The Next Big Step

15 and a half years ago, she had absolutely no freedom. She was completely confined to the womb–barely able to move at all. Birth was a huge step forward as she was able to flail her arms and legs about as she wished. After this, there was a steady stream of increased independence during the first year or so:

  • She started turning over on her own
  • She began crawling
  • She took those first steps
  • She learned how to run

The rate of new freedoms slowed down significantly after this and became more subtle: She was able to spend the night at a friend’s house for the first time, she learned how to ride a bike, she learned how to make a simple meal for herself, etc. All small, but important, steps to growing up.

However, one of the biggest rites of passage and strides forward in freedom and independence took place today. Yes, the Older Daughter is now Idaho’s newest licensed driver. I have feelings ranging from happiness to sadness to worry to excitement. In the end, I realize that I have to let this happen even if it means my little girl just keeps growing up. It’s my job to provide her with the knowledge and tools to have the best chance at success (and safety). Beyond that, it’s in God’s hands.

I’m so proud of her.

America’s Next Top Model?

Wow, I found a chick who is quite the catch. Check this out.

According to this story at ktvb.com, Lori Brutsche-Ely went to the Mint Bar in Hailey, Idaho to celebrate Halloween. No problem right? Well, as the evening progressed she became just a bit intoxicated and out of control. The security guard on duty decided to call the police. So what did she do? Well, what anyone would–she stripped off all her clothes. When the police showed up, she also did what any normal person would do–she punched the officer in the chest.

Off to jail and end of story right? Not so fast. Once she got to the jail, she bit a deputy and found a way to set off the sprinkler system and cause a flood. Nice lady. And hot too–check her out.

hailey

Punday, November 9th

Who’s the ho? Idaho

Posted in Humor, Punday. Tags: , , , , . 1 Comment »

It’s Election Day–Let’s Party!

For the first time in 69 years, Idaho residents can buy booze and vote on the same day. Liquor stores will be open today and you can buy drinks by the glass in restaurants and bars. Finally, depending upon your perspective of the outcome, you can drown your sorrows or celebrate victory and not be limited to beer and wine.

Cheers!

Idaho Special Edition Barbie Dolls

You may recall a previous post in which we announced that Mattel was making special edition Barbies for Oregon. Just in time for Christmas, we are now pleased to announce the release of limited-edition Barbie Dolls for the Idaho market.

Nampa Barbie

She comes with an assortment of Kate Spade Handbags, a Lexus SUV, a long-haired foreign dog named Honey and a million dollar farm home. Available with or without tummy tuck and face lift. Workaholic Ken sold only in conjunction with the augmented version.

Melba Barbie


The modern day homemaker Barbie is available with Ford Wind star Minivan and matching feedstore outfit. She gets lost easily and has no full-time occupation. Traffic jamming cell phone sold separately for traveling.

Garden City Barbie

This recently paroled Barbie comes with a 9mm handgun, a Ray Lewis knife, a Chevy with dark tinted windows, and a meth Lab Kit. This model is only available after dark and must be paid for in cash (preferably small, untraceable bills) unless you are a cop, then we don’t know what you are talking about.

Boise Barbie

This yuppie Barbie comes with your choice of BMW convertible or Hummer H2. Included are her own Starbucks cup, credit card and country club membership. Also available for this set are Shallow Ken and Private School Skipper. You won’t be able to afford any of them.

Challis Barbie

This pale model comes dressed in her own Wrangler jeans two sizes too small, a NASCAR t-shirt, tweety bird tattoo on her shoulder and no teeth. She has a six-pack of Bud light and a Hank Williams Jr. CD set. She can spit over 5 feet and kick mullet-haired Ken’s butt when she is drunk. Purchase her pickup truck separately and get a confederate flag bumper sticker absolutely free.

Sun Valley Barbie


This collagen injected, rhino plastic Barbie wears a leopard print outfit and drinks cosmopolitans while entertaining friends. Percocet prescription available as well as newly built high rise condo.

Buhl Barbie


This tobacco-chewing, brassy-haired Barbie has a pair of her own high-heeled sandals with one broken heel from the time she chased beer-gutted Ken out of Jerome Barbie’s house. Her ensemble includes low-rise acid-washed jeans, fake fingernails, and a see-through halter-top. Also available with a mobile home.

Jerome Barbie


This doll is made of actual tofu. She has long straight brown hair, arch-less feet, hairy armpits, no makeup and Birkenstocks with white socks. She prefers that you call her Willow. She does not want or need a Ken doll, but if you purchase two Twin Falls Barbies and the optional Subaru wagon, you get a rainbow flag bumper sticker for free.

Kuna Barbie


This Barbie now comes with a stroller and 2 infant dolls. Optional accessories include a GED and bus pass. White boy Gangsta Ken and his 1979 Caddy were available, but are now very difficult to find since the addition of the infant.

Idaho Falls Barbie


She’s perfect in every way, mainly due to the high levels of antidepressants in her system. We don’t know where Ken is because he’s always at church meetings.

 

Also don’t miss Oregon Special Edition Barbie Dolls.

DITH On Location in Cascade, Idaho

For the next week, DITH will be on location in beautiful Cascade, Idaho keeping you up to date on the latest events there. This may include none, one, some, or all of the following:

  • Reflections on my recently-completed employment of 17 years (yawn)
  • Thoughts on my new job starting soon (double yawn)
  • Exciting happenings in Cascade (crickets)
  • Random blatherings from my mind (razor blades to the wrist)
  • Fishing experiences from novice fishermen, fisherpeople..whatever we have to call them now (there may actually be something funny stuff from this).

As always, this exclusive content is available at no extra charge. However, contributions are always happily accepted.

Culture Shock

We kept very busy this weekend. We started off by providing (in conjunction with another 4-H club) the petting zoo at the Cinco de Mayo celebration in Caldwell on Saturday. This was an all-day event. It was a lot of work and very little money (provided as a donation to our 4-H clubs). However, it was a huge success. I can also see that with the petting zoo business we are starting up that the pay is not going to be only in money, but in smiles. There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing a little kid be excited and smile ear-to-ear as they hug a cuddly critter.

We also got to enjoy a lot of Mexican culture. The band stage was directly across from us. This allowed us to enjoy some great music–even if it was a little too loud at times with the speakers pointed directly at us. I also learned that there is more than one way to enjoy corn on the cob. I went up to a food stand to order corn in the cob on a stick–just like at the fair. The conversation went something like this:

Other guy: What would you like?

Me: I’d like corn on the cob please.

Other guy: Would you like that with mayo, parmesean cheese, and chili powder?

Me: (scratching my head) On my corn on the cob?

Other guy: Yes.

Me: Okay, what the heck. Give me the works.

I felt bad that I had no clue that this is Mexican-style corn on the cob. But I tried something new and loved it! It was great. Don’t get me wrong. You’ll pry my butter-dripping corn cob out of my cold, dead hands. However, I tried something new, loved it, and would definitely have it again.

Get to Know Me Better

Rick tagged me on this meme. Thanks man. Let’s get ‘er done.

The rules are:

1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
3. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.
4. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

1) What was I doing 10 yrs ago?

10 years ago the Older Daughter was 5 and the Younger Daughter was just 5 months old. I remember attending the Older Daughter’s dance recital that year–very cute. We were just settling into our previous house. I also started a custom software development business with a buddy–it didn’t work out.

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):

  1. Post to my blog (check)
  2. Get some laundry done (in progress)
  3. Check on the status of a job application (check–no answer yet…grrr)
  4. Do some more work on our business website (probably not going to happen)
  5. Blog surfing (check)

3) Snacks I enjoy:

  • Cheez-Its
  • soybeans
  • beef jerkey
  • popcorn

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

  • Build a nice new house on our ranch
  • Buy a monster motor home and travel
  • Do charity work

5) Three of my bad habits:

  1. Staying up too late
  2. Procrastinating
  3. Not eating right

6) 5 places I have lived:

  1. Lebanon, Oregon
  2. Ontario, Oregon
  3. Cheney, Washington
  4. Boise, Idaho
  5. Caldwell, Idaho

7) 5 jobs I have had:

  1. Petroleum Transfer Technician (some people call it a Service Station Attendant)
  2. Clerk-Typist
  3. Computer Lab Consultant
  4. Software Engineer
  5. Database Administrator

8 ) 5 peeps I wanna know more about:

  1. Bekki
  2. Jon
  3. Bonnie
  4. Allison
  5. smysore

Hit or Miss

Despite being on vacation, there are a few things I miss about being home. Let’s take a look at what I miss and don’t miss. That way, we can determine if a prefer vacation or the daily grind.

What I Miss

  • Easy access to a computer: I mean, it’s right here in the spare bedroom and they have high speed Internet access. But they don’t leave it on all the time, so I have to wait like 5 minutes for it to boot up. Plus I feel guilty about hiding away.
  • Our best friends: We hang out with our best friends just about every weekend, and so we probably won’t see them for a couple weeks now.
  • Traffic: It may sound strange, but it’s true. We live in the country, so there is no traffic compared to Portland. A traffic jam in the country is getting caught behind some slow-moving farm equipment.
  • The Older Daughter: She went to Disneyland with her best friend and her family. I’m jealous, but miss her just the same.
  • TiVo: I’ve come to a point where I don’t watch anything live. I record it with TiVo and watch it later so that I can skip past the commercials. Plus it’s nice to be able to skip back a few seconds to catch the dialogue I missed when all the dogs bark their heads off.

What I Don’t Miss

  • Work
  • The alarm clock
  • Worry about looking for a new job
  • The daily routine
  • Having absolutely no free time
  • Getting up early: I’m a night owl and love to stay up ridiculously late and sleep in
  • Brown: I do love the green of western Oregon over the brown of southwestern Idaho.

So there we have it: I have 7 things I don’t miss and 5 that I do. So I think that I should just stay on vacation forever. What do you think?

Mary Ann Busted for Pot

Ginger or Mary Ann? It’s a classic question to ask guys. Ok, gals can answer too if you want…that’s okay. As for me, I was always partial to Mary Ann. I much prefer the more natural girl-next-door look to the 29-pounds-of-make-up look.

Anyway, former Gilligan’s Island star Dawn Wells (playing Mary Ann Summers) is now a resident of Driggs, Idaho, where she owns a ranch. Back in October, 2007, she attended a surprise birthday party. On the way home, a Teton county sheriff pulled her over after noticing her swerving back and forth on the road. As the officer approached the car, he noticed that all 4 windows were down on a cold October night and that Ms. Wells was not wearing a jacket. Oh, apparently there was some sort of marijuana smell also. They had a conversation that went something like this (this may be totally made up, but based loosely on the actual facts of the case):

Deputy Gutierrez: Good evening ma’am. So why am I smelling marijuana smoke coming from your vehicle?

Ms. Wells: Hmmm? What? Oh, well you see, I was headed home from the surprise birthday party my friends had for me. Along the way, I saw these 3 guys that needed a ride. I’m 69 years old and routinely pick up young hitchhikers at night. So I picked them up and was giving them a ride to Driggs. Almost instantly, they all lit up marijuana cigarettes. I was outraged! I immediately pulled over and kicked them out of my car. They put out their smokes and were nice enough to put them in the ashtray and center console so as not to mess up my car.

Deputy Gutierrez: Wait, so what’s this container with a half-smoked joint and some unsmoked marijuana?

Ms. Wells: Well duh, the hitchhikers left it here.

Deputy Gutierrez: Ma’am, I need you to step out of the car please.

Somehow she failed her field sobriety test and was arrested on the counts of: driving under the influence, possession of drug paraphenalia, and possession of a controlled substance. In a plea deal reached on February 29, these 3 charges were dropped and she pleaded guilty to reckless driving. In the end, she served 5 days in jail, paid $410.50 in fines, and will have 6 months of unsupervised probation.

 http://www.ktvb.com/news/localnews/stories/ktvbn-mar1108-mary_ann.44494e42.html

Boise: A Terrorist Target?

According to a recent study of 132 urban areas in the United States, Boise, Idaho is the 10th most vulnerable to a bio-terrorist attack. The study was funded by the Department of Homeland Security and headed up by University of Arizona mathematics professor Walter W. Piegorsch. Boise was the only city west of Texas to make the top 10 list. That’s right, cities like Seattle, Portland, and Los Angeles are not considered highly vulnerable–at least according to this study.

The three factors considered in the study included social aspects, natural hazards, and the construction of the city. What’s important to realize is that this study measured the vulnerability of cities to attacks–not the probability.

Boise has three large dams upstream. 2 of them are earth-filled: Lucky Peak and Anderson Ranch; Arrowrock is concrete. With the Boise River running through the heart of the city, the failure of these dams (whether intentional or accidental) could devastate the downtown district of the city and many surrounding cities.

The metro area is largely surrounded by federal- and state-owned lands that are composed of mostly grasses and sagebrush that are quite vulnerable to wildfires during the summer months.

While most agree that a terrorist attack in Boise is not likely, local officials are rightly taking the report seriously. They plan on discussing the findings with the authors of study and the FBI.

Bibles and Beer: A Match Made in Heaven?

From a story at www.ktvb.com: 

“They are not your traditional worshippers – but a group of motorcyclists are getting all revved up over a new Meridian (Idaho) church. A church in a bar.

The Busted Shovel Bar and Grill in Meridian may not look anything like a place of worship, but in just a few weeks, that’s exactly what it will be: a church.

‘I just feel like God loves bikers’, biker/preacher Jim Atkins said.”

This is fantastic. So I can go to church and down a cold one at the same time? Sweet! Maybe this is an idea that the mainstream churches should take a look at in the face of declining attendance. You know, maybe add a bar at the back of the church.

Benjamin Franklin said, “Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” And he was pretty dang smart.

Crap. I just now read the last line of the article:

“No alcohol or smoking will be allowed during services.”

Oh well…

A Tribute to Buddy: 1991 – 2008

I had always wanted a cat, but couldn’t have one as a child. As a teen, I loved going over to John’s house, because I was able to play with his cat Toby. So, within a week of getting married in 1991, The Wife and I were at the Idaho Humane Society to pick out a kitten. We looked at many, but this adorable little orange fuzzball captured our hearts immediately. We took care of the adoption paperwork and then headed to the store to pick the necessary supplies. I waited in the car and bonded with my new friend while The Wife went inside to get the stuff. He was so tiny that I was able to place him in the recessed instrument panel on our Mazda 323. I was stroking his chin and he was purring like a buzz saw. I looked down at him, he looked up at me, and I said “Hey buddy”. It was that simple…that’s how he became Buddy.

Buddy was the most easy-going cat I have ever known. Whether it was bringing a new animal into the house or having a baby pull on his tail, he never complained–he just purred away. He loved car rides. I would take him with me on a trip to the store. On the trip there, he would wander around the car, look out the windows, then eventually sack out somewhere. However, he would apparently miss me while I was in the store, because on the trip home he was on my lap rubbing all over me.

He also loved to talk. When you talked to him, he was always ready with a reply. He also didn’t have any problem yelling at us after we were gone for too long or if dinner was late. We could always ask a question and fancy that his reply was “yes” or “no”.

About 7 years ago, Buddy developed chronic pancreatitis. It was so severe at one point, that we nearly had to put him to sleep. However, the vet had us try some special food that she thought might buy him some more time. The vet is still amazed that he lived as long as he did.

For many years, he slept at my side. With him there purring, it was a comforting and relaxing tonic for a stressful life. In recent months, he simply preferred sleeping elsewhere. I think that climbing on and off the bed was too difficult for him. However, right up until the end, he would sit on my lap in the recliner each evening–purring like crazy. It was a highlight of my day that I will miss.

Through 17 years, 4 residences, 2 kids growing from infants to tween- and teen-hood, and multiple other animals coming and going, Buddy had always been there. Now that he is gone, there is a huge hole in our home and a pain in our hearts that will take a long time to heal.

Goodbye Buddy…We love you!

Unemployment Line or Lottery Winner?

I haven’t shared this publicly yet, but I’m being laid off (along with half of my department) from my employer of 17 years. Thankfully, I’ve been given lots of notice (I found out in October that my last day will be in July) and a nice severance package, but it’s obviously still not an easy process. I joined this company right out of college. I’m very loyal and probably would have spent my entire career there. But, it was not to be. That’s life, I get it.

I got into work with this employer through a prior summer internship, so there was no “real” search. So needless to say, my job searching skills are pretty lean. Today, I attended a job search workshop put on by the Idaho Department of Labor. They did a really good job and I picked up a lot of good tips. This is my first “real” job search ever, so all the help I can get it great.

At the beginning, we did the usual ice-breaker. You know, go around the room and introduce yourself (thanks for wasting my time). Now usually, you go around and tell a little bit about yourself, right? Well, not at this event. Here, we were asked to tell what we would do if we suddenly came into $50 million.   (sigh)   Okay, hold on. At a minimum, I’m going through an excruciating job search. Next best case is that I’m coming into the unemployment office each week to beg for my generous unemployment benefit. Worst case, I’m digging for left-over food out of a dumpster. So what do they do? They taunt me with the prospect of a $50 million windfall that would allow me to relax for the rest of my life. I don’t get it.

Friday, February 22, 2008: The End of the World?

This has been a really freaky week with “natural” events in the west. Let’s take a look at what has happened so far:

At this rate, I fully expect tomorrow to be the end of the world.

Earthquake!

The Wife called me at 7:23am and asked “Did you feel it?” I had no idea what she was talking about. Apparently she was sitting at a stoplight in Meridian, Idaho on her way home from work when her truck started shaking. She looked around for a big truck coming down the road that might cause the shaking, but saw nothing. Then she saw that the stoplights were bobbing up and down.

What she felt was a 6.3 magnitude earthquake that occurred 11 miles northeast of Elko, Nevada, 6 miles below the surface. The temblor was felt throughout northern Nevada, southern Idaho, and northern Utah. Cracked walls were reported at the Motel 6 in Wells, Nevada. Unfortunately, it sounds like there will be many more reports forthcoming of property damage in the immediate Wells area.

Oregon Special Edition Barbie Dolls

If you are not familiar with Oregon, some of the humor of this post may be lost on you. However, you should be able to identify with areas in your own state where these special edition Barbies could be easily adapted. Feel free to create your own and post to your blog. By the way, for reference, I lived my first 12 years in Lebanon, Oregon and had relatives in Sweet Home. Now you’ll understand what I’m up against just based on my early years.

Mattel recently announced the release of the improved limited-edition Barbie Dolls for the Oregon market:

Lake Oswego Barbie

This princess Barbie is sold only at the Pioneer Square Mall. She comes with an assortment of Kate Spade Handbags, a Lexus SUV, a long-haired foreign dog named Honey and a cookie-cutter house. Available with or without tummy tuck and face lift. Workaholic Ken sold only in conjunction with the augmented version.
 

Beaverton Barbie

The modern day homemaker Barbie is available with Ford Windstar Minivan and matching gym outfit. She gets lost easily and has no full-time occupation. Traffic jamming cell phone sold separately.

Woodburn Barbie

This recently paroled Bilingual Barbie comes with a 9 mm handgun, a Ray Lewis knife, a Chevy with dark tinted windows, and a Meth Lab Kit. This model is only available after dark and must be paid for in cash (preferably small, untraceable bills) unless you are a cop, then we don’t know what you are talking about.

Bend Barbie

This yuppie Barbie comes with your choice of BMW convertible or Hummer H2. Included are her own Starbucks cup, credit card and country club membership. Also available for this set are Shallow Ken and Private School Skipper. You won’t be able to afford any of them.

Sweet Home Barbie

This pale model comes dressed in her own Wrangler jeans two sizes too small, a NASCAR t-shirt and tweety bird tattoo on her shoulder. She has a six-pack of Bud light and a Hank Williams, Jr. CD set. She can spit over 5 feet and kick mullet-haired Ken’s butt when she is drunk. Purchase her pickup truck separately and get a confederate flag bumper sticker absolutely free.

Lebanon Barbie

This tobacco-chewing, brassy-haired Barbie has a pair of her own high-heeled sandals with one broken heel from the time she chased beer-gutted Ken out of Sweet Home Barbie’s house. Her ensemble includes low-rise acid-washed jeans, fake fingernails, and a see-through halter-top; also available with a mobile home.

Eugene Barbie

This doll is made of actual tofu. She has long straight brown hair, arch-less feet, hairy armpits, no makeup and Birkenstocks with white socks. She prefers that you call her Willow. She does not want or need a Ken doll, but if you purchase two Eugene Barbies and the optional Subaru wagon, you get a rainbow flag bumper sticker for free.

North Portland Barbie

This Barbie now comes with a stroller and infant dolls from two different races. Optional accessories include a GED and bus pass. Gangsta Ken and his 1979 Caddy were available, but are now very difficult to find since the addition of the second infant.

Also don’t miss, Idaho Special Edition Barbie Dolls

The $2,200 Burger

Bryan Sampson just wanted a quick, cheap meal for his family. So he sent his wife to a Burger King in Meridian, Idaho. Sounds like a great Saturday afternoon meal right? Well, it was until he checked his bank account the next day and found that he had been charged $2,243.33 for a $22.43 meal!

He went back to the restaurant to get the problem resolved. However, the bk2.jpgassistant manager on duty cancelled the debit charge rather than reversing it. Apparently, this causes the charge to still show pending for 3 days. To make matters worse, the manager is out of town until Tuesday and apparently no one can fix it. Meanwhile, as of Sunday, Sampson has 7 overdraft charges (at $35 a pop) and rising on his account.

This is not the first time Burger King has done this. In 2006, they charged a man in Glendale, California $4,334.33 for a $4.33 meal. Now I get it–people make mistakes. But that’s why they should have safeguards in place for this. It would be a unique to each restaurant, but there should be an upper limit above which it prompts the cashier to confirm that the amount is correct. For Burger King, $50 would be a good limit before it requires confirmation. Of course, this just makes too much sense.

Memory Like an Elephant

When the Older Daughter was probably 5 years old, we were in a pet store one weekend. I was checking out the birds and thought that cockatiels were just the coolest. Actually, I liked some of the other birds better–you know those that can talk a little bit. But those were out of our price range. Cockatiels were affordable, yet still had loving personalities. I did a little research, read a book, etc. A few weeks later, we picked one up.

Things were going well initially. She would sing beautifully for us. We put her up on our shoulders and should would nuzzle our necks and “talk” to us. However, the good times didn’t last long enough–at least from my standpoint. We gave her lots of attention and let her out of the cage a lot when we were home. However, if she didn’t have constant attention (basically being on a shoulder or hand) she would screech. We are talking a loud, high pitched screech that made the loudest baby cry/scream sound like a cooing dove. I couldn’t take it. The constant screeching irritated the heck out of me. And then there was the pooping on the shoulder all the time. I reached a breaking point.

So The Wife asked around and finally found someone willing to take the bird off our hands. End of story, right? Not really. Somehow this whole thing came up in conversation recently, and it seems the Older Daughter still vividly remembers this and is still bitter about it. Apparently she was a lot more attached to the bird and a lot more broken up about giving it up than she let on at the time.

Not to mention what a heartless beast I am. Yes, this is the Miracle Bird a wrote about a few days ago. The poor thing survived 3 cold Idaho night outside, only to be sent packing her bags not too long after that.

The Miracle Bird

When the kids were much younger, we had a cockatiel named Jasmine. The bird was in its cage at night or when we were gone. However, when we were home, we often let have the freedom to fly around the house. One day, I needed to head to the store to pick up something. I quickly opened and shut the front door as I went out, so as not to let the bird out. The only problem was, I had forgotten to say goodbye to the kids. As I was getting into the car, one of the girls opened the front door to run out and say goodbye. I watched in horror as the bird flew out the door and out of sight.

The Wife and I comforted two devastated kids and assured them we would do everything we could to find her. We drove around for quite some time, but had no luck. As a last ditch effort to assure the kids we had done everything, we placed an ad in the newspaper. Now The Wife and I knew there was no way the bird could survive even a single night outside. The cockatiel is native to Australia, which is slighly warmer than Idaho in February (the temperatures were in the twenties and thirties as I recall).

To our complete shock, we received a call 3 days later. It seems that this lady walked out onto her front porch and saw something completely out of place–a cockatiel perched up on the light. Somehow she was able to coax it down onto her shoulder. She then checked out the newspaper–and sure enough found our ad.

Jasmine certainly must have been lonely, cold, and scared for those 3 long days. But how fascinating would it have been to have a little camera attached to her to see exactly where she went and what she did? It would go a long ways toward answering the question: How did this miracle bird manage to survive 3 days outside during a frigid Idaho winter?