Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Finished Christmas Shopping for my Side of the Family

We were on top of things this year. We started getting Christmas gifts back in August, or maybe even earlier. I can’t remember, but it was dang early. This means that we can sit back and relax without feeling any gift related stress. Well, that’s not entirely true. Becca and I haven’t bought each other any gifts yet. I do have an idea of what I want to get her. It’s just a matter of going out in to the world and seeing if what I want to get her…A: exists and B: is within our budget. If I can’t find it, I’ll give her a coupon for ten free hugs instead. I know what you’re thinking. Lame, right? Wrong! THIS coupon can be used on anyone and they have to give you the hug. It’s legally binding (almost, I’m still trying to push the legislation through congress). So she can call up Michael Caine, Bear Grylls, Carrot Top, Mathew Perry, Phil Donahue, Lady Gaga, Bill Murray, George W. Bush, Jared Padalecki, and Jensen Ackles to have the most memorable group hug in the history of the United States. Who would be on your list for a group hug?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Got a Flu Shot

I don’t worry about the flu shot being dangerous, but I don’t worry about the Flu that much either, so I never get the shot. This time Becca and I did it for Ruby’s sake. I figure there is zero chance that me getting a flu shot could hurt Ruby, but somewhat of a chance it could help her, so why not? Plus it was free.

The topic of vaccines reminds me that Ruby had her two month vaccinations. It was so sad! She cried and cried and cried. Now that she actually has tears, it’s really sad when she cries like that. I ended up going out in the Great Blizzard of 2010 to get her some baby Tylenol, but I’m glad I did because it seemed to help.

I tend to group different beliefs together as if they’re a package deal. Sometimes I immediately discount something because it’s in the same package as other things I don’t agree with. For example, I never worry about vaccines and plan on giving Ruby all of them, mainly because it’s recommended, but secondarily because I group not giving your children vaccines with organic food, which I hate. It would have been the same thing with circumcision if we had a boy. I can’t think of any reason why circumcision would be necessary, but I associate NOT circumcising your baby boy with organic food, so I would probably look up articles that support circumcision in order to justify it. I haven’t bothered seriously researching global warming for the same reason. If the global warming people win, somehow that translates to me having to eat organic food. You see, as a microbiologist, when I read “organic” on a product it means “contaminated”. I don’t consider it healthier in any way shape or form. The only thing that makes it healthier is that they don’t make organic Snickers. Call me old fashioned, but I’d rather have low levels of pesticides in my foods than the pests themselves.

Basically, liberals would have a better chance of converting me to their ideals if it weren’t for Organic Food.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bought Some LemiShine So Our Dishes Can Actually Look Clean

Our water is so hard, people use it to sharpen their diamond drill bits. Our water is so hard, it makes my abs jealous. Our water is so hard, Deep Thought can't solve it. Our water is so hard, Jack Bauer chose to sleep in when the president called to say it was about to attack LA.

Simple rinse agents won't cut it. The only thing that has worked so far is LemiShine. Our dishes were always cloudy and just got worse and worse. I thought we had bad detergent that wasn't washing off. Then I saw a bottle of LemiShine at Wal-Mart and the picture on the package showed our exact problem.

I bought it, tried it, and there's no going back. Our dishwasher still isn't that great. We have to rinse off our dishes before they go in there, but at least the washer doesn't make the dishes look dirtier.

If you have this problem...get this product.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Watched "The Walking Dead"

If on Sunday night you turn on your TV and change the channel to AMC, you WILL see the Walking Dead. They show the previous week's episode, and then the new episode, and then they replay the new episode. Needless to say, they are a wee bit excited about this show. WITH GOOD REASON! It's a TV show about zombies. The violence may be graphic at times and it may not be for everyone, but it will teach you a lot if you let it. Consider the lists below.

Things I Learned from The Walking Dead.

1. The living need to stick together.
2. I should be grateful for living in a zombie free nation.
3. It's not really looting if 90% of the human population is dead.
4. Forgiveness is good.
5. Bravery is good.
6. Racism is bad.

Things I Learned in College.

1. Nothing

Friday, November 26, 2010

Read the Letter Writing Chapters in Etiquette.

Etiquette by Emily Post should be required reading. I've only read a couple of chapters online, but so far I love it. I also love the idea of etiquette. Probably following all her rules from the 1920s would make you more weird than proper, but a little bit more etiquette in the world couldn't hurt. I, like most young men my age, have zero etiquette and until recently have been just fine with that. Reading the letter writing chapters made me realize that I may have a thing or two to learn about interpersonal communication and relationships. Here are some excerpts that will give you a feel for the book...

THE ART of general letter-writing in the present day is shrinking until the letter threatens to become a telegram, a telephone message, a post-card. Since the events of the day are transmitted in newspapers with far greater accuracy, detail, and dispatch than they could be by the single effort of even Voltaire himself, the circulation of general news, which formed the chief reason for letters of the stage-coach and sailing-vessel days, has no part in the correspondence of to-day.

Back then she was worried about the telegram or post card replacing the letter. What would she have thought of the fate of the letter had she known about email, texting, cell phones, blogs, and Facebook?

The difference though, between letter-writers of the past and of the present, is that in other days they all tried to write, and to express themselves the very best they knew how—to-day people don’t care a bit whether they write well or ill. Mental effort is one thing that the younger generation of the “smart world” seems to consider it unreasonable to ask—and just as it is the fashion to let their spines droop until they suggest nothing so much as Tenniel’s drawing in Alice in Wonderland of the caterpillar sitting on the toad-stool—so do they let their mental faculties relax, slump and atrophy.
Those who use long periods of flowered prolixity and pretentious phrases—who write in complicated form with meaningless flourishes, do not make an impression of elegance and erudition upon their readers, but flaunt instead unmistakable evidence of vainglory and ignorance.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Came Up With an Idea That Would Change the World

Here in America we like our soft drinks cold. We usually accomplish this with ice. You can get a 44oz drink filled with ice and will stay cold for a car trip or movie, but by the time you're done with it, it's watered down due to the melted ice!

The problem... Watered down drinks

The solution... Ice made out of whatever you're drinking

Imagine going to Taco Bell and having a soda fountain with individual ice dispensers for every product. Coke ice for you coke, root beer ice for your root bear, water ice for your water. It would be amazing! If you're feeling really crazy you could even have Dr. Pepper ice in you Coke. Oh SNAP! I just went there!

In Other News!
It's Thanksgiving! We had a delicious meal at our house with Katy and Ashley. We had the following...

Green Bean Casserole
Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes
Crescent Rolls
Chocolate Pie
Pumpkin Cheesecake

The other problem... It turns out that ice made out of soda is a lot softer, slushier even than normal ice. It must be the sugar content. Anyway, it's more like having a coke and putting coke slush in it. THAT already kind of exists in the form of a Slurpee you can get at any 7-Eleven. So basically, it would have to be a normal coke, that you fill with coke Slurpee to keep it cold.

My dream is to solve the diluted drink dilemma. It will happen one day.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Went to the Airport

We went to the airport to pick up Katy! Nieman accompanied us too, so that's cool. We were looking forward to this trip to the airport because it would be Katy's first time to meet Ruby.

This seems as good a time as any to tell everyone my secret to parking at the Salt Lake International airport. When picking someone up, go directly to the third level. DO NOT drive around the first level or even the second level looking for a spot. It just takes a second to go to the third level and you'll get a spot directly by the door. DIRECTLY BY THE DOOR! It used to be free for the first 30 minutes. Now it costs two bucks. Kind of lame, but I enjoy waiting for people at baggage claim rather than coordinating a curb side pick up. It's worth the two bucks for me.

So we picked up Katy, and she instantly fell in love with Ruby and we listened to Meat Loaf as we drove home.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Started Listening to “The Millionaire Mind” on CD

This little adventure started with a trip to the Springville Library. For the past several months I’ve been listening to Dave Ramsey on my computer while working. After three hours of Dave Ramsey Monday through Friday for several months, I decided it was time to change. So, I went to the library in search of a book on CD and happened upon The Millionaire Mind by Thomas J. Stanley. Stanley is also the author of The Millionaire Next Door. The book is based on his research on what is important to millionaires and to what they attribute their success.

Here are some interesting things I picked up…

- With the exception of doctors and attorneys, few millionaires think education was important to their success. Most had a C in college or never graduated.
- Having a supportive spouse was very important
- Religion was very important
- Believing in themselves was very important

Here are some aspects of the millionaire mind that I am lacking…

- A competitive spirit
- Willingness to take a risk, given the right return
- Ability to ignore critics, or a strong desire to prove them wrong

The book was pretty good overall. It doesn’t try to teach you how to be a millionaire. It just says, “Hey, here is what goes on in a millionaire’s head. Just so you know.” Some of the information will be very useful if I ever join the millionaire community. For example, when I’m a millionaire I should…

- Buy a well built 3 or 4 bedroom home in a nice older neighborhood
- Buy solid wood furniture able to last generations and when it gets worn, refinish it rather than replace it.
- Play golf.
- Ask my attorney and CPA for advice on just about everything I do.
- Go against the crowd. Buy when people are selling. Sell when people are buying.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Started Planning CONNECT! 2011

It's so easy to communicate. I can see what friends are up to in Utah, Texas, and Chile in a matter of minutes. I can look at pictures from a party that an old roommate attended. I can see who's married, who's having kids, and whose favorite TV show is Seinfeld. The problem is that communication is becoming so efficient that we're getting lazy and losing the subtle joys of a handwritten letter or a conversation with friends over dinner. Emails have their place. Facebook has its place. Texts have their place. Blogs have their place. None of them; however, should replace meaningful personal communication. It's time to connect again! That's the point of CONNECT! 2011.

CONNECT! 2011 is a program that is completely free and open for anyone to participate in. It involves four goals related to rebuilding connections with friends, family, and your community. Anyone who completes all four goals in the month of January and sends me a Facebook message or email telling me what they enjoyed about the experience, will be entered to win a little prize. Sorry Becca, while you're encouraged to participate, we will be excluded from the drawing.

Anyway, I'm really excited about getting this going. Mark you calendars for December 15th when I'll be releasing all the details about the program. If you haven't already, you should "like" the Vaughn Life Coaching fan page on Facebook. I plan on making it the main hub for CONNECT! 2011 when it starts. It will be a place for people to ask questions, share ideas, and brag about success.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Started Making My Christmas Wish List

There's actually not too much to say about this one. Some books and some electronics. Mostly things that will help out with coaching. I think I'll try out one of those gift finder things to see what someone my age SHOULD want for Christmas. Here's the best three from Find Gift. What the heck is a sextant? I wouldn't have any idea what to do with it. This one looks like it's used for navigating by the stars and finding out your eyeglass prescription at the same time.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Gave Ruby her Baby Blessing

This one happened on November 7th. It's amazing how nerve wracking it was to stand up in front of the entire church and give her a blessing. I'm sure it was just the pressure. Becca's parents came from California and my parents came from Wyoming plus other people came from places closer, but still out of the way all for something that probably lasted less than a minute. Ruby was really good and didn't cry at all. THAT helped a ton. In fact, because of her good behavior, I'm willing to overlook the incident when she pooped all over the wall during one of my first times to change her diaper.

I've decided that more than anything, I want Ruby to have confidence. If she can have confidence in God, and herself, and her parents, and the way the world works, it will be easy for her to be happy. I know that second guessing things has caused me way too much heartburn in my life. I want "what if?" to be a constructive question and not one of worry for Ruby. "What if?" should help her consider risk before making a decision, and not plague her with worry about things out of her control.

So, Ruby, if you are reading this several years in the future, remember that as long as you do what you know is right and don't abandon your values, everything will work out one way or another. You'll know that trials are opportunities to grow and learn and not punishment for anything you've done. So, find your values early and hold on to them tightly.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Created a Poll for CONNECT! 2011

Take the poll on Facebook!

What is CONNECT! 2011?

Well it’s a free program/challenge that I’m developing for January next year for life coaching. I’d tell you more about it, but I should save that for item number 6 on my list of 14 things. So, I created my first poll on Facebook to get people thinking about their connections with other people and how those connections might be improved. The theme of this poll was letter writing. I’m sorry to say that the number of people who have taken the poll is dismal. I could get three times the response just asking people at work. Maybe people see the poll and think it would take too long. It’s only three questions, and not even difficult questions. All in all, Facebook is really letting me down. I thought it would be a great tool to get the word out, but I’m starting to think that a single flyer taped to a light post on any random street corner would generate more interest. Oh well, I haven’t even started advertising the program itself, so I shouldn’t let low response to a poll get me down. It’s just that I’m so excited about it and I want that excitement to catch on! So if you could do me a real solid click here, have your friends click here, have your enemies click here, have your grandma click here and take my poll!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bought a Space Heater for Ruby’s Room

Well, Old Man Winter is here. What happened to autumn? I really wish liberals hadn’t made up climate change in an attempt to usurp power and regulate every aspect of our lives. What do we have to show for it? A ridiculously subsidized ethanol industry and no more autumn or spring. Obama must really like skiing and swimming, and hate blooming flowers and changing leaves. In 2012, vote against anyone who says, “climate change” in any context. If we just stop giving it attention it will go away. That’s what happened to Y2K. No one talks about it anymore, and it went away. In all seriousness though, in my non-expert opinion, people’s hot air causes more global warming than SUVs. The graph below should illustrate my point. It shows the average high temperature in Springville, UT the first 7 months of Obama’s presidency. Way to go Obama. At this rate we’ll all be dead in a couple of years.

So, we got a coupon in the mail for Lowe’s and decided to get a space heater to keep Ruby’s room warm while not wasting heat on the office, kitchen, bathrooms, living room, etc... I found one for $18 that had good reviews. Well, the coupon was for $10 off a purchase of $50 or more, so we walked around looking for anything else we might need. After a few minutes it became obvious that we didn’t really “need” anything, so it was pointless to spend $32 in order to “save” $10. We just bought the heater and then went to Old Navy where we also had a coupon, but didn’t buy anything. Back to the heater. It’s really good for being so cheap. It has a thermostat and a cool safety feature that shuts the unit off if it is ever knocked over. I’m impressed with the amount of heat it puts out on the 800 watt setting. It also has a 1500 watt setting, but so far there hasn’t been any need to use it. I expect that the gas company will start sending us checks instead of bills with all the energy we’re saving.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

14 Things

Below are 14 things I’ve done so far this month. I would say they are in no particular order, but that would be a lie. Can you guess the order? Okay, don’t even bother because if you can figure it out, your genius will scare me too much. Here’s the answer: I translated them into Spanish and then alphabetized them in ascending order by the first word and returned them to English while maintaining the order.

1.Ate at the Pizza Pie Café with Coworkers
2.Bought a space heater for Ruby’s room
3.Created a Poll for CONNECT! 2011
4.Gave Ruby her baby blessing
5.Started making my Christmas wish list
6.Started Planning CONNECT! 2011
7.Listened to “The Millionaire Mind” on CD
8.Went to the airport
9.Came up with an Idea that would change the world
10.Read the Letter Writing Chapters in Etiquette by Emily Post
11.Watched “The Walking Dead”
12.Got some LemiShine so ou
r dishes could actually look clean
13.Got a Flu Shot
14.Finished Christmas Shopping for my side of the family

So, there are 14 days left in this month and I intend to write a blog a day about the above topics in the above order. That will result in more blogging than I have done in a very long time. Since I’m counting today as day 1, here’s my first post:

Ate at the Pizza Pie Café with Coworkers

If you haven’t heard me go o
n and on about the Pizza Pie Café in Provo, let me just tell you…you’re in for a treat. It’s located in Provo near the Olive Garden, but on the other side of University Parkway where Albertsons used to be. It’s a Salad, Pizza, and Noodle buffet. The selections for your salad are fresh and appetizing and the pizza is good quality for a buffet, but what really gets me is their radiatori noodles with roasted red pepper sauce. OMG it’s TDF! (Read: Oh Em Gee it’s Tee Dee Eff!) It’s also pretty reasonably priced. With tax it’s about 7 bucks for the buffet and at dinner it’s more like 8. If you want to spring for a drink it’s a little bit more. If it were cheaper, say 6 bucks with a drink included at lunch time, I would be there every day. EVERY DAY. But, if it was that cheap everyone would be there every day and it would be too crowded and I couldn’t go anymore due to my dislike of crowds and long waits. Catch 22. Catch freaking 22. If you’re hungry, and want to eat until pepperoni is spilling out your ears, you know where to go.

So, yeah, we went there for lunch. I ate till I was sick. I hope to do it again soon.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


So, our lives have been pretty Rubycentric the past 6 weeks, but we've still been able to do cool things like going to Council Bluffs's Halloween Party and eating at many fine establishments (Noodles Co.). What's on my mind now is Ruby's baby blessing that is coming up. It has me thinking about what I want for this little girl and her future. Some things will probably make it in to the blessing, but some of them won't just because there isn't enough time. I still want these desires to be recorded in history though so what better place to do that than my blog?

--She will be the first woman on the moon.
--She will marry an age appropriate version of Zac Efron.
--Instead of storming out of the house screaming that she hates us, she'll storm into the house screaming she loves us.
--She'll never get a tattoo, but if she does, it will be of a velociraptor.
--Her first word will be buckminsterfullerene.
--She will watch Seinfeld, and love it, and quote it.
--She will turn down the presidency of the United States on the basis that the American People are coming off as a little too needy.
--She will star in a Die Hard movie with Bruce Willis.

That's actually just some of them. The really good ones are going in the blessing though. In all seriousity, I'm nervous about giving the blessing. If feels like a ton of pressure to do something for the first time in front of a large group of people. I want to memorize it and practice a few times, but it doesn't seem right for some reason. Instead I'm just thinking of some killer things to bless this girl with and I'll see what ends up coming out.