah, I guess we do. But we're really not, I promise. Stay tuned for weekly updates about how Ashley's bad knee predicted the latest rain storm. ;)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

From my cold, dead hands!

Quick quiz: how can you use one of these to save the world?
Answer: you can't! It's a freakin' lightbulb!

So, on Monday, the apartment complex put a note on our door that basically said, "We know how to run your life better than you do. To that end, we will be invading your apartment, stealing all of your incandescent light bulbs (which only terrorists and Nazis use anymore, you environmentally insensitive clods!), and replacing them all with CFL bulbs. You are immune to Mercury poisoning by now, right? Well, either way, we're not liable for that just like we're not liable for the fact that our front gate hasn't worked correctly in the last year. How could we be? We were saving up to buy these CFLs for you so we can SAVE the WORLD!

"Plus, your electric bill will be lower by 33%! 'Kay thanks, bye!"

My response was basically this: "You can have my incandescent bulbs when you pry them from my cold, dead hands!" And to prevent them from entering with their special key, Ashley and I left the deadbolt locked. This meant Ashley had to go out the back door and hop the railing to get out and run errands, but the evil enviro-communist plot was thwarted. Long live full spectrum incandescent light!

So, some of you unenlightened (pardon the pun) people may be asking, "What have you got against CFLs, anyway? They're more efficient and last longer. What's not to love?" Well, let's run down the list.

  1. CFLs, like any fluorescent light, contain mercury. Should one break, the mercury emitted exceeds EPA standards.
  2. CFLs are not bright. I had one once, and to use an LDS analogy, it was like being in the terrestrial kingdom as opposed to the celestial glory of incandescent light.
  3. CFLs emit a very narrow spectrum of light. The light makes you feel like you're in a warehouse, not in a home. It makes me feel "blotchy." (Ten points for the first person to get that movie reference...)
  4. And I can go on... But I won't.

So, those are the practical reason. However, the most important reason is more of a philosophical reason: I do not compromise with something that I think is wrong. And I think this whole global warming hysteria is wrong. And so, even if it does cost me a few extra cents per month, I will stand my ground. Because really, that's all it will save; your lights are NOT the main source of power consumption in your home. It's your refrigerator, your AC, your microwave, your computer, your dryer, and your speaker system that do the bulk of the work.

Most of those things are rated in kilowatts, while your light bulbs are rated in watts. If I leave a 60 watt bulb on continuously for a whole month, that's 43.2 kilowatt hours, or approximately $3.28 in Austin, TX. A 20-watt CFL run for the same time costs $1.09. Your AC run continuously for the same time would be $136.80. Your refrigerator would be $29.55 (like, if you left the door open so it never turned off). Now, if you only a light for, say, 8 hours a day, the normal bulb costs $1.09 a month, and your CFL is $0.36, for a grand total savings of about 73 cents. "But it adds up, right?" Oh yeah. If you live to be 80, you would save $696.19 per bulb. Now that's what I call a retirement plan. I'll keep my full-spectrum incandescent light, thank you very much. Greater safety + better light - minuscule savings + pissing off environmentalists = win!

From my cold, dead hands!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

How far will YOU go for BYU football?

So, as you may have known, starting in 2006 the Mountain West Conference made the brilliant decision of getting its own TV network, The Mtn., to broadcast its athletic events. Unfortunately, when they made this deal, the contract that they got made absolutely NO guarantees of distribution. Therefore, even though BYU's 11-2 football seasons in 2006 and 2007 were absolutely amazing and merited extremely high rankings, nobody cared because nobody got to watch! For this reason, I flew from Austin to Provo to watch all but one of the BYU home football games last season.

However, starting August 27, DirecTV is picking up The Mtn. Clearly, this means that we must get DirecTV. I never even had to wonder, "Should I get DirecTV?" It was more like, "How far do I have to go to get DirecTV in my apartment? Who must I pay/bribe/torture/etc. so that I can have it?" So, earlier this month, we checked with the apartment complex, who gave us an okay provided we didn't drill into anything, and called up DirecTV to set up the appointment.

Unfortunately for us, the laws of physics governing orbital mechanics dictate that geosynchronous communication satellites can only be placed in orbit above the equator. Translation: if you live in the northern hemisphere, you better be facing south if you want DirecTV. Well, our apartment faces north. We tried every option we could think of, but none would pass both the apartment complex's rules and give us line of sight to the satellite. The only thing we didn't try (yet) is moving into another apartment in the complex. We seriously considered it, though.

However, this story should have a happy ending after all. As it always does, the Internet comes to the rescue!

See, starting in 2005, a device called a Slingbox has been on sale which allows you to stream video from a TV signal over the internet to a computer or, more recently, a mobile device. You hook the TV into it, you hook it into your internet connection, and you install a program at the computer which talks to SlingMedia's servers, finds your Slingbox, and establishes a connection. And, since my parents are getting DirecTV, being BYU football junkies themselves, I bought them a Slingbox. Assuming I can help them enough over the phone to install it correctly, we'll be able to watch my beloved Cougars roll through the 2008 season undefeated and unchallenged, all the way to a BCS bowl game, which will be mercifully shown on FOX in HD. :)

Gotta love technology!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

True Love

You know a man loves you when he will go as far as getting a facial with you to make you happy! Ladies, yall all know it's not as fun when you do this sort of thing alone... so, David joined me!!! I am a lucky woman. :) Now our skin is as smooth as a baby's bottom. (you know you enjoyed it sweetie!)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Shifting Gears

In our latest developing news, Ashley has learned to drive stick! I know, it sounds surprising that a guy from the suburbs of Salt Lake City is teaching a Texan country girl to drive stick, but that's the way it is. Ashley's truck has no AC, and it's ridiculously expensive to fix that, so the only sensible solution is to teach her to drive my car. Since I walk to work, it doesn't inconvenience me at all.

We started Saturday. It was a little rough at first, until I told her she just needed to "feel the car." Kinda like Obi-wan telling Luke to trust his feelings during lightsaber practice with the blast shield down. After that, she got really good at starting from a stop. Then we went out on the road to let her practice shifting gears. We ended up making some drivers really mad, since she was really cautious about getting into the right gear and slowly letting out the clutch, but we made it home in one piece.

Sunday, Ashley was able to get us home from church without a single problem! I suppose she did shift into 3rd instead of 5th once, and 1st instead of 3rd once, but the real critical parts she did perfectly. Way to go Ashley!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Ashley and Rachel

While David was in the other room with a headache, Rachel and I got a little hyper and decided to have a photoshoot. This is probably about half of the photos we actually took that night. :) enjoy! (this is what you get when you reunite 2 sisters) :P