Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Blogging in the Airport

I know I already posted earlier today but I had some closing thoughts about our trip that I wanted to share. Plus, how cool is it to blog from the airport? I have a nifty little device that allows me internet access anywhere. (So I don't have to pay for the airport access, that would make blogging in the airport less cool.) Robyn even took a picture of me blogging in the airport because it's awesome.


Anyway, so I just wanted to share some thoughts that I had on this trip. Last night Robyn and I sat on the beach and watched the reflection of the moon on the waves. We knew it was our last night in Hawaii and there was a feeling of sadness that we would have to leave. But there was also an overwhelming feeling of gratitude. I wanted to share some of the things that this trip has reminded me that I'm grateful for.

I'm grateful for my amazing wife. This trip has reminded me why I married Robyn. We were not together 100% of the time but it was a very large majority of the time. Yet we never tire of being together. She makes me laugh. She is fun to be with. She is intelligent. She serves me and takes care of me in so many ways I can't even count. I have loved being with her on this trip. Hawaii is amazing but it's more amazing to share it with her.

I'm grateful for my bed. We've had to sleep on a queen size bed this week. Let's just say that some of the adventures of hitting each other while we sleep have returned. I'm looking forward to not having those adventures anymore.

I'm grateful for air conditioning. This week we were in a house without AC. It was really tough for me at night. I didn't use a blanket the whole week. The breeze keeps it bearable inside the house, but I would not have survived the days if I couldn't be in the ocean. I'm excited to get back to my air conditioned home.

I'm grateful for the beauty of the earth. This week I have seen a whole new part of the world and all the plants and animals that come with it. It has amazed me that God created all of this for our joy. He said that "Men are that they might have joy" and he meant it. So he created so much beauty in our world that gives us joy. All of the beautiful fish, plants, animals, ocean, waterfalls, mountains, rivers and everything else I've seen over the past week was created because we have a Heavenly Father who loves us and wants us to have joy. I'm grateful for that, and I have a renewed testimony that all things testify of him. I hope to take that back with me and continue to enjoy the beauty that is in my backyard in Utah.

Hawaii Adventures Part 3

Since I last posted we've done lots of relaxing, swimming, snorkeling and the like. As soon as we get home I'm gonna take the underwater camera to get developed and I'll put up some of those pics and tell some stories. Until then, I'll just have to report some of the other stuff that I have pictures of.

The Temple
On Sunday we decided not to do any of the normal activities we'd been doing in the ocean. Instead, we made it a relaxing day in the house and we spent some time on the temple grounds. The temple itself was closed for construction but the grounds were beautiful and it has an amazing visitors center.

Home Cooked Meal
While we've been staying here we've done simple lunches and then gone out to dinner. On Sunday Robyn made a great home cooked dinner. It was kind of nice to not be in a restaurant. Robyn is uber amazing.


Waimea Falls Hike
We hiked up to Waimea Falls. It was so beautiful. I took lots of pictures of plants and what not on the way. I'm sure I'll put those up on my facebook soon enough but for now I'll just put these two on here. The first is the two of us on a bridge near the falls. (I like how it looks like the falls are pouring on my head.) The second is of me in the wilderness on the hike on the way there.

Famous Shaved Ice
We went into Haleiwa and got some of the famous shaved ice. They flavor the shaved ice and then they put sweetened condensed milk on top. It's quite glorious.

Attack of the Gecko
This last experience doesn't have an associated picture but it had to be shared. I went to get water from the water dispenser on the front of the fridge. I placed my glass in it and water started coming out as it should. However, something else started happening that was a little less normal. Apparently a gecko was just chilling at the top of the dispenser out of site. When I put my cup in there it frightened him so he ran out, ran down the front of the fridge and hid under the fridge. This startled me a bit. I may have let out a bit of a scream. Robyn made fun of me and got some revenge for the many times I've mocked her for her fear of small things. I tried to explain that I was startled and not scared, but to no avail.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Hawaii Adventures Part 2

Well, yesterday we went to the Polynesian Cultural Center. There was some way fun stuff there, so I thought I'd better share some more experiences. The first few will be from the PCC but I will share some others from today as well.

Learning How To Hula
They had a section where they taught us to Hula. Robyn did it well, I did not. But this picture is of us doing the same thing so I can pretend I'm as good as her.
Tahitian Noni
Okay, so this may not mean anything to those outside of Utah. But there is a company called Tahitian Noni that I pass on the freeway every time I go north on I15. I've had their candy and they produce all sorts of products all of which contain Noni Juice. I've known about the company my whole life, but I always figured "Noni Juice" was some sort of proprietary blend of fruits that they make. It turns out there is actually a fruit called Noni. I saw one, I smelled one, it smelled gross. They actually had Noni candy there that they were giving out. It made me think of home. But, in case you were wondering, this is what the Noni fruit looks like on the tree.


The Luau and Dance Show
This was 2 events, they had a huge buffet where they gave us a Lei and then let us eat all we wanted of Hawaiian style food and then we went to a big amphitheater where we watched lots of dancing. We didn't get any pictures of that part because our camera ran out of batteries but my favorite part was the fire dancing. This guy was throwing flaming sticks in the air and twirling them and lighting himself on fire, it was so awesome. We were 4th row front and center and there were times when we could feel the heat from the fire. I also really enjoyed the Tahitian dancing. It turns out in Tahiti their hips don't lie.

This is us looking precious at the Luau.
First Snorkeling Experience
So, up until today we've gone swimming in the ocean but I hadn't been snorkeling yet. We just walked out from our house to the ocean and decided to go snorkeling. It was so awesome! I first saw a super cool looking purple spotted lobster. I went back and got the underwater camera and wasn't able to find it again but then I later swam alongside a sea turtle for several minutes. I took several pictures with the underwater camera so hopefully some of those will turn out. I'm excited to do lots more snorkeling at even better locations so I can see more cool stuff. Even just the ocean floor is pretty interesting to look at.

Interview with Robyn
Robyn was reading and I was bored and ready to go to the beach so I interviewed her. It turns out her favorite thing is not having the camera in her face. So considering the small percentage of time the camera is in her face, we've had a good vacation so far!


video

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hawaii Adventures Part 1

Well, we've been in Hawaii for just over 24 hours and we've already had some great experiences. I'll share just a few and I'm sure I'll be back periodically to share more adventures as they happen. So without further ado here are some of our experiences.

A Whole New Biology
This may sound really weird to bring up but the moment I got off the plane I notice how the plant life is so completely different here. I'm not a botanist or anything but I'm fairly familiar with all of the plant life in Utah. Then suddenly I get here and not only do I not know the names of the plants but they are so different from what I've used to. It's incredibly beautiful to see the plant life as well as the animal life, but I was surprised at how completely foreign it all is here. Here is the aloha tree that is inside the Honolulu airport.


Swimming with Sharks
I won't say too much about this because we bought a disposable underwater camera that I took some pictures with. We have to get those developed and then I will write about it. (Cross your fingers and hope that at least a few pictures turned out.) I just wanted everyone to know that I did in fact swim with sharks and it was awesome! The sharks weren't the traumatic part though, but I'll tell you about that later.

The Sandy Shorts
So Robyn and I went to the beach together. She is able to float effortlessly but for me to keep my head above water is more work. I floated with her for a while but then decided to go sit on the beach. But I didn't really sit on the beach, I sat in the shallow water and let it wash me in and out. Of course the bigger waves would drag me against the sand, and what I didn't realize was happening was that sand was filling my shorts. When I stood up they almost fell off. But I didn't realize how much sand was in them until I got home and discovered there was about a pound of sand down in the bottom. I still haven't gotten the sand out all the way. I'm sure I won't until after we're back in Utah.

Some Great Food
We've been out to eat just a few times but already there's been some good stuff. Our first night I had a burger that was bigger than my face. They put like a whole avocado on it. We also went to Ted's bakery tonight and got a delicious Macadamia Nut Cream Pie. The eatin' has been good!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Big Preparations

Well, today's post won't be very long. I already told you that we're going to Hawaii. Well, the time is almost here for us to leave. Our plane flies out Tuesday morning! I just wanted to share a few of the things we're doing to prepare. Unfortunately, we planned the trip right when a major project was due at my work, so all this week my major thing to prepare has been to try and get that done before we leave. I feel bad for Robyn because every night I'm at work all day and then come home and eat dinner with her and then work from home until we go to bed.

Another important preparation has been to buy some of the things we need. We bought some awesome snorkel gear that I am modeling below. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to look that awesome but I think it's a good look for me.




The last and possibly most important thing has been to plan some of the things we're going to do. I'm excited to sleep in every morning and do plenty of swimming in the ocean and reading on the beach. We're also going to see the Polynesian Cultural Center. But among the things we've planned I'm most excited about swimming with sharks. Robyn won't be going with me on that one, but it should be quite an adventure. Don't worry, I'm sure I'll have some good stories to tell you from our trip. So stay tuned!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Eighth Moniversary

So, I'm a few days over due, but we recently had another moniversary, so I figured I'd better update the world on our latest stories. Of course, this month contained important events such as my birthday and the second grade play. In addition to those events there are a few others we need to discuss. They are as follows:

My First Ballet Experience
So one of Robyn's students was in a ballet put on by a community organization at an outdoor theater in Sandy. It was a fabulous experience, I had popcorn from the concession stand and we got to feel the cool evening breeze as we watched the ballet. Robyn said that I need to see a real professional ballet so I can really know what it's like. She also said there won't be popcorn at one of those so I think I'll stick to the community ballet for now.

Robyn puts on a Themed Dinner Party
Robyn got really excited to have another couple over for dinner. We had done that lots of times but since she had more time with school being out she wanted to make a big deal out of it. The theme was "Games." My contribution was that I used my excellent skills with google to find ideas to go along with the theme. She had the game Sorry as a center piece and for dinner we had "pickup sticks" (kabobs) with some sides and then for dessert we had "Apples 2 Apples crisp" it was a lot of fun and Robyn was a guru.

Robyn's Late Night Confusion
So my friend Jared William had come over and we were up pretty late one night. Robyn had already gone to bed and I invited Jared to just sleep in our guest bed so he wouldn't have to drive home. Apparently that night I was extra snorealicious so Robyn decided to go sleep in the guest bed. Apparently she stood there for like 10 minutes trying to figure out if someone was in the bed. I wish I could report that she actually got in the bed, imagine the awkwardness that would have ensued, but unfortunately that didn't happen.

I get Jealous that Robyn is a Teacher
So Robyn is now out of teaching school for the summer. She gets to sleep in and stay home all day and have all sorts of freedoms that I have not had since I was eight years old. (I've had some sort of employment since that age, even if it was only delivering papers or mowing lawns.) I'm not saying that teachers don't work hard during the school year but 3 months off is a pretty good benefit. So, to make it fair, my proposal is that Robyn and I switch professions to see whose is harder. I told her we should just try it for the next 3 months and then decide. Don't you think that's a good proposal?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

WolframAlpha: Making The World's Knowledge Computable

Okay, so I have to tell you about another awesome website I recently discovered. It apparently has only been in existence for around a month, but it has already changed my life. Anyone who knows me well, knows of my love for Wikipedia. I've always thought of Wiki as the sum total of knowledge of the users of it. It's a great place to go for in depth information on any subject. Well, recently WolframAlpha came along to fulfill a different but similar niche. WolframAlpha is perfect for gathering any kind of numerical data or anything that needs to be computed.

I'd like to share some examples with you. The other day at work, we were discussing TVs. I won't get into the details of our discussion, but we wanted to know the dimensions of a TV given the length of the diagonal. My brother is thinking of buying a 32" TV so we needed to know how tall and wide that is exactly. Well, I started doing Trigonometry on the white board and my office mate, Tyler, thought I was quite insane. I needed to do an inverse tangent and I didn't have a scientific calculator, but lo and behold I had WolframAlpha!

But it's not just for things like that. Let's say you are on a diet and you want to know how many calories are in your apple and your orange. You can input 1 apple 1 orange into WolframAlpha and it will create a nutritional content label for the two foods. Did someone say awesome?

Or maybe you're curious about a random city. You could input Orem, and if you are living in Utah, it will detect that Orem, Utah is the closest Orem and it will give you facts about Orem, Utah. (I don't know if there are other Orems or not, but it works with other cities as well.)

One more example: You can put in any date and it will tell you if any celebrities were born that day, it will tell you how many days ago it was, how many weeks and so on. I entered my birthday, May 27, 1981 and found out that I am 10,237 days old. (I am totally old.)

For your convenience, I have created this handy WolframAlpha control that will allow you to type in your input and automatically query WolframAlpha. Give it a try, it's uber awesome.




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