Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fringe Benefits

The week's not over, yet it has been a particularly fruitful week when it comes to perks at work.

So far I've received:

  • 3 free lunches
  • 12 original Fat Boys
  • 6 Cookies n' Cream Fat Boys
  • 12 Casco Nut Sundaes
  • 2 jars of candy
  • A necklace
  • A Honeyville Farms gift basket including:
    • Biscuit mix
    • Buttermilk pancake mix
    • Fudge brownie mix
    • Cornbread mix
    • Strawberry kiwi smoothie mix
    • Cherry flavored honey 
  • And a good number of Coke Rewards points from bottle caps I scrounged after large trainings serving Coke beverages

I may not get paid in gum, but this is a pretty good second.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Mystery of the Car Keys - Solved!

Congratulations to Whit, who successfully harnessed her inner Sherlock Holmes to solve the mystery of the car keys - though it took me a while to figure it out.

I took each comment as they came in:
Under the car? Nope.
In your shoes? Checked my running shoes that I wore to the gym . . . nothing.
In the laundry? Rummaged through what was in the dirty clothes hamper . . . nada.
Wrapped up in smelly workout clothes? The clothes were indeed smelly, but no keys to be found.
Down a vent? Luckily, we don't have vents that open into the abyss, but I checked our radiator heating vent to no avail.
Under the couch? I moved both of our couches and our recliner, and while I found a couple of toys hidden by our nephews - alas, no phone.
Washing machine and dryer? No luck.
In bed? No dice.

After numerous fruitless and frustrating searches, the keys fell into my lap this morning - almost literally. As I dressed for the day, I grabbed by brown dress shoes from my door hanging shoe organizer. As I dropped them to the ground to put them on, I heard a metallic jingle. And - viola! - the keys had reappeared!

As Whit had surmised, they were in my shoe, but not the shoes where I had thought they might be found.

So, Whit, be ready to enjoy your reward . . . as soon as I figure out what that reward will be! Do you like Almond Joy?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Oh, Car Keys, Where Art Thou?

When I was about eighteen, I was in a musical in Oakley, ID, about thirty minutes from where I lived in Declo. I drove that stretch of road almost every day for a good month or two during rehearsals, using whatever car wasn't being used by my parents or older brother.

One day, when driving my dad's 1970 Mustang (which has since been sold, unfortunately), I somehow lost the key to the car. It was a single key and it must have slipped out of my pocket. Despite my prayers, pleading and efforts, my friends and I looked unsuccessfully all over to find it. We ended up leaving the car there that day and having a locksmith come out and fashion a new key.

A couple of summers ago, Deidra and I moved to Washington DC for summer internships. Shortly before we did, I lost my car/house/work keys. Try as I might, I could not find them anywhere. I ended up using our spare car key until we moved to DC and left our car here. At some point during the summer, the people subletting our apartment in Logan found my keys and returned them to me upon our return to Utah. Where and how they found the keys, I don't know.

Now it's happened again. 

If there are any sleuths out there looking to solve the case, here is the scenario:

Monday evening, upon arriving home from work and the gym, I remember locking our car because my work laptop and projector were in there. That was the last time I remember seeing the keys. I have looked in the pants, jacket, and workout clothes I was wearing. I have looked in couch cushions, under couches, in my gym bag, and even in the refrigerator (the first thing I remember doing upon arriving home is getting a Powerade from the fridge).

So, any ideas? There will be a reward to anyone that can successfully guess where they are.

Friday, April 09, 2010

When Video Games Attack

Those of you who remember old-school video games might enjoy this . . .

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Parisian Paradise - Part XV: Final Thoughts

Almost three months after wrapping up our trip to Paris, I am finally ready to conclude my 15-part serial blog about it. But not before a few final thoughts:

  1. The food in France was good, but very heavy and buttery, particularly since we were not there during a season of much in the way of produce. So a variety of buttery bread, meats and cheeses made up most of our diet.
  2. There is definitely a trade-off between going to Paris in the middle of winter - very few tourists and a very inexpensive vacation package also means bitter cold, a lesser variety of food (see above) and fewer tourist attractions open. But, if I had it to do over, I think I would still do it again the same way. I think the pros definitely outweigh the cons.
  3. The crepes were delicious - just ask Brian. I think he ate at least one at almost every meal. My favorite was my final crepe - Nutella, banana and whipped cream from a street vendor. A-MA-ZING!
  4. Even with our Museum Pass setbacks (visiting Versailles before the pass was purchased, the Notre Dame tower being closed, the Picasso museum being closed, and Sainte Chapelle opening too late for us to visit on our final day), we still easily got our money's worth with the purchase of our Museum Pass. I highly encourage it because buying it gets you in to most of the tourist attractions you want to visit, and it might make you more active during your trip (like it did for us) to ensure you cover your cost, which makes you discover places you might not have otherwise.
And, finally, one of the ideas that Deidra and I had before the trip was to compile our own souvenir by spelling out PARIS by finding letters throughout the artwork and architecture there. And, by jove, I think we did a pretty darn good job!

So, there you have it. I promise I'm done posting about Paris now. I hope you've enjoyed the show.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Boiler Up!*

We have officially made our decision. I will be starting the Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management (OBHR) PhD program at Purdue University starting in mid-August! So start making plans a) to help us move, and/or b) to come visit.

* Purdue's mascot is the Boilermakers, and "Boiler Up!" is a phrase shouted in their fight song. That's about all I know about it at this point, but I look forward to learning more.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Parisian Paradise - Part XIV: The Rodin Museum and the trip home

After Les Invalides, we crossed the road to our last stop of the trip - the Rodin Museum, a museum mainly composed of the works of Auguste Rodin and his students. You might recognize his most famous sculpture here:

The museum was set up in the house where he lived, and the exhibits were pretty cool. But I like the sculpture gardens outside (which included The Thinker) even better than the inside.

We both had to get our official tourist photos while we were there:

Inside the museum, a class of kids came in and were being taught fine art of . . . well, art. Here they are all getting pointers from the teacher on how to draw a nude sculpture (which I found just a little odd):

From there, we went back to the hotel, picked up our bags, and took the train to the airport. While there we shared one last baguette (ham and cheese) before boarding our flight to NYC:

We stayed that night with Frank (one of Deidra's best friends from high school) in New York.

We got to eat some great late-night falafel, and Deidra got to stomp around in Frank's dad's mukluks.

The next morning, we caught our flight back to Utah and the amazing experience came to an end (if you don't count the three months of posting about it that followed).

Friday, April 02, 2010

2010 PhD Breakdown - part 3

After no news for the past couple of weeks, things started moving pretty quickly yesterday. Here is the latest on the PhD process:

Purdue University - I am still weighing the offer that they gave me. They have been in contact with me quite frequently and I have talked with four different professors there regarding potential admission.

Texas A&M - After being on their waiting list, I was finally offered admission yesterday! The interesting thing is that they haven't had any of their prospective students turn them down as of yet, but they decided to fund one more position and make me that offer. It's a very competitive offer and definitely makes me give them strong consideration as well.

The University of Alabama - After not hearing from them for about a month, I got a call yesterday morning and set up an interview for later that day. I went through the interview and received another call later yesterday afternoon with an offer of admission!

Looking at the schools and the programs, I think the decision comes down to Purdue or Texas A&M. I will probably contact the University of Alabama today and decline their offer. But Deidra and I have got a tough decision to make over the weekend. But this kind of decision is better than the "What do I do now?" decision that I had to make last year after being rejected from all of the schools.