Archives for November 2011

Temples and National Parks Visited

Temples and National Parks map

Most of the time I am happy to stay at home so I have to have a few visual cues to prompt me to take a trip once in awhile. One of them is a large map of the United States on my wall with push pins indicating temple grounds visited (green), temples where I have performed ordinances (white), and national parks visited (red).

I am missing a few national parks that I can’t recall for sure visiting. Not shown but visited are the Nauvoo, Dallas, London, and Washington D.C. temples.

The Utah white and green pins, minus Brigham City, are the temples I visited on the 2008 Utah Temples Tour.

The Nevada and California white and green pins are from the 2010 California Temple Trip. The green Arizona pin is the Mesa Temple and the green pin in Canada is the Alberta temple. The red pin over the border is Glacier National Park.

Seeing all those temple pins has me making plans for an Oregon-Washington-Vancouver-Idaho Temples Tour in 2012.

The national parks pins I added this evening. Just looking at the map makes me want to get out and visit a few more parks.

See, the visual cues are working on me already.

Rickety signature

Past Pictures: 25 Years Of House Anniversaries

1st year anniversay

1987: 1st year house anniversary. Only four children

Each year in October, on the anniversary of the day we moved into our home, we take photographs of our family on the steps and just the children in front of our tree. Jill’s idea was to build up a collection of photographs to look back on.

4th year anniversary

1990: 4th year house anniversary. Daniel born in 1989

On this the 25th house anniversary year, we collected as many of the photographs as we could find and display here one for each year. Some are temporarily misplaced, so there are gaps in the record. However, we expect to find the missing years eventually.

5th year anniversary

1991: 5th year house anniversary

On the first house anniversary, Jill wrote:

We had a birthday party celebrating the day we moved into our home. Sarah brought the puzzle home from church so we put it together. Steven made the decorations. We all gave a present to the house by picking up all the garbage scattered around outside. Then we took some family pictures on the front porch. Inside we sang “Happy Birthday Dear Home” and celebrated with cake and ice cream.

6th year anniversary

1993: 7th year house anniversary. Using our tree as a backdrop

1987 Journal entry:

Monday 26th October 1987
We had a very fine FHE — the 1st birthday of our home. We even had a cake with one candle for refreshments. We took 2 photos of the family outside the house. The actual birthday is the 15th of October. Jill did the lesson — seems like Jill and I at one time were hard-pressed to come up with a lesson and didn’t like to do it. Now we both don’t like to give up our turn because we see it as a chance to teach the children something that we’re anxious for them to learn. We still have family prayers and read books to them. They like that.

9th year anniversary

1995: 9th year house anniversary. Sunday best

10th year anniversary

1996: 10th year house anniversary. Utah Centennial

11th year anniversary

1997: 11th year house anniversary

12th year anniversary

1998: 12th year house anniversary. Steven made his first million

13th year anniversary

1999: 13th year house anniversary. Cousins Connor and Ashley join in

14th year anniversary

2000: 14th year house anniversary. Five millennials for the new millenium

15th year anniversary

2001: 15th year anniversary. First year using a digital camera

16th year anniversary

2002: 16th year house anniversary. Steven is on his mission in Chile

17th year anniversary

2003: 17th year anniversary. Steven on his mission

18th year anniversary

2004: 18th year house anniversary. Steven returns. Paul on his mission in California

19th year anniversary

2005: 19th year anniversary. Paul on his mission. Derek, Sarah’s husband, center

20th year anniversary

2006: 20th year house anniversary. Paul returns. Jake on his mission in Mexico

21st year anniversary

2007: 21st year house anniversary. Jake on his mission

22nd year anniversary

2008: 22nd year house anniversary. Jake returns. Adelaide, Steven’s wife, far left. First grandchild, Bryson

23rd year anniversary

2009: 23rd year anniversary. Daniel on his mission in Mongolia. First granddaughter, Aurora. Sarah’s family in Texas

24th year anniversary

2010: 24th year house anniversary. Daniel on his mission. Second granddaughter, Cassandra. Jake engaged to Rachel. Sarah’s family returns

25th year anniversary

2011: 25th year house anniversary. Daniel returns. Paul engaged to Megan

2012: 26th year house anniversary. Second grandson, Jameson. Just prior to trick-or-treating.


Added 2012 photograph.

Rickety signature

Moving Out. Moving In.

We needed an Armada to move everything out

We needed an Armada to move everything out


Moving Out

Jake and Rachel got the keys to their new house yesterday. Today we moved them out of their rented duplex and into their first home. A lot of family members turned out to help them move and I captured the historic moment for Rickety.

When it comes to moving, minivans can hold their own

When it comes to moving, minivans can hold their own

There was a moment when Dan slowed to a crawl

There was a moment when Dan slowed to a crawl

Bryson, future Elders Quorum material

Bryson, future Elders Quorum material


Moving In

Sold to Jake and Rachel.

Sold to Jake and Rachel. The sign comes with a house

Jake and Rachel are moving in

Jake and Rachel are moving in. There goes the neighborhood

Moving in

Moving in. Honey, I need more furniture!

Moving in the piano.

Play for me, "Be it ever so huge, there's no place like home."

Carrying the bride over the threshold

Jake and Rachel have been married less than a year so this still counts as carrying his bride over the threshold

Thank you everyone for helping with the move. Special recognition goes to Realtor Paula Alder for her hard work in finding Jake and Rachel a beautiful home.
Rickety signature

How to Save Money on Gas

My guest writer is Robert Lobitz of Performance Chips Direct.

There is nothing more fun than taking a leisurely drive and enjoying the exploration and excitement that comes with a new location. RefuellingThe trouble is, increasing costs have limited not just what people want to do, but also what they are actually able to do.

In today’s economy it is ever more important that we conserve on fuel and try to do things that will help to raise our gas mileage. There are several things that can be done that can save you money on gas. Some are simple changes in behavior, and others require more complex things such as installing a Honda performance chip.

Without any cost, one simple way to help add some miles per gallon is to use your brakes properly. Some people may not know that a vehicle consumes the majority of its gas while it is accelerating. Once you are moving it really doesn’t require much to keep going if you are using your gas right, but many drivers seem to need to constantly use their brakes, particularly in traffic. As a simple rule of thumb, try and keep your ride as smooth as possible, limiting both your acceleration and your braking to what is necessary and don’t get worked up by other drivers.

Another good idea is to not run your air conditioner unless you need to. Your air compressor adds to the load the motor in your car is pushing and as a consequence you need to burn more gas. If it’s a hot summer day, and it’s not too much of a burden, try simply rolling down your window.

Whenever possible, use your cruise control when you can. Unnecessary braking and acceleration lower the fuel efficiency of your car.

Try and limit your weight. It is a simple law of physics that the more weight you have the more energy you need to move your car. Don’t keep your vehicle full of items and remember it is not meant to serve as your storage. Your car is for your transportation and it needs to be attended to regularly. If at all possible, try and set aside a time once a week where you can clean out your car and do a little maintenance. It really only takes a few minutes to unload and check the fluids and tires. Low tires can add to resistance and also lower your miles per gallon.

There are some technological things that you can do as well to save money over the long run. There are smart phone apps that can be downloaded for free that can tell you where the nearest and cheapest gas station is located. Then there are performance chips which can enhance the ability of your vehicle. Tuning chips alter the function of things like timing to work your engine in such a way that is optimal for fuel efficiency.

Finally, and probably the most obvious, just try to drive slower. This may not be the simplest thing to do, but it has been proven that the faster a vehicle goes the more drag it experiences and as a consequence it loses efficiency. The faster a car is going the more this is true and you may not see a notable effect changing your speed from 65 mph to 60 mph, but if nothing else you will at least be a little safer.

Will China Help Debt-Stricken Europe?

Introducing writer David Brown, a content manager with a multinational corporation. David writes on a variety of news topics with a strong focus on finance. His interests include money related issues, entertainment news, and a blog The Book Haven.

The European Union might ask for Chinese help to end the ongoing debt crisis. Nicholas Sarkozy has been discussing the sovereign crisis with Chinese president Hu Jintao for quite some time. With Klaus Regling’s (the head of the European Financial Stability Facility — EFSF) visit to Beijing, the speculation has become more intense.

A lot of euro zone countries are trying to persuade China to make investments. It started with Greece and gradually Portugal, Spain and other core members of the euro zone approached China. This reflects the fact that the sovereign debt crisis in the continent is becoming more and more serious.

Renminbi Europe

Renminbi to the rescue?

However, the Chinese have been fairly diplomatic. A lot of encouragement came from their end, but little investment followed.

But the situation is a bit different this time. Previously, investment in the euro zone meant undertaking a lot of risk. But now, China can invest in euro zone debt that is backed by EFSF. This means that China won’t be taking as much risk as the Europeans. However, the Europeans still can’t offer substantial protection in the current situation. China would certainly demand more details before they invest. They would also keep a watch on Greek bond swapping with private creditors.

It is possible that China will join other non-European nations to end this crisis. But will it bargain hard for political advantages for pumping cash into Europe? Not likely. This will make it publicly clear that Europe is not a fit place for investment and China is nothing more than a money machine; the image of Asian big boy will take a hit. Nonetheless, benefits like more representation at the IMF will eventually come because Europe desperately needs Chinese funding, especially for Spanish and Italian debt.

The price of help will also include the recognition of China as a “market economy.” This means that Europe will be vulnerable to cheap Chinese exports in the continent. It is difficult to predict how this will affect the European economy.

The Europeans might also be forced to abolish the export ban of armaments to the Asian economic giant. This might not be safe for world peace, but Europe possibly cannot call off the deal.

Past Pictures: Jill and Baby

Jill and baby

Jill and baby

 Jill has been scanning slides of late to preserve them digitally.

For those that know our family can you guess:

  1. Where the photograph was taken?
  2. The year and month?
  3. Who is Jill holding?


Sarah guessed correctly:

  1. McKay-Dee Hospital, Ogden.
  2. December 1983.
  3. Sarah.

Here is the full image, which with all the pink would have really given away who the baby was:

Jill and baby Sarah

Jill and baby Sarah

Rickety signature

Simple Water Heater Emergency Heat

This year’s Halloween nor’easter has started me thinking about how to heat my apartment if the power goes out for an extended period of time.

If the water and gas are still on, one possibility is to make a simple hydronic heating system using the water heater. The basic idea is to hook a hose to the hot water faucet, run it around a room, then to a drain.

As a proof of concept I picked up a faucet to garden hose adapter and some extra hose from Home Depot. After setting up the system I turned off the furnace and went to sleep.

Table of Results

Time Room °F Flow Rate GPM °F in °F out BTUs Notes
10:00 pm 70.1 0.5 150 100 12,500 Max. flow water heater can sustain
10:23 pm 76.8 0.2 150 100 5,000 Reduced flow
10:27 pm 77.4 0.2 150 95 5,500
10:57 pm 79.3 0.2 150 95 5,500 Too hot, opened window and door
11:19 pm 77.5 0.1 150 90 3,000 Reduced flow, closed window and door
04:30 am 75.9 0.1 145 85 3,000

The system worked extremely well. I suspect it could easily heat two rooms.

Setup Details

Procure a dual thread for 3/4 inch hose or male 55/64 inch adapter, model number 37.0109.98, $5.95. Alternatively the hose could be attached directly to the washing machine faucet.

Attach adapter to hot water faucet

Attach adapter to hot water faucet. Connect hose to adapter

Spread hose around the room

Spread hose around the room

Ensure there are no kinks

Ensure there are no kinks

Drain waste water into tub

Drain waste water into tub