Thursday, January 29, 2009

25 Random Things

There is a Facebook note going around telling people to list 25 random facts about themselves. If you're tagged in the note, you are supposed to write down 25 things about yourself, tag others, and post the note. I've been tagged twice in the last 2 days, so I decided to write the 25 random facts about myself. I'm kind of a push over some times. Here are 25 random facts about me. If you're reading this, then I tag you.

1. My first paycheck was $127 dollars. I did handyman work for a local mortgage company.
2. I bought my first pair of Nike shoes with that first paycheck.
3. When I was 14, my favorite music was country music.
4. When I learned how to ride a bike, I didn't know how to use the brakes. So I would stop by running into cars, trees, fences, etc.
5. I hate tomatoes.
6. I drank almost 2 liters of soda a day while I worked for FedEx. So healthy.
7. I got my first D in fourth grade science.
8. In middle school, I rebelled against family tradition, and named the San Francisco 49ers as my favorite football team. I have since repented.
9. I did a summer internship at Disney World. I like to tell people that I was Aladdin, but I actually operated Splash Mountain.
10. My favorite food is tamales, but I have no idea how to make them.
11. My favorite novel is the Sword of Shannara. I read it for the first time in 7th grade.
12. I hate the game Phase 10, and have never made it past phase 4.
13. In second grade, I was the first in my class to count to 100 by 1's, 2's, 3's, 5's, and 10's. I was rewarded with a soda from the teacher for doing so.
14. History was always my best subject in high school.
15. I'm a super-hero geek. My favorite super-hero is the Incredible Hulk. When I was little I would growl like the Hulk from the TV series.
16. Disney World is the only amusement park I've ever been to.
17. Pancakes are my least favorite breakfast bread. Waffles, french toast, biscuits, crepes, and then pancakes.
18. I have been to 25 of the 50 states.
19. I used to memorize commercials and recite them to my family for fun. I still have the Tootsie Pop commercial memorized.
20. As a child, I once lit a poster of a panther on fire with a lighter while it was hanging on my wall. I'm still not sure how I put it out and didn't burn the house down.
21. The first football game I remember watching was the 1985 Super Bowl between the Chicago Bears and the New England Patriots. I remember because I watched with my dad.
22. I have never changed a diaper in my life.
23. My favorite song from the 80's is Walk Like An Egyptian by The Bangles.
24. I once drove for 14 hours straight, by myself, to see a girl.
25. I think that a no-bake cherry cheesecake is pretty much the best dessert ever.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Far From Perfect Push-Ups

I've been a little lax the past couple of months about exercising and staying healthy. Okay, that's a bit of an understatement. I haven't done any regular exercise since my last 5k race. Shame on me. I'm trying to do better. In an effort to exercise more, I started doing push-ups yesterday.

This past summer I worked my way up to doing roughly one-hundred push-ups a day. Not all at once though. I don't know if I'll ever be able to do that. I was doing sets of 15 throughout the day in order to get stronger. I was feeling pretty good about myself. Then for no reason at all, I stopped. I haven't done a push-up since, until yesterday.

I only did about 3o push-up yesterday, but I am totally feeling it today. My chest hasn't been sore like this in a long time. I tried to do more push-ups this morning before work. I managed to squeeze out 5 before my body started shaking like a leaf and my eyes began to water. I managed a total of 10 before my body gave out on me. It's kind of depressing to remember how far along I was and how far I have to go to get back there. All I can do is take it one day at a time.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

What's That? Teen Pop Trash? Nope. None Of That Going On Here

I've listened to a couple of songs on the radio lately that I can't seem to get enough of. In fact, I even found myself on YouTube looking for them, then listening over and over again. I'm not really sure why, but I really enjoy both songs. The strange part is that they are pop songs. Not just pop songs, but as my friend Sandy would say, they are teen pop trash songs. Totally not the kind of music that I listen to. What is wrong with me? I normally listen to alternative and modern rock. I enjoy bands like Rise Against, 3Oh!3, and Tickle Me Pink. Music that is a little edgier and has more substance.

Yet I continually find myself drawn to these two teen pop trash songs. Scary as it is, I kind of like it. I'm not saying I'm going to start listening to The Jonas Brothers or Miley Cyrus or anything drastic like that. I'm just saying I enjoy these two songs. Don't judge me.

The first is Hot-N-Cold by Katy Perry. I've heard this song on the radio in several different places. It has a catchy hook. The chorus is melodic and easy to remember. The subject matter of the song isn't original, but I do think it's a fresh take. All of which are reasons why I enjoy it so much.

The other song is Love Story by Taylor Swift. I was flipping through radio stations in my car when I first heard this one. It was something that I didn't recognize and I decide not to change the station. After that, I was done. I had the words of the song stuck in my head for the rest of the day. I actually had to look the lyrics up just so I could know how the song goes, in order to get it out of my head. It's a totally cheesy love song, but enjoyable just the same.

So there you go. I've taken the first step. I've admitted that I like a couple of teen pop trash songs. Now the healing can begin. At least until Rihanna comes out with a new song.

Time To Make The Doughnuts

One of my favorite shows to watch on the Food Network is Good Eats. It's hosted by Alton Brown. It's sort of a Bill Nye the Science Guy meets a cooking show. The various recipes are presented, as well as the science and history behind the featured food. I have to admit, the first time I watched the show, I found Alton somewhat annoying. Yet I continued to watch and eventually grew to like the show and the host. It helps that he has some pretty good recipes.

A couple of weeks ago there was an episode about doughnuts. Who makes doughnuts at home? It's so much easier to go to Krispy Kreme, Duncan Doughnuts, or any number of other places. But the episode intrigued me. So I kept watching. As I watched, I remembered making doughnuts with my mom as a child. I remember they were very simple. Refrigerated biscuit dough from the store we poked holes in, fried in oil, and then sprinkled with powdered sugar or cinnamon. Since cooking seems to be a new hobby that I enjoy, I decided to make homemade doughnuts from the episode.

Here is the recipe from the show:

1 1/2 cups milk
2 1/2 ounces vegetable shortening, approximately 1/3 cup
2 packages instant yeast
1/3 cup warm water (95 to 105 degrees F)
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
23 ounces all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting surface
Peanut or vegetable oil, for frying (1 to 1/2 gallons, depending on fryer)

Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat just until warm enough to melt the shortening. Place the shortening in a bowl and pour warmed milk over. Set aside.
In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let dissolve for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, pour the yeast mixture into the large bowl of a stand mixer and add the milk and shortening mixture, first making sure the milk and shortening mixture has cooled to lukewarm. Add the eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and half of the flour. Using the paddle attachment, combine the ingredients on low speed until flour is incorporated and then turn the speed up to medium and beat until well combined. Add the remaining flour, combining on low speed at first, and then increase the speed to medium and beat well. Change to the dough hook attachment of the mixer and beat on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the bowl and becomes smooth, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 3/8-inch thick. Cut out dough using a 2 1/2-inch doughnut cutter or pastry ring and using a 7/8-inch ring for the center whole. Set on floured baking sheet, cover lightly with a tea towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 365 degrees F. Gently place the doughnuts into the oil, 3 to 4 at a time. Cook for 1 minute per side. Transfer to a cooling rack placed in baking pan. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes prior to glazing, if desired.

With nothing to do tonight, I decided to try my hand at doughnut making again. This is the third time I've made the doughnuts, and I'm still a ways from having them perfected. I did take some pictures of the process just for fun.

The doughnuts have been cut and are bench proofing.

The doughnuts have been fried and are being cooled on a wire rack.

I would normally make my own icing, but I had some canned frosting I needed to use.

Don't they look good enough to eat?

I also decided to add the Good Eats episode. Gotta love YouTube.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The ABC's Of Me

- Age: 31
- Annoyance: Floss breaking and getting stuck in my teeth.
- Animal: Weimaraner. It's a bird dog that I want.

- Beer: Smells bad, why would anyone want to put that in their mouth?
- Birthday/Birthplace: September 7/Montrose CO
- Body Part on opposite (same) sex?: Smile
- Been in Love: Yes, several times in fact.
- Believe in yourself: I try. Sometimes I'm mores successful than other times.
- Believe in God: Without a doubt
- Believe in Ghosts/Spirits: Depends
- Believe in Evolution: Yes

- Car: 1997 Chevy Blazer
- Candy: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
- Color: Blue and Orange. Go Broncos!
- Cried in school: In the first grade after I vomited on the school steps.
- Chocolate/Vanilla: Chocolate
- Chinese/Mexican food: Chinese is good food, but I'm a Mexican. I love Mexican food.
- Cake or pie: Pie. Key lime pie to be specific.
- Country to visit: Mexico. I want to see the Mayan ruins.

- Day or Night: Night
- Dream vehicle: Nissan 350z. It's not super luxurious, but I think it's one I could actually own someday.
- Dance in the rain?: Nope. I don't dance at dances. Why would I dance in the rain?
- Do the splits?:

- Eggs: Over medium.
- Eyes: Brown
- Everyone has: Their own special brand of crazy.

- First crush: Meggan Hustad. I was in first grade.
- Food: Tamales. So good. I think I may try to actually make them sometime.

- Greatest Fear: Spending my life alone and not living up to my potential.
- Goals: To go back and finish college.
- Get along with your parent(s): Yes.
- Good luck charm: I'm supposed to have a good luck charm? Why didn't anyone tell me? Where do you get a good luck charm?

- Hair Color: Black
- Height: 5 Feet, 10 inches
- Happy: When the Broncos win.
- Holiday: Christmas.
- How do you want to die?: Surrounded by loved ones
- Health freak?: Not really, although I am trying to be healthier
- Hate: Feeling like I'm stuck in life

- Ice Cream: Tin Roof Sundae. Vanilla ice cream = good. Caramel ribbon = good. Chocolate covered peanuts = good. All together = Tin Roof Sundae
- Instrument: Guitar. I blame Guitar Hero for wanting to learn how to play

- Jewelry: Nope
- Job: Phone Surveyor

- Kids: Are loud and sometimes smell.
- Kickboxing or karate: Kickboxing is more fun to watch, but both would be cool to learn
- Keep a journal?: I have a journal although I could be better at writing in it

- Longest Car Ride: Rexburg, Idaho to Baltimore, MD. 2200 miles in 3 days.
- Love: Happens when you least expect it
- Love at first sight: Never happened to me

- Milk flavor: Chocolate
- Movie: The Godfather
- Mooned anyone?: Never
- Marriage: Someday
- Motion sickness: Not usually. Unless I'm on a Ferris wheel.
- McDonald’s or BK: McDonald's is definitely the lesser of two evils

- Number of Siblings: 2
- Number of Piercings: 0

- One wish: Just one? Isn't customary to get 3?

- Place you’d like to live: Fort Collins, CO
- Perfect Pizza: Pepperoni, ham, and extra cheese on hand tossed crust.
- Pepsi/Coke: Pepsi

- Quail: Is a small bird
- Questionnaires: Give me something to do with my down time

- Reason to cry: I don't know. I hate crying
- Roll your tongue in a circle: Yes

- Song: Currently listening to: Typical by Tickle Me Pink
- Shoe size: 10
- Salad Dressing: I don't like salad dressing on salads, but they do make good marinades.
- Skipped school: Not until my senior year of high school. My mom caught me.
- Smoking: No
- Sing well?: I'm tone deaf, so no
- In the shower? Nope
- Strawberries/Blueberries: Strawberries

- Time for bed: Usually not before midnight.
- Thunderstorms: Are cool
- Touch your tongue to your nose: Nope

- Unpredictable: Colorado weather. It was 70 degrees yesterday, and today it snowed.

- Vegetable you hate: Mushrooms
- Vegetable you love: Carrots
- Vacation spot: Disney World

- Weakness: Kryptonite
- Which one of your friends acts the most like you: None. I'm unique
- Who makes you laugh the most: Probably Sandy or Lori
- Wanted to be a model?: Never
- Where do we go when we die: To spirit paradise or spirit prison
- Worst weather: Hurricane like winds and hail.

- X-rays: Once, when I thought I broke my ankle.

- Year it is now: 2009
- Yellow: Is the color of snow you should never eat

- Zoo animal: Lions

1. Slept in a bed beside you? It's been a long time. I don't' remember.
2. Last person to see you cry? Andrea
3. Went to the movies with you? Andrea
4. You went to the mall with? Andrea
5. You shared a meal with? Tabi and Kerrie
6. You talked to on the phone? Clemente. He called me at work to provide some information about his business.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My Bad Days Aren't Nearly This Bad

On my way to work this morning I was listening to the radio. In between songs, the DJ related this news story about some poor guy in Michigan who seems to have had one of the worst days ever.

Just remember, your day is NEVER as bad as this guy's. In Michigan, man lost his dog. Drives car out onto frozen lake to look for dog. Locks keys in car, while it's running. Heat from the exhaust pipe melts ice. Car falls into lake. Dog never found. It's a Perfect Storm of SUCK.
A Perfect Storm of SUCK! This man is a living breathing country song. You can read the full story here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Official Slacking Blogger Update

Okay, it's official. I have been a total slacker the past couple of months in updating this blog. There have been plenty of things happening in my life that I could have written about, but I haven't. I've been lazy. I've been spending all of my free time watching SportsCenter or the Food Network. I guess spending time doing those things makes for less motivation in updating my blog. Since I have some free time right now though, I've decided to give everyone out there a treat by putting up a new post. I think some people have gotten tired of the picture of my feet and the scale from the last post.

This is my car. A 1997 Chevy Blazer LS. When I bought it, I loved it. I actually bought it thinking that in the near future it would be used as a family car. Well seven and a half years later, I'm still the only one driving it. On the bright side, it hasn't been trashed because of rowdy kids. I've managed to trash the car all by myself. I'm kind of surprised it's stayed in one piece for so long. I've had to get new tires twice, get the brakes replaced twice, replace the U-joints and the drive shaft, replace the windshield, fix the rear hatch release lever, replace the drivers side mirror, and weld the drivers side door latch back on so it would stay closed. And there is still a lot more that needs to be done.

This is what it looks like now. A little bit dirtier and definitely more worn down. About a year and a half ago I was getting new tires for the second time. At the time I was told the ball joints needed to be replaced as well. I didn't have the money to replace them so, in typical Mo fashion, I put it off. About a 2 months ago, my car started making this loud clunking noise as I was driving down the road. I did some research on my own and determined it was the ball joints that needed to be replaced. I took the car to the shop and told them I needed the ball joints replaced. The worker asked all of the typical questions about my car. Make, model, year, and what I wanted done. Then he asked if it was the upper or lower ball joints that needed to be replaced. I was speechless. Upper or lower ball joints? My car has two sets of ball joints? It turns out my car does have two sets of ball joints because it's a 4 wheel drive. I told the worker that I didn't know which set needed to be replaced. He said that wasn't a problem and they would evaluate which ones they were. To make a long story short, it took the better part of 2 days and $400 to get the ball joints replaced. As I was driving home, I remember thinking at least I won't have to hear that awful clunking noise anymore. Just as I had that thought, the noise started up again. Argh! I spent my travel home for Christmas budget on my car, and it still made the clunking noise.

Last week as I was driving home from work, my car started to overheat. The temperature gauge was north of 260 degrees and the check gauges light was on. I figured the thermostat had gone bad, so I stopped to get a new one. I had to stop three times on my way home from work so it wouldn't overheat completely. In order to replace the thermostat, I had to wait for the engine to cool down, so I decided I would replace it before work the next day. The next morning I changed out the thermostat and figured that would be the end of it. I decided to let the car run for a while to get the coolant circulating and to see if the car would still overheat. I came back about 10 minutes later to look at the temperature gauge. Lo and behold, it was north 260 degrees again. Not cool. (No pun intended, but still funny.) The thermostat wasn't the problem. It was the radiator or something else to do with the coolant system. Argh! This was going to cost more money.

I took my car to a local radiator shop to see if they could figure out what the problem was. After a quick check, it was determined that the radiator was cracked. The mechanic decided to add some more coolant in order to find exactly where the crack was. He began pouring the coolant into the radiator to fill it up. He kept pouring and pouring and pouring. It turns out the water pump was literally falling off of the car and the coolant was being poured on to the concrete. The mechanic said they could fix it, but that they would have to order a new water pump. While he was speaking, the only thing I could think was how much it was going to cost. After doing some figuring, he gave me an estimate of about $200. I agreed and he began work on the car.

The next morning he called and said the work was done. I could come get my car. Not excited to pay the money, I took my time in getting to the shop. After paying for the work, I drove away. As I was driving, I noticed my heater worked. It hasn't worked in a couple of years. That means I can stay warm in the winter time when I drive. I was so excited about the heater working that I had already driven a couple of miles down the road, when I realized I hadn't heard any clunking noise either. I would have never thought replacing the water pump would get rid of these problems. Now that my car is in good running condition again, I even enjoy driving it again. I'm not happy that I had to spend $600 in the past month to get things fixed, but at least I am experiencing farfegnuten (the joy of driving).

At least until my radiator cracks some more.