Sunday, December 16, 2007

My Kiddos

This past Tuesday our USU String Academy had its holiday concert at the Logan Tabernacle. These kids are so dang cute and they did really well. Here is a taste.

Our brand new violinists:


These are our new cellists, you can hear the teacher saying Forte! Piano! Presto!

My group class that I teach (we are still working on the all watching the leader part)

My quartet, you can see them earlier in the year rehearsing here

Monday, December 10, 2007

Mr. T

So, recently featured stained glass pieces have inspired me to feature a special piece of nostalgia. Seriously, can you ever get sick of this guy (maybe after this many videos...)?


Stained Glass

Don't ask me why, but I recently have become interested in stained glass as an art form. It's not something you see terribly often and as a medium it contains a lot of diversity. Provided below is a slide show of various pieces I found just through Google and Google image search. I'm thinking about trying my hand at it sometime when I have more free time available. It looks like a lot of work, but very rewarding. I can remember my mother working on stained glass projects when I was a young child, but other than that, I don't think I've ever seen it done. Maybe I'll read a book on it, or take a class.

Monday, December 03, 2007

SO DANG COOL

Those of you who know me well know that I am totally into alternative forms of energy and the awesome technology that is allowing us to move to a more renewable country. Today I heard two really cool stories on Morning Edition on NPR that were about my favorite subject. The first is about how Florida is using the ocean to make energy. If you follow the link make sure you watch the awesome video that has a link between the two pictures, way radical cool. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16713781

The second story is about how Iceland uses the volcanic action of the island to heat all of their homes, pools, create electricity, etc. Basically the only things that is run on oil in the whole country are cars and they are trying really hard to turn everyone's cars to run on Hydrogen. Experts believe that 10% of the energy used in America could be fueled by geothermic power. Very cool, very cool. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16780339

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Decorating our 12 foot apartment


Our apartment is tiny tiny but we do manage to get a tree up for Christmas. We finally took the plunge tonight and pulled out our K-Mart special Christmas tree and went to Walmart (hate it hate it hate it) to get another strand of lights and by 12:00 on December 1st we have our decorations up. They basically consist of our tree, a beautiful wreath Linda gave us last year and a table setting with a great red table cloth that my mom got us for Christmas last year and I have been so excited to use it ever since we got it. The picture above is of a little red riding ornament that Linda made for us 2 Thanksgivings ago. It's made out of a wood ball and a hazel nut.

PS posted by Jentry, not Scott

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Shins

Okay, so I know that I just promised to do this next week, but it occurred to me that next week I will be writing papers and preparing presentations for all my classes as the semester winds down to its end. Therefore, I will probably not get around to posting next week, which means that I will just go ahead and post this week instead.

The Shins are probably my very favorite band, followed by Fields and the Black Keys. Not surprisingly, they're also the most successful of the three. However, do not let their popular success turn you off, they're a real gem. The Shins are from Albuquerque, New Mexico and started as a side-project for singer-songwriter James Mercer, whose primary band at the time was Flake Music. Apparently, Mercer's father was a big fan of The Music Man, and the band's name comes from the family in the musical. Their sound is hard to place, but they have distinct The Smiths, The Cure, The Beach Boys, and Modest Mouse influences. In fact, Mercer has sung backup vocals on several Modest Mouse songs. Anyway, watch the videos and enjoy! The second video is a song included on the Garden State movie soundtrack, hence why all the scenes are from the movie. Never seen it myself.



Like the Shins? Check out their website at http://www.theshins.com.

Camera Obscura

This week's band has its roots in Glasgow, Scotland. Formed in the cellar of the bassist's parents home in 1996 without even a drummer, Camera Obscura now has six members and a growing fan base. Their sound is a mix between alt-country, 50's-60's beach/surfer rock, and something else I really just can't place. Regardless, they have a very unique and mellow sound that is a lot of fun. While the first video provided is possibly my favorite song of theirs, the video is ridiculous. Therefore, watch the provided video but don't be turned off by the poor quality of the video itself. If you decide to check out any of their albums, I recommend Let's Get Out of This Country and Underacheivers, Please Try Harder. Unfortunately, Camera Obscura does relatively few shows in the U.S., but occasionally they do go on tour, having recently finished a tour with another favorite band (to be featured in the future), The Essex Green. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Going Green baby

So I was totally inspired by Bon's green week on her blog and I've changed a few things that I've wanted to change for awhile. First was that I finally bought canvas grocery sacks so we don't have to deal with the plastic ones anymore. I always saved the plastic grocery sacks, meaning to take them to Walmart to get them recycled, but would never get around to it and then I think Scott would sneak them into the garbage when I wasn't looking. So I went to Albertsons and bought their bags. They were only a dollar each and they are very spacious and nice looking and will hold a ton. I encourage everyone to go get them. I also joined this website email-y thing called The Ideal Bite. It is just small tips to be a little bit greener for the average person. They send you an email every day (if you want) to give you a "bite" of information to make yourself more green. I love all the stats they give on how effective this will be if like 10,000 "bitters" do it. I'm into this green stuff, I think it's rad. Anyway, here's to being kind to our earth! (Bon, I realize that I stole your picture off the bitters website, but it really was the cutest one)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Wolfmother and The Black Keys

It's time again to feature another new band that I've discovered. Since it's been a little while since the last time I posted, and because I'm celebrating my completion on the GRE, I'll feature two bands this week.
Wolfmother is an Australian hard rock band that sounds reminiscent of Led Zeppelin, but a little less bluesy. You can visit their website here. They only have one album out so far, but it's pretty solid. If you like hard rock, and find strange lyrics with D&D-esque references amusing, then check them out. This video is pretty characteristic of the general sound of their album, but also check out their song Mind's Eye. YouTube wouldn't let me imbed it, but you can find it here: Mind's Eye Video. Enjoy!

Next, we move onto my favorite of the two, The Black Keys:
The Black Keys hail from Akron, Ohio (maybe Emily and Shane have heard or seen them?). In contrast to Wolfmother, have a very bluesy sound. This guitar and drum duo records and produces all their own music, and have a distinct vintage, blues/funk, garage-rock sound. This somewhat eclectic mix produces a very unique low-fidelity sound that is quite catchy. Visit their website here. After a friend of mine referred me to their music, I haven't been able to stop listening to them. Along with recently featured band, Fields, the Black Keys would probably have to go on my current top-five favorite bands list. Once again, YouTube prohibited me from embedding another video that I wanted to share with you, but you can find it here: 10 A.M. Automatic.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Rise of the Rainbow Rats

This is specifically for those of you who joined the Barrett Family fantasy basketball league. Know that all of you will suffer painful humiliation at the hands or my all-star team, the Rainbow Rats. You might be scoffing at their team name, but we'll see who is laughing when the Rainbow Rats dominate the league! The Zucchini Weenies, Little Golden Pussycats (a far fruitier name if you ask me...), Abacaba, and Schrute will all taste bitter tears when the Rats take the championship. Let it be noted that from this day forward, the Rainbow Rats will go down in Barrett Family basketball history as the premier team in the entire game!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Jim and Pam - My Favorite

So can you tell we're bored today? Quite a few posts, but I couldn't resist this movie. I'm a big fan of the office and this is a great little recap from season three.

Six week body makeover

So since I've gotten married I've put on a few (well quite a few) pounds. So for my birthday I decided to get Michael Thurmond's six week body makeover. So I've decided to help motivate me to stay on this "metabolism re-structuring" I would blog about my success. I have a brand new eating regiment which basically consists of potatoes, yams, rice, chicken, turkey, egg whites, vegetables and fruit only twice a day. No dairy, no bread, no sweets or sugar or salt of any kind. It's only for six weeks and as Auntie Mary once told me, "you can do anything for six weeks". I started yesterday and I weighed myself again today and I've already lost 1 1/2 pounds. They claim that if you are really good then you can loose up to 30 pounds in 6 weeks. I am including my "before" picture and I'll add a picture every week.

Dinner in a pumpkin

Sunday night I accomplished something I've never done before. I made dinner in a pumpkin. It was easier than I thought it would be, though I suggest having a helper around. Scott had to home teach so I was trying to cook the hamburger and chop veggies and make rice and carve a pumpkin all at the same time. The recipe can be found here. We added a red pepper and corn to ours.
Here's some pictures of our night. My boss Kathy and her husband Doug came over for dinner and even posed for a picture.

Pa's 50th birthday party

This past weekend we went down to Bountiful to celebrate my pa's 50th birthday. We had such a nice time. We went to dinner at Ruby River (a big favorite of mine) and then my wonderful mom threw my dad a surprise birthday party. Lots of people from the neighborhood and lots of family showed up. Here is a slide show:


The next video is my Auntie Ruth with Kayla, my cousin Sam and Kelli's daughter. Auntie Ruth always makes up songs for new babies so here is Auntie Ruth and Kayla singing Kayla's song. Sorry about the background noise, but you can still hear Kayla singing:

Fields

I recently discovered a new indie rock band named Fields. Their first album, 7 From the Village, is nothing to scream about, but their newest album, Everything Last Winter, it's a masterpiece. I've provided a sample video from the album below. They have a fairly heavy, electronic sound, but also mix it with folk-sounding vocal harmony and acoustic guitar, for a real interesting sound. the following video is one of their more electronic sounding songs.



I've found a good way to find new, interesting music is to browse the reviews on Metacritic.com. They have a pretty good system of weighing and calculating the reviews from different magazines and professional reviewers into a seemingly accurate composite score. Another beauty of their system is that it really seems to take a lot to get a substantially high score, meaning that it's easier to compare the good to the really good. After I find a few bands I want to check out, I'll visit their myspace sites and listen to some songs. If that looks good, I'll sample some more music via URGE. If I really like their sound after that, I consider buying an album, which run pretty cheap on URGE as well ($9.99 an album). It's a good strategy that has found some real gems for me.

Sample Fields' music at http://www.myspace.com/fieldsband I really recommend listening to their songs "School Books" and "The Death."

Barrett Family Basketball

So the Barrett family (Jentry and I) has started playing basketball. Fantasy basketball, that is. What, you think I enjoy running back and forth on a squeaky court? Anyway, we're opening the invitation to all our friends and family who want to join. Our league name is Barrett Family, and the password is afton. You can search for our league here: http://ufc.nba.com/basketball/landingpage.asp? Make a free account, then select to join a league. There's a spot to search for private leagues; that's where you'll enter the league name. The rest is pretty simple. Be sure to name your team so we know who you are!

Don't know what fantasy basketball is, or how it works? It's pretty simple. You create a team, draft players from the real players in the NBA. When the season starts, your players will accumulate stats in the real-games. These stats are combined with the stats from other players on your team to determine how well your team plays and who wins matches in our league. If that sounds complex, don't worry, the game does all the hard work for you. You just have to create a team and draft your players. Virtually everything else is managed by the game and additional management is optional (though recommended to win).

It should be pretty fun. Hope to see some of you there!

Friday, October 19, 2007

What a half hour of work can do.

I "coach" a student string quartet Thursday nights. They are all good solid players and so it is fun to help them become a string quartet. Being in a quartet is harder than it looks. You are all alone on your part and have to be exactly together all of the time and you are in charge of your inntonation. All things that you really can get away with when you are in a school orchestra, which is all the ensemble experience all of these players have had. So I took a video at the begining of the coaching and then a video at the end and they improved so much!! I wanted to blog it so you can all experience how cool it is to be a chamber coach. Focus on how much more they are together and how much more in tune they are in the second one. I was two seconds late on the second movie so you don't get to see how much better and together the first couple of measures are.



The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Why do all the interesting movies have to be rated R? Graphic bloody violence makes Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street worthy of the R rating, which is unfortunate because it looks like perhaps the best movie of the year. Granted, the Bourne Ultimatum was very good, but there is something to be said about Tim Burton's use of ironic humor and stunningly beautiful cinematography. I wouldn't be surprised if this was the most beautifully shot movie of the year, given the amazing things Mr. Burton has done in the past with a camera. And while I have my reservations about Sweeney Todd's rating, previous experience with Burton's Sleep Hollow, Edward Scissorhands, Big Fish, and other films have proved to me more than once that there is a real art to making and attractive looking movie. This is why I have always asserted that film as an art is more akin to the visual arts, like painting, than to the performing arts, like acting. Though granted, the music in Burton's films, almost always composed by Danny Elfman, really adds to the whole effect, and that is a certainly a contribution of the performing arts that cannot be done without. As for Mr. Burton's obsession with Johnny Depp, I'm not sure what that's all about, but there is no questioning that Depp is a talented performer. Certainly this looks to be an extraordinary film. Alas for it's rating!

But can you really make a movie about a barber who slits the throats of his customers to exact his revenge on society, and whose accomplice bakes them into mince-meat pies, without earning an R rating? I think it would be difficult, though I doubt that the Angela Lansbury stage production would have earned such a rating. I think Burton's dark, morbid imagination is largely responsible, as in the case of Sleepy Hollow.

But whether you see the film or not, you have to at least view the trailer and be impressed with the fact that, apparently, Johnny Depp can sing.Check out more at the movie website: http://www.sweeneytoddmovie.com/

Fall Break

Today is Fall Break, which means that we get a Friday off from school. So what are Jentry and I doing? Working. I keep forgetting that when you grow up, there is no such thing as a day off. Jentry has to spend the whole day in the Elementary Education department office, while I am covering in the animal research laboratory. Oh well, it's not that bad. Everyday when I come into the lab, one of the graduate students, Adam P., has changed the desktop background on the lab computer to something humorous. This is what I found today:

In other news, while Jentry continues to work to support us while I finish up this last year, I'm preparing for the GRE. So far it doesn't look too bad, but we'll see. I take that early November. Additionally, I get to wrestle with the most boring and, in my opinion, worthless class: Psychometrics. I don't think words can illustrate my feelings regarding this class, but suffice it to say that it is the bane of my existence.

Oh, and for those who are wondering...the rats are just fine.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Blog Action Day

Monday the 15th of October is Blog Action Day and this month it is aimed at the environment. As my family will tell you I have been a bit of a "tree hugger" since I was little. I really like the thought that the little things we can do everyday can help stop the awful things that are happening in our world. Scott emailed me the link to this trailer for Leonardo DiCaprio's new movie "The 11th hour". Though I haven't liked Leo since I was 12 and Titanic was on the big screen, I applaud him for his work. Heck, Al Gore got a Nobel Peace Prize this week for his work with climate change. I think that it is an important issue and that we can all do something about it. USU professor Joseph Tainter is a featured scientist in The 11th Hour. Tainter, head of CNR’s Department of Environment and Society.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Tag, you're it

Cas tagged me, I think it looks fun, so we'll see if I can come up with seven things that are interesting.

1. I am on day 89 of my goal to practice my violin/viola for 100 days in a row. When I am done I haven't decided if I am going to keep trying and go to 200 days, or if I am going to practice when I want to. I have to admit that practicing every day has been both really great and really annoying. It's been great because I am so much better on my instrument and I have great pride in myself that I've been able to keep it up for so long. It's annoying that I don't have more self control after almost 23 years of life. I will sit down and turn on the TV at 9:30 knowing I haven't practiced yet and then when 10:30 rolls around and I need to get to bed I still have to pull out my violin and practice. But for the most part it has been a great thing for me and I think I will continue.

2. I teach violin/viola lessons to 13 students. They range in age from 4 years old to people with grandchildren. I really love teaching, and going to Nebraska this summer to be certified in Suzuki was one of the most amazing experiences for me. I feel so satisfied and fulfilled when it's been a good day of teaching. I have to admit I like the little ones the best, because they are so overly excited about learning, but I love teaching people who can stand in the same spot for more than 3 minutes. I love everything the Suzuki method is founded on. That ability starts at age zero, and that it is through "deliberate practice" that skills grow, also that a "lack of natural talent is irrelevant-talent has little or nothing to do with greatness". I need to post some pictures of my students because they are dang cute.

3. I want a master's degree. When I was sitting at graduation for my bachelor's degree I just kept thinking, this would be so much cooler if I as getting a master's degree. The problem is what do I want to get a master's degree in? I am really interested in special education, and the combination of special education with music education fascinates me. How to turn that into a degree, I don't know. But I'll figure something out.

4. Like the Bon-ster, Scott and I are really into the office. When I was unemployed over the summer I spent many an hour watching people's montages of office clips. This season I am more excited about the Dwight/Angela saga then Jim/Pam. And I am so excited that they are giving Kevin a bigger role this season because he is hilarious.

5. I am a music snob. Everyone says that musicians are snobs and they say that because we are. There are rules when you go to classical concerts and A LOT of people don't know what they are, so me, being a music snob, will let you in on the secret. When you attend a classical concert you will get the program and it will look something like this:
Violin Concerto #5 Mozart
I. Allegro moderato
II. Andante
III. Minuet
IV. Allegro-Presto
The four different words represent four different parts of the piece called movements. They are like chapters in a book and the piece is not over until the very end of all the movements. At the end of ALL of the movements is when you clap. You do not clap between movements. It disrupts the flow of the piece and the atmosphere is broken when everyone claps between every single movement. It makes long concerts even longer. So this is just for your information. It is one of my pet peeves, and I'm not saying that I don't love when new people come to hear classical music, but there are rules and I'm just doing my part to let everyone in on them. :)

6. I can only come up with 5 cool things about me right now, but I feel I've talked enough for seven. So now I tag Ellen, Kelly, and Brooke/Max

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

New Car

Well, we needed a new car...so we got one. Here are a few pictures of our baby (real human babies will have to wait). It's a 2008 Nissan Versa 1.8 S Hatchback, for those of you who were wondering.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

I play viola in a "rock" band

A little unknown fact about me is that I have been part of a band for about two years now. We don't do a whole lot, have played maybe five shows, but we have fun and record every once in awhile. My good friend Bryn plays the cello, I play my viola, Evan plays the guitar, and Clay sings and plays the guitar. Our latest song is going to be part of a documentary that is being entered in the Sundance Film festival which is somewhat a claim to fame. Anyway, to hear our song visit our MySpace page.
http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=36445799


I am playing on A Solder's Peace and Dawning Light. Hope you enjoy!

Monday, August 27, 2007

School Again...

Well, time for school again...four classes today, and one of them ran for 3 hours (but at least it only meets once a week). It's gonna be a rough semester. The good news is that after a quick trip to Best Buy, I'll now have Fletch to keep me company...

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Monk

Well...things around Logan are pretty slow. Until the 27th at least when school starts. In case you haven't heard yet, Jentry has a new job as a receptionist for the Elementary Education department on campus. I continue working in the lab daily. Nothing else happens, ever, in this town...

Except, we finally get season five of Monk from Netflix. Here's a little taste of our (my) favorite show:


Of course! Everyone knows that rockstars are obsessed with antique chairs...

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Lazy Summer

We haven't posted in a while, and that is mainly because we haven't been doing anything exciting (though Jentry still needs to post about her trip to Nebraska). Jentry got a new job in the department office for elementary education on campus. She new works Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm. She says she likes it, but I imagine it's pretty dull. I am still working in the animal laboratory, as always. My job, while dull, at least lets me surf the internet and post this very message to you now. It also allows me to play games on the internet. One such, a timeless classic older my siblings will undoubtedly remember, is Hunt the Wumpus.

Don't know what Hunt the Wumpus is, or haven't played it in far too long? Well, download the full version for free here and give it a go. Much harder than I remember it being, until you get used to it again. I really love the sound/music myself. I also recall being slightly afraid of the Wumpus as a child.

(The download is a ZIP file which you'll need to extract. Your computer's desktop is probably the best place. Enjoy!)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Happy Simpsons Day!

Okay, so public response to the Michael Jackson video was less favorable than anticipated, but oh well. Hey, if you can appreciate hundreds of Filipino inmates dancing to Thriller, real or not, then you're simply un-American.

Anyway, being the tremendous day that it is, and seeing as Jentry still hasn't posted about her trip to Nebraska, I thought we would greet you in honor of a true American icon (yes, I have a lot of time on my hands! Until August 28th at least...).

Happy Simpsons Day! I sure hope it takes the box office charts!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Rad Video

What is the problem with the American prison system? Drugs? Coercive practices? Lack of prisoner reform programs? Too many prisoner luxuries? No, it's none of those. the real problem is that we don't make our inmates dance to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" in the prison yard. That'll teach 'em!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Local Toughs Indeed!

Dennis and Linda (the Barretts) were in town today. They dropped off David in Rexburg (some good stories there, let me tell ya) and have a week to kill before they take Ellen back down to Denver with them. They stuck around for a while and watched Jentry and I play a softball game then we went to dinner at El Toro Viejo. By the way, Jentry did make it on first base safely in the below video. Go Toughs!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Another Funny Heart Video

Here's another great Heart video. Why? Because they are hilarious, that's why.

In other news, Jentry has been busy looking for employment, applying for approximately 3-5 jobs a day. Meanwhile, I have been working in the lab everyday until 3pm and occasionally injecting pigeons with nicotine. On the side, I have also joined the league the graduate students created on fantasyhiphop.com. I know, I know...fantasy hip hop? Let's just say that it's funny to play with a bunch of science nerds and it helps pass the time at work.

Friday, July 06, 2007

4th of July

We went down to Auntie Cath's on Wednesday to celebrate the 4th of July. (We tend to call it the 4th of the lie from the line in Little Rascals "You melt my heart like a popsicle on the fourth of the lie). We had a lot of fun, lots of food, and some volleyball. I love the 4th because all of the Stonemans get together and eat a lot. There are lots of little kids now and that makes things fun too. The video is of my cousins Max, Augie, and Ben. They are doing "monkey bumps" don't ask me I don't know. But funny video all the same. It caused Augie to get a bloody nose so that is why he has a napkin stuck up his nose.


Alone - Heart (HQ Audio)

This is a favorite of ours. My personal favorite thing is the exploding piano or Nancy riding the black stallion . We were going to go to Wendover this summer to see these guys live, but Jessica and Jana wouldn't be able to get into the hall because they are not 21. Oh well, we will have to survive by watching lots of classic 80's music videos.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Softecue (or Barbeball...)

So, Ellen and Kevin came down last week because they were going to see a show in Salt Lake and we had a barbecue with our friends Cade and Andrea. Nothing too special, just burgers, salads and chips, but we had a good time. If Kevin (or Mom) is reading this, you can rest assured, he seems like a pretty nice guy. Even better, the two of us can talk about Ellen in Tagalog to each other and there's nothing she can do about it! After our little barbecue (and while we attempted to grill corn on the cob) we played a little batting practice on the softball diamonds at the park. All in all, a pretty good time.

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Local Toughs

Jentry and I recently joined a coed, amateur softball team through the university. The team is made up of mainly graduate students from the special education and behavior analysis programs. Our team is named the Local Toughs, and we've got some killer T-shirts on the way fro next game. We've played two games thus far, losing our first 12-7 and winning the second 16-9. We have some pretty decent players on our team, especially when it comes to batting, but I could definitely work a bit on my fielding. Regardless, we have a good time and will be playing every Tuesday and Thursday until the season is finished (whenever that is...). Jentry will be out of town for stake girl's camp next week, so she'll miss a few games, but when she gets back we'll get some pictures and maybe video taken so we can share it on here.

Go Local Toughs!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Denver Trip - Summer 2006

Well, this post is long overdue, but I just love the video so I thought I'd share it. Last summer we went to visit the Barretts in Denver, CO and spent most of a week with them. We did a variety of things, but the two I'd like to highlight are the Scott vs. David crab soccer match in the backyard, and our fishing trip near Silverthorne, CO. You'll notice that David beat me in crab soccer, but I blame that to inability to breathe from chronic laughing. We played from probably an hour or more; a good workout.

The fishing trip was nice, though we only caught one fish, a small brown trout on a leech lure. We had a few other nibbles but that was about it. Jentry did, however, learn to fly-fish, which she claims to have enjoyed thoroughly. We waded out in the river and fished it up and down, but still had no luck. We'll have to try fishing a little earlier in the season next time when the water isn't so de-oxygenated from the summer heat.

Father's Day

Well, we went down to Bountiful for Father's Day and had a pretty good time of it. We had sneaked down earlier in the week to have our picture taken with all the other kids as a little surprise gift for John. I think he enjoyed it, as well as his other presents, which can can viewed in the slide show below. Jess, Jana and Jordan all treated us to several musical performances, and we had a terrific barbeque cooked by John (a.k.a. Grill Masta'). Later we visited the cemetery to visit Hooku (Grandpa Stoneman), which was refreshing. All in all it was a good time and we're looking forward to our next rendezvous for the 4th of July.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Homecomings

The day before we left for San Diego, Jentry's brother Jordan returned from his mission in Brazil. It was fun to watch the Stonemans get excited from his return and even more fun perhaps to tease Jana by pretending to see Jordan's ex-girlfriend at the airport (she fell for it every time!). It was also interesting to witness Jordan's reaction to the newly remodeled house. Of the many nice gifts and souvenirs that Jordan brought home from Brazil were many soccer jerseys (for everyone), an ornate, hand-made table cloth (for Deb), a rad hammock (for us!), a strange sea-shell lamp, a portrait of the producers in Portuguese, and two hand painted portraits of Christ (for the house). In return, he received a fancy Macintosh laptop.

San Diego

Jentry and I recently returned from San Diego, where I attended the annual conference for the Association of Behavior Analysis. It was a pretty fun trip, and we lucked out because we were able to car pool with our good friends Cade and Andrea Charlton, who secured a motor-pool car and gas money from the University for our drive. While we were there, we were able to visit such nearby attractions as Sea Port Village, Gaslamp Quarter and the San Diego Temple for the LDS Church. It was too bad that we didn't make it to the San Diego Zoo, but the conference kept me pretty busy.

The conference was a pretty decent event, and provided many opportunities to meet other research professionals and learn about graduate programs in Florida, Arizona State, West Virginia, San Diego and New Zealand. Later this summer, Jentry will get the opportunity to visit Lincoln, Nebraska and find out a bit about the behavioral neuroscience program while she is out there to receive her Suzuki teacher training.

After our brief stay in San Diego we followed Cade and Andrea up to Las Angeles where we were able to meet several of Cade's relatives and relax for a day or two by the pool at our hotel. After having finally tried the In-N-Out Burger I have to confess that it really isn't as good as people make it out to be, despite the secret menu items. I'll take good ol' Burger King any day of the week.