Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Corporate America

Maybe making teeth isn't so bad
Today I had an interview with a dental supply company, business has been really slow over the last few months and so I though I would just test the waters of employment. It was like diving into a 5 gallon bucket of ice. cold and shallow. I guess after being self employed for the last 4 years there isn't much of a sycophant left in this old dog. New tricks sound sound like more head aches. Hum maybe making teeth isn't that boring?
For mutual we took the young men out to the army base and got a tour of the helicopter hanger. It was like my mostest ultimate dream, hellfire missiles and 30mm machine guns (600 rounds per minute). I was blown away by all the cool gadgetry and massive fire power. We got to stand next to two Apache helicopters as they landed and taxied to park and we even got to look through a real set of night vision goggles! The pilots was like "don't drop those they cost about 6000 dollars".
So here I am jaw dropped like a kid in a candy store with golden ticket and I hear one of the kids say "this isn't as cool as Halo", and another kid says (they just happen to be brothers) "Ya I have already seen this stuff before" and lets out a big sigh of lets go already. Well I told those boys "quit sleep walking and look around at life, honestly there is more out there than Halo". Well as you can imagine I got the look that only a 14 year old can give that says " you really are old aren't you". If that's what it means to be old well then bring it on.
I was very impressed by the people that are part of our military and the job they do, and I stand beside them, I ain't no loyal subject to the crown.

Monday, December 8, 2008

OK after ignoring my blog for the last few months I am ready to post again. The massive vortex called life has continued to swirl like the black hole of death. That is an exaggeration but it has been a couple crazy months. We moved out of the monster house and it is for sale $435K any takers?
We have finally heard the clarion call of the get out of debt council and we are moving forward as fast as we possibly can. I sold the H3 and that reduced the monthly out flow by about $700 a month. Gas prices have dropped like crazy and that was a big chunk of what we were spending. We now own our cars and only have our houses and one credit card that still are not paid off. I feel some comfort in knowing that there are only those things left, but they are the big things and I am afraid that unless we can sell the monster house it is going to be a long road to financial freedom.
I received a new calling in the ward I am now a counselor in the young men's presidency. Looks like lots of camping and lessons to teach are in the future. Yeh!
Farmer Joe would be proud of my latest acquisition. 1993 Toyota Land cruiser FJ80 paid cash $1850
And its in sweet condition. Miles are 251,000. I am happy as a tornado in a trailer park.
I took the kids out to the desert on Saturday and we dug for Opal. We found one pretty good spot and came back with some pretty big chunks. Opal is a mineraloid gel that is deposited at moderately low temperature. It is transported by water to the surface by hot springs through cracks and fissures in the rock substrate. In our area it is common to find opal deposited in basalt. (Lava flows). The gem contains from %5 to 20% water and after dug out of the ground if not stabilized can crack at room temperature. The gem quality opal has lots of flashes of "fire" blues reds yellows greens and oranges in a mostly transparent rock. But the stone can range from completely white and opaque to black. Fire opal is the most rare and desired. The stones we found were mostly white with some blue and a few had some fire. We didn't find anything of gem quality but in the area we dug people have pulled out some very nice opal.
We left early and drove out to the desert south of Boise and started digging about 10:30am. I took Aisling and Brenna and It was a frosty morning with clear skies and no wind. As soon as the sun hit our dig it warmed right up and was quite pleasant. Although the girls stayed in their coats I was in my shirt sleeves pretty quick, nice for a December morning.
We drove over some pretty rough terrain and the Fj80 did great. I am tickled pink with that truck.
By 1pm the kids were yelling from the truck "Dad I am hungry and you said we would go 10 hours ago!"
So it was happy meals on the way home and back to show Challis our finds.
I had a ton of fun and expect to head out there again soon to search for that elusive treasure.
This might be the beginning of an exciting rock hounding career.
Last night I made English muffins, They turned out ok and I got a pretty good raise in my dough, but I am not completely satisfied witht he recipe. If anyone has a good recipe they have personally made and had a good result I would be very interested.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Rock Stars

Here are some picture of the Rock Stars

The hurricane comes home to the range

OK the person who first said "when it rains it pours" must not have been through a hurricane. I think they missed out on the gale force winds and the lightening and thunder. Its probably not good to start blogging by wining, but I don't care. So here is the first little cloud burst of the day, I got to work and realizing there was a mountain of things in front of me I dug in and started shoveling the s*@% ( that's short for "stuff")...(honestly). Then I got one of those great phone calls saying Mr. Grisham you have insufficient funds in your bank account and your overdrawn and need to come down to the bank and put money in your account or we will charge you a hundred million dollars in late fees, thank you for banking with us :) Here came the real torrent! So I left my mountain of "stuff" and went down to fix the issue with my account and low and behold there was something else wrong on my account, the equity line we are using to fund the remodel of the monster house has been changed without notice. Now instead of having $145,000 credit limit they cut our loan $45,000 !!! wow would you look at that that is $100,000 less than we were approved for. I didn't know that they could just offer you a loan with a certain approval and then change their minds after the loan was in affect. So here I am sitting in the bank with Miss smiley banker choking on the fact that her establishment just royally screwed me. I have thousands of dollars on credit cards from house renovation costs waiting to be paid off by the now gone equity line. She was a really good actor and seemed more upset and than I was, and I didn't even have to show her how pissed I really was. There was no yelling, throwing of chairs or even dirty looks. But I tell you what I will never bank with Washington Mutual or City Bank for the rest of my life. Those people can rot in hell. What a load of "stuff" :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

To my good buddy Farmer Joe

The other day Farmer Joe called me. It was great to hear from him it has been a long time and alot of miles. He asked me why I hadnt been keepin up the blog, so joe this one is for you.
I was able to take Friday off and spend it with the family, It was a great day and we had lots of fun. Aisling and Brenna are taking swim lessons at the community pool and I was able to take them to their lessons. Aisling is able to swim half way across the pool with her face in the water and not freak out. I was pretty impressed. (looks like ol' dad might have to learn to really learn how to swim now). Brenna now can put her face under water and splash around about 5 feet to her teacher, and she is really getting good at floating on her back by herself. They really had a good time, they have lessons for the next few days and then the season is over. Its hard to believe that summer is wrapping up and we are headed into fall.
Speaking of fall Elk season starts on the 31st of this month so I went out and shot my bow today, good thing I have a couple weeks to practice it wasnt pretty. Looks like i will shoot again tomorrow.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Is it still 2008?

This is the West Face of Donaldson Peak, 12023 ft. We turned back about 3/4
of the way up the snow in the picture. As a side note for scale the trees in
the foreground are about 2 miles nearer the camera than the snow is.

Boy these last few months have been sooooo busy. I feel like there are not enough hours in the day, I can go and go from 6am to 8pm and still not get everything done. I recently moved the Laboratory to a new location it took about a week and things are still finding their places. Work has been steady and I am growing the business through more accounts and higher volume. That all takes a lot of time, and I am sure it will pay off in the long run, but I am still looking for the light at the end of the tunnel. ( I hope it is not a train)
We had an exciting week, some good things and some not so good. Lachlan had a high fever for 3 days and then his soft spot on the top of his head began to swell. We ran him to the emergency room late Wednesday night and had him checked out, they drew his blood and looked him over and gave him some fever reducer. He turned out to be fine, but I was pretty worked up over the whole thing. What really had me worried was that some of his symptoms were the same as the symptoms of Bacterial Meningitis which is very serious and very dangerous. We gave him a blessing and I believe there was more than one person praying for him that night, and we were all blessed, everything turned out fine.
Dan and I went mountain climbing over the weekend back to the good old Lost River Range in northeastern Idaho. I have climbed over there many times and we were going to climb two mountains I have already climbed a few years ago. Dan needed to climb these to finish up the 12,000 footers in Idaho, so I thought I would tag along and show him the route. We left on Thursday and hiked in about 3 miles. The mountains are really rough and we had a hard time finding a spot big enough for us to camp on. We finally found small ledge big enough for both of our bivy sacks and a small fire. We pilled rocks on the down hill side so we wouldn't role off and on the up hill side was the fire pit and a thorn bush. Dan got the fire pit and I got the thorn bush and Dan's feet in my face all night. I took my summer sleeping bag that is rated down to 30 F, it was 98 F when we left Boise so it thought that would be warm enough, surprise I was wrong. I was up most of the night shivering and checking my watch every half our to see how long till the sun would come up. It finally came up about 6am , but the temperature didn't warm up until about 10am.This is Donaldson's East Face Taken from neighboring
Mt. Breitenbach. We climbed the west face after
traversing just left of the east face in this picture.

We left camp and started to make our way up the mountain, It was a very long hike and covered in loose rock. In some places you slide backward with ever step you take. We were making jokes about walking up a downward escalator. That seemed funny for about 2 seconds. I really began questioning why I climb mountains. I think that I am more fond of the mountain after I have been to the top and then am sitting back at home in a warm tub watching 7 brides for seven brothers and eating a Big Mac. Ahh the simple things in life.
We turned around about 200' shy of the summit. We had been hiking hard all day long and had reached the crux of the climb. It is at the top of the mountain and is a thousand feet of small ledges and broken towers of rock. The slope is very steep and a fall over one of the cliffs would most likely send you to the daisy fields. We had ascended most of the wall with out incident. Dan had one little bout with some loose rocks, but we were both very aware of the potential danger of the slope, and we were moving cautiously. I climbed up this little section of stable rock and looked down at Dan to see how he was fairing. He was sitting down and he just said " I am done". I had climbed this route before and so I knew that we were less than a half an hour from the top. I was half tempted to try to persuade Dan up the rest of the face, but he said "I got a feeling I need to go down" I feel like you should always listen to those feelings. So I said "OK" and down climbed to him and we started back down. Nothing of importance happened on the way back down and we arrived safe at the car 4 hours later. What did happen that I think was important was that Dan had the courage to speak up when he got that feeling, and that we fallowed it. I don't know if something bad would have happened if we kept climbing and quite frankly I am glad I didn't have to find out.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The biggest honey-do list ever

I am not sure how many of you out there have bought a 10 yr. old monster house and revamped it to your lovely wifey's every whim. Talk about the ultimate honey-do list. Every weekend from Christmas till now has been a multitasking circus juggling act. But oddly enough I have enjoyed most of it.
My latest adventure had to do with the sprinkler system. It had been getting warmer over the last few weeks and the grass was beginning to look like the hair on the back of a Russian boar, so I thought I'll just run home after work and flip on the sprinklers and water the lawn for the first time after the winter, simple right? Ya really simple!
I open the valve for the sprinkler system and go in the garage to look at the program on the time clock. I set a zone and then walk around to the front of the house to see that it is being watered. That's strange no water streams dancing around the lawn spraying life back into the grass. Not even a hiss or sound, huh? ... guess I'll go check the clock again, huh?.... looks good to me, guess I'll go check the valve....! holy Krakatowa! I came around the corner and there was a mud geyser in my back yard. I rush over and shut off the valve for the sprinkler system in the valve box confident that would stem the deluge, no such luck, it kept on pumping and the hole in my yard was growing by the second. Last resort shut of the pump in the well. Needless to say that worked. I was temporarily saved from a Noah's Ark situation. As a side note we only have two dogs so gathering the animals would have taken less time than poor old Noah.
Time for damage control. Sizing up the crater I can see first of all that there is about 2 yards of mud on the ground around the hole and on the front of the truck which was parked near by. So after an emergency phone consultation from the family plumber (my father in law), I grab a shovel and dig in. 1 hour later and 5 feet sub surface I find the source of the explosion. The system drain valve is broken clean off. Huh, how could that happen? But there is no question about it, the pipe is dripping water and even the valve is in the bottom of the hole but blown clear to the other side of the crater. So it was back to the phone for more plumbing advice, and after a few minutes of explanation I have a clear view of my objectives to wrap up this little speed bump in my road to watering the lawn.
2 things have to be said so that you can have a clear picture of how happy I was at this point. First, the muddy hole that I was climbing in and out of for the next 2 days was as deep as I am tall. The end of this metal pipe was at the bottom of the hole by my feet, I am thinking this should be easy enough just reach down and put a new valve on the end of the pipe. Simple enough right? Mmm not really. As soon as I hopped down in the hole, I came to the understanding that this would be one of those jobs where you have to contort and reach and work all those muscles that never get worked, in the most uncomfortable position you could think of. If you can imagine here is the position: I am in a muddy hole 5 feet deep reaching down to a pipe that is at my feet. The hole seemed wide enough before I dropped into it, but then I bent over to reach the pipe and soon realized that to reach it I had to press my arse on one side of the hole while pressing my bigger arse (head) on the other side. Let me remind you just a few hours earlier this hole was filled with mud.
Second: the end of the valve was broken off inside the pipe and I had to get it out to be able to put the new one on. The pipe was metal and the valve was plastic so the plumberly advice I had received was just "stick a knife in the end of the pipe and give it a couple twists and it should come right out". Hum...sounded easy enough, but after about 2 hours of twisting I had had enough for one day. 10pm and time to wash the mud out of all my secret spots.
Day two: I think the best advice anyone can give is "always bring a gun to a knife fight". I was not going to let this little situation get the best of me so during hours I should have been sleeping it was planning my attack. The big question was how to get the broken valve out of the threads of the other pipe, It had become very clear I was on my own, plumberly advice had failed, and there was no way I was crouching down in that muddy hell to do one more twist with a knife. Then it came to me, Like a light coming on in a dark refrigerator while getting a midnight snack, I figured out my solution.
The next day I came home armed with a gun for my "knife fight" and I knew I was gong to win this little bout. A word of advice, If you run across a problem you cant solve, just burn it.
It worked for me.
I stuck a torch on the end of that pipe got it cherry red and with in 15 minutes I had a new valve on the end and the hole buried up like none of it had ever happened. I flipped on the sprinklers and strutted into the house like a rooster into the hen house, and nonchalantly said to Challis whats that out in the yard? (like I was seeing the neighbors lap dog leave a turd in the grass) she looked out and said "what"? "Oh you got the sprinklers fixed, good job honey." and walked off.
Superman did a lot of things that didn't make the morning paper also. So I guess I'll count the whole deal was a personal victory.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Still Sunday

Yup, its still Sunday. Some weekends seem to fly and you never have enough time to get everything accomplished that you would like, but this weekend went pretty smooth and there was even enough time for a Sunday afternoon nap!
I have been working allot on the house and this Saturday was no exception. We made the five minute drive over to the local Lowe's home improvement store and spent 2 hours getting fencing materials new blinds and a ceiling fan. Most of the 2 hours was spent in line. Then back to the homestead to set fence posts. My good friend Joel dedicated a couple hours to the cause and we were able to set about 7 posts. I will put the chain link up sometime later this week. It seems that most everything is coming together and the house should be close to being finished in about a month.
Next Chally's family came over and we did family pictures all evening. There seemed like there were a million people running around an most of them were kids. She does have 5 siblings and about 20 kids between us all. We started taking pictures, individual, family's, and group photos about 5pm and surprise we didn't finish till 10pm. The real kicker most everyone came and had not eaten dinner first. It was major mayhem and I wasn't about to feed 50 people, so we suffered through the grumpy kids and even worse adults (Jason, Jeremy, and Melissa) and were able to get some good pictures of every one.
So back to the Laboratory tomorrow and teeth, teeth, and more teeth. It should be a productive week and it is the end of the month, so I need to finish some cases to make sure they are billed into April and not May.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Ode to Long Duty

Last week my climbing partner and long time friend Dan Gregory moved to California to pursue a better career. I am happy and sad at the same time. Happy because for the last few years Dan has been taken advantage of by his old employer, who happens to be my old employer. So I sympathize. In many ways he was my mentor in the arts of dental technology and many of the techniques I use I owe to him. He taught me when others shirked their responsibilities.
But I am also sad. We had many exciting experiences ( see near death on little Mac)in the mountains and his drive to climb always led the way and inspired me to push onto new heights.
Thanks Dan for your friendship, I hope you soon get tired of those 14 thousand footers in Cali and feel the need for Idaho fresh air.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Lachlan is here!

Oops, I think it has been about 3 months since my last post, as you might have guessed I am also about as good at keeping a journal. Allot has transpired in the interim, like the birth of Lachlan Jack Grisham, can't believe the fourth monkey is here! (Don't worry Brad Pitt there most likely won't be 12). He is a healthy happy little boy, he smiles coos and Challis said he even laughed the other day. Pretty good for a 8 week old monkey, pretty soon he will be climbing trees and cutting down bananas for his fat old silver backed dad.
Work at the Laboratory has picked up quite a bit, and this year looks like it will shape up to be good financially. We about starved over the winter. It was slower than I had ever seen it, and our saving were completely drained. Part of the reason was the new house we purchased. It costs us about 2x as much as our old one per month. So we have decided to try our luck with the market and put this new one up for sale. It has some equity in it and that is the principle reason we bought it in the first place. We have put about 30K into it so I am hoping we will make out like bandits and get it back.
We had the driveway paved today, ya thats right asphalt, I know no one wants pavement for a driveway but its 5000 sq. feet and if you figure that in concrete it would have cost us over 20k to do it in cement. So pavement it is, I am pretty excited because it adds allot to the value of the house and there isn't so much dirt to get in the house and on the garage floor now. It will stay more like Du lac "vedy clean".
The work outs have been going good , I have been keeping track of them on it is a blog to post workouts and see what other people are doing to stay in shape. When I started about 6 weeks ago I was 196lbs and not in very good shape at all. On Tuesday I weighed in at 183lbs and have gained alot in strength and definition. All my goals are posted on the You can look my page up under agrisham if your interested.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Another day, another way.

Time is slowly flowing down the river of life and it seems some days that the river is frozen, it is January and the temperature has been below freezing for a week straight. Writing inspiration can come from any direction even the downward spiral of mercury.
Climbing has been put on hold sence the little incident on Little Mac although Dan Gregory and I did spend a Saturday morning a couple weeks ago on Baldy, a little hill north of Boise off of Highway 21. The conditions were very windy and it made for an interesting few hours. At the summit we experienced the full brunt of the wind with a pounding of up to 50 mph (sustained). The wind combined with the cold made any exposed skin freeze in seconds. Needless to say I didn't take any pictures and my hands stayed nice and toasty in my mitts.
I have been teaching Sunday school ofr the 16 year olds at church an must say it has been a great class the kids are well mannered and eager to learn. We are studding the 1st Nephi visions (chapters 11-15) and we have been able cover most of the material very thoroughly with a seemingly constant spirit.
The monkeys Aisling, Brenna, and Rowan are in a constant state of "mine", I cant quite remember being 5 and so have no personal reference so I am not sure if its normal for kids to bicker so much between each other, but man! every five seconds it somebody else's turn for a full and massive melt down because " I had that first"! ( and to think we are bringing another one of these monkeys on line next month) On Saturday I took them out to play in the snow, we got all bundeled up and went out into the crisp air. The girls were making snow angels and chasing the dog around, and I was feeling like an old fuddy duddy stomping my feet to keep warm and ever so often saying "are you girls ready for some grilled cheese and hot cocoa"? "No way Dad this is fun"! Needless to say it was fun to watch them having fun and before I knew it 2 hours of frozen January river had drifted by, now its Sunday and tomorrow back to work. I guess the lesson is enjoy life when you can even if you have to stomp your feet to keep warm because it could be Monday morning.