Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Kitchens: Before and After

So if you could remodel any one part of your home and really spruce it up, which part would you choose? I choose the kitchen. If I could I would make an entire house into a kitchen, fully functional with pull out beds for drawers. Some of the more incredible features include walk-in pantries with sliding storage shelves. Fantasies aside, I very much enjoy kitchens of all styles and sizes. Before and after pictures to me, are like greasy bacon strips to hunger-teased dingos. Have a taste:

**Uncontrollable Drooling**

Charcoal Granite Counter Tops, Bamboo flooring, Accent Lighting, Oh My!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Feliz Navidad

Merry Christmas Eve! I just finished watching "It's a Wonderful Life" and never tire of watching it year after year. The film embodies so much that is good in this world. May the tradition of radiating the airwaves with this timeless classic each Christmas continue as long as the Earth turns. The family pageant tradition of the Nativity story has carried on though minus the costumes and wise men bling this year. Hurray for Family traditions.

So I found the worst movie EVER made. Yes, and watched the entire thing through because it was sooo bad. It's called "Hercules in New York" starring Arnold "the Govenator" Schwarzenegger and his lines are dubbed over by some English actor's voice. So there you have it; the best and worst movies of all time - unless you can suggest another pair of films so diametrically opposite in caliber?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Attack of the Artic Crystalline Flakes

I can't remember the last time I had death gripped my steering wheel. At lunch time I looked outside to see the snow falling at an increasing rate and thought it better to leave sooner than later. On the commute back home (~23 miles) I had many close encounters with the fourth kind: overly confident 4-wheel drive enthusiasts. At seat level in my car I have a VERY good view of their tire flaps. To make matters worse my wipers started to build up ice chunks underneath the blades, in effect smearing the windshield rather than clearing debris, leaving a small viewable window on the passenger side. At this point I thought to myself what on Earth are you [Dallin] doing? Get off the bloomin' road before you activate your medical plan! I was thrilled to finally inch my way up the home stretch and crash on the pillow and not the pedestrian walking her dog across the street. Needless to say I offered a most sincere prayer. The hour drive proved to be a real character builder; much like diarrhea.

Upstate NY is known for their white-out conditions and "lake effect" snow drifts responsible for entire weeks of unscheduled vacation. Binghamton is the 15th snowiest city in the country just south of the 4th being Syracuse. This is a picture I found from Oswego, NY - the undistputed snow capital (non-mountainous region) of the northeast:

Monday, December 15, 2008

Camp Outs and Symphonies

I had planned to go with the scouts from our ward on a camp out over the weekend but received word late that it was a no-go. Good thing since the temperature was in the single digits Fahrenheit. My first real winter camp out was with my older brothers up in the Rockies. Being the youngest I had inherited my brother's boots, having served faithfully, but now these buskins were a beat away from their final fermata. As the sun began to set I could feel my feet getting colder and colder. My oldest brother Rhys somehow knew I wasn't doing well and graciously removed my boots to rub my frozen feet and put on a nice warm pair of wool socks. I'm sure his hands were freezing but he was so focused on helping me. So when I remember boy scouts and camp outs I will always remember that simple act of kindness.

In other news I joined the musicians union in an effort to play Handel's Messiah this weekend. I can't wait to get back into an orchestra!! The money part isn't so bad either but if I had to, I would pay real money just to play. What an absolute thrill to be enveloped in the warmth of symphonic sound - Handel's Messiah nonetheless.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Conversation Power

Like an inconspicuous pixel in the sea of bytes chattering back and forth, the seeker of gab listens to the ongoing conversation in earnest but fails to awake the tongue from its hibernating sleep. The ability to contribute to meaningful conversation is a greatly sought talent. I admit I am not a great conversationalist but I would really like to know what does it take to become one? I am by nature an observant fellow but I do not believe I must be confined by nature. So, your thoughts?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Saturday Mornings

Waking up and knowing you don't have to go into work because it's Saturday is blissful - unless by chance your neighbor pounds on your door at the crack of dawn because there is a strange "hot glue" odor emanating from the lower floors and that the firemen are in transit, on a frigidly cold morning. Well there's always next Saturday...

So what's there to do on a Saturday morning? Try Olympic pancake flipping! I made a thick pancake batter and while mixing the dry ingredients the thought came to me: "If you make it, it will flip." And so after pouring the batter into the saucer I began flipping my breakfast up and down, behind the back, quadruple flips in the air, half of which now decorates the floor. I even snapped a quick how-to clip:

Then I sat down in front of the laptop and began rehashing some sweet chords in Finale to the sound of a string orchestra. I really enjoy just sitting down at the piano and discovering chord progressions - even if they don't play by the "rules". This is what I came up with; have a listen: