Monday, November 12, 2012

What The....

Ok, so it's Mid-November and average temperature in the morning is below freezing.  And somehow Amanda and I are STILL canning and dealing with food from the garden! 

Tonight, we canned our last batch of tomatoes.......

...washed up our carrots and got them in the fridge...

...and pressure canned our first batch of pumpkin!

The Pumpkin jars are still inside, we're waiting for the pressure to come down so we can open it and I don't want to wait that long...I'm super patient.

It's been a long summer and winter will be a nice break from the garden!  Stay tuned for a review of our entire summer. 

Here are a few pictures of carrot harvesting fun!

Right After Digging Them Up
The Carrot-teer!
Monster Carrots!
So, is that a carrot in your pocket....or.....oh nevermind.....

Friday, October 26, 2012

'Tis The Season!

So the last few days have been chilly.  We're finally to that time of year where you have to start your car 15 minutes early to defrost the windows, wear a jacket the majority of the day, and when it's super hard to get out of bed in the morning because it's just so warm in bed and so cold out of it. 

A few years back I wanted to make a Christmas gift for everybody in the family so I decided to make rice bags.  I know I'm going to have to give up some of my "guy points" by telling you this but I don't really care, I'll eat some steak later and call it even. 

Amanda's feet and hands get really cold and when we would get into bed, she would always want to put them on me.  Those suckers were so cold they would stick to moist flesh.  If you're not familiar with the concept, please watch the following educational and scientifically based video. 

Not that I mind having sub zero body parts put on me just before I fall asleep, but I thought there must be a way to make her more comfortable.  So I researched and came up with the idea of making the legendary rice bag.  The concept is simple: A 100% cotton cloth bag with rice in it.  Then you take the bag, put it in the microwave for 3 minutes on high, and bingo-you have a nice, warm (hot at first) bag that stays warm for hours.  We warm them up and put them at the foot of the bed.  It makes it very nice to hop into bed with one of those babys waiting for you.  It's like summer in a bag!  Here is a picture of some of the ones I made.

I made mine a bit more fancy than a basic design.  I made an inner bag that holds the rice which is a tie-dye color then I made sleeves for them to slip into which is the plaid you see in the picture.  This way we can take the covers off and wash them periodically.  In my defense, I made the pink ones for the girls and I made the guys' blue to butch it up a bit. 

I made these probably 4 years ago and they are, by far, the best gift I think I've ever given.  The entire family still uses theirs every winter.  My sister Whitney used two or three at a time when she was at school in Greeley to keep warm in -20 degree weather.  It's nice that something so simple has made such an impact on the family. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Vice-Presidential Debate

If you don't want to hear it, don't read it because here it comes.....

Had I been sick in the head and been planning on voting Obama/Biden this election, after the VP debate tonight I would have switched sides.  Bla bla bla, they talked all night about points and how they're going to save this country and lower the debt and make everybody love each other.  What made the real impression on me tonight is how stinkin' disrespectful Biden was all night!  I get it, Ryan is going to say things that Biden doesn't agree's a debate Joe, it's SUPPOSED to happen!  But when you sit there, laugh, smirk and use words like "malarkey" in a presidential debate?  Mmmm, no.  You and your Whitehouse buddies are so unprofessional.  I am embarrassed for you.  And by the way, Joe can you breathe any louder into your mic?  Mr. Biden, you are by far the reason why I hate political debates.  You are rude, disrespectful and UGLY!  Low blow but there it is, Joe Biden you are an unattractive person and I don't vote for you.  The only reason you are National Undesireable #2 is because your running mate is National Undesireable #1. 

As Romeny said in the presidential debate, just because you say the same things over and over and over again, it doesn't make them true.  Unfortunately there are people out there that don't agree with that statement and they can't get over themselves to do some real research and come up with an opinion of their own. 

And then people wonder why I don't have cable....because it's full of stupid BS like this.  Everywhere I look it's stupid, biased crap that sucks the life out of the America.

One last question....most of the debates focus on debt/spending/taxes.  Joe, if you were going to balance the budget, promote world peace and solve the world's problems,  why haven't you done it in the last four years?!?  Stop saying what's convenient at the time, step up , grow a pair, and make a difference, stop talking about it! 


M'kay, so I was very skeptical when I first heard they were making a Battleship movie.  "Oh gosh, they're really running out of good ideas for movies" I believe were my exact words. I mean, come on, it was a guaranteed flop! 

"But then you come back and totally redeem yourself!"
I'm not going to say it was the most amazing life-altering movie but my goodness I sure enjoyed it!  I really enjoy movies that take something unlikely and unrealistic and finds a way to wrap you mind around it and make you think "Hum, I could see how that could be feasible."  Here are the parts that I liked most about it:
1. The aliens.  I'm sorry if I'm ruining the movie for you but I thought it was a very nice change for an alien movie to make the aliens more humanistic instead of a rolling oozing pile of goo.  A few obvious differences from humans in these aliens but overall they're very similar.  I've always wanted to see a movie where the aliens aren't so crazy and realistic as aliens can be produced by Hollywood. 
2. The technology.  Again, spoiler alert, but the fact that old technology came in and saved new technology's butt...awesome. Watch the movie, you'll understand. 
3. Incorporating Battleship into the movie plot but not allowing it to overtake a good movie.  It was great how the producers and directors found a way to incorporate the original Battleship game into the movie.  Very creative.
4. I LOVE the part when the retired vets step up and say "Come on, give me a piece of that..."  My favorite part hands down.
5. WE WON!  Of course I love a happy ending...who doesn't?  And I really liked how the directors found a way to keep the suspense going for a longer time instead of a big climax directly to The End. 
So I know I'm not a professional critic and it really doesn't bother me if you disagree, I liked it and I can't wait to buy it!  

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I'm All Growed Up......

So a week ago today I turned 29.  I know a lot of people will think "Ahh, to be 29 again!  If only I could go back to 29!" Yet others would say "Holy crap that's old!" Me?  When I turned 29 all I could think about was "Wow, I'm basically a third the way through an average life span so that means I'm a third dead already."  And that's only assuming I actually live to see 87!  So it was kind of hard for me to see 29 come and go and I've been dwelling on that probably too much.

A guy at 86 and 11 months...

 Last night, I was squirting tooth-paste on to my tooth-brush (imagine that) and it made a farting noise.  Of course I laughed, then I thought "Maybe I'm not as old as I've been worrying about...."

The real problem is that I still brushed my teeth with it...what does that say about me?!?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Monster Under The Bed

I'm afraid to say that I have confirmed that the monster under the bed does indeed exist and I caught it on camera!  I barely escaped with my life and consider myself very fortunate to have lived to tell this tale.  You can pause the background music by scrolling to the bottom and pressing...well, the pause button. 

WARNING:  Please be advised that the following video is real, unedited footage.  I suggest parental supervision at any age.  This video is not recommended for anybody who is pregnant or who may become pregnant, people with heart problems/back problems/asthma/allergies/chronic heart burn, who are prone to nose bleeds or anybody under 3'4" tall.  If you are taking medication of any kind, please consult your primary care physician before proceeding.  By clicking below you waive all rights to hold Steven's Scope, Blogger, and any of its affiliates responsible for the graphic nature of this video.  The views and opinions expressed herein are those solely of the the individual and does not necessarily represent the views of said organizations.  No actual animals were injured in the making of this video. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Political Warning...

Did you know that when George Washington was asked to serve another term in office he said, with a heavy heart, "Have I not done enough already for my country?"  I know old-time English is hard to understand so allow me to translate: "I'm tired of babysitting you people now bugger off.  I want to go fishing."  It's hard to believe given today's political environment but "back in the day", people didn't want to be president.  Well, that's not entirely true...better stated, people didn't want to seem eager to be president because they didn't want the public to view them as power hungry.  See, the public then still had the unfortunate memories of being ruled over by a king and being ruled in almost every aspect of their life.  So, naturally, if somebody seemed too eager to be president the public would, for good reasons, get spooked and fear the candidate was in it for the power and not the good of the public and country.  Fast forward a few hundred years and look at where we're at.  It seems like the presidential seat goes to the highest bidder and the smoothest talker, or, if you're like me, it seems like I'm always voting against somebody instead of for somebody.  And why is it that we're in this kind of a pickle?  Because we as the American public have allowed it and, on many levels, have encouraged it.  So I have a few ideas of what we as Americans can do to try to elect better officials to represent US.  (By the way, this is what we should be doing anyway.)

    Turn Off the Political Crap on TV:  Stop listening to the TV.  If I had enough money, I could start an advertising campaign that could get millions of Americans believing almost anything.  Why?  Because we put too much faith in what's on TV...which leads into my next point...

Do Your Own Research: Don't be lazy and take the easy and effortless information.  Just like the hundreds of e-mails you get every week promising you a free iPad, the free political information you get is typically superficial at best.  It's never been so easy to search the web and have billions of bits of information at your fingertips.  Use it and educate yourself on who you really want to represent you in office.

(By the way, if you get an e-mail from some Middle-Eastern Prince asking you to give him your bank account number so he can forward you a large sum of cash, that's probably a scam as well.  See?  I'm full of good advice...)

Be Involved: How many of us know what a Caucus is?  How many people have volunteered at the polls or have engaged otherwise in a campaign?  How many of us know who our representatives are?  Think about it-if you can't answer these questions how are you going to answer bigger ones?

Keep It Local: One of the best ways to influence large government is to influence small government.  Stay involved on the local level.  Go to City Council meetings, stay in touch with your district and county representatives.

Keep an Eye On Them: After they're elected, keep an eye on your representatives.  Know what they are and aren't voting for and if you don't like it, let them know.  It's also nice to let people know when they're doing a good job or when you're happy with them. 

I don't think I've ever been in a political "discussion" with somebody that I haven't liked WHEN they have done their homework.  I can not fault you for having a different opinion than I do but I CAN and WILL make fun of you if you come up to me, start a conversation, and have no clue what you're talking about.  "I don't know..." is a perfectly good answer if it is true.  Think about it, we're the most intelligent life out there (that we know of), so why would we not live up to that and use our noggin?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Armie Hammer?

So as a follow up to my last post on the movie Mirror Mirror, the actor playing Prince Charming is Armie Hammer. 
And then you put the first name with the last name Hammer and what do you get?
I am pretty sure this is my new favorite name...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Is Snow White really the Fairest?

Amanda and I watched Mirror Mirror last night after our yard sale.  We were pretty tired so we wanted to relax and this movie came recommended by a good friend. 
Check our details of our yard sale here
We rented it from Redbox and it's the recently released PG version of the Snow White tale. 

Overall I liked it for the following reasons:

  1. It's Clean.  Not many movies being made any more are free from the smut people call entertainment. 
  2. It's Original.  While keeping in line with the basic and original plot of Snow White, there were twists and turns that kept it fresh and entertaining. 
  3. The Whimsical Lines.  I'm a sucker for funny one-liners and is among the fastest ways for a movie to move up ranking for me. 

There were, however, a few things that made it hard to focus and take the movie seriously.  They were most likely intentional on the directors part as this rendition of Snow White seemed to be intended to be more fun and light-hearted vs. the heavy and serious Snow White and the Huntsman (also a good movie). It just made it hard to focus on the movie....

  1. Snow White's eyebrows....what the....?!?!  Disclaimer: I think Lilly Collins, who plays Snow White, is an attractive person.  Google Search her.  She's a world-wide model and actress and therefore has proven her beauty. 

But whiten her skin and those babys stick out like a fake mustache on an albino!  One of the first shots in the movie are a close up on...them...and it's hard to focus on the fact that she's supposed to be the "fairest in all the land."  Again, I'm not saying Collins is unattractive but I think they should have "tweezed" the black beasts if they were going to bleach her skin to be "white as snow".  I blame makeup for this, not Collins.

2. After the movie winds down at the end and they're about to live happily ever after, they start a music video!  Eh?!?!  Check it out....

It is so random and unexpected!  I ran around the house last night singing "I believe, I believe, I believe, I believe....etc....etc...." and I am SURE I annoyed Amanda with that one.  That actually speaks more about me than it does about the movie...

3. Cowboy Dwarf reminds me of a Mini-Kenny Chesney.  That's all I've got to say about that.

So overall I thought it was a fun movie and it was definitely worth the time to watch.  I would recommend watching it and coming up with your own opinion.  Grab the family, order some pizza or pop some pop-corn and have a family night with this movie!  It's good for some laughs!

Saturday, August 25, 2012


I am not a fan of bugs.  I know, I'm a boy and it should be in my DNA that I like bugs...but I don't.  So the last few days Amanda and I have noticed the ends of our tomato plants are being something.  Then we saw them...TOMATO WORMS!!!!

To put the size of the worm in perspective, they're about 5-6 inches long.


So, we found a total of three of them, then again, on 26 tomato plants, there are probably many MANY more than just three.  Gross.  So, because they eat our tomatoes, and are disgusting, we decided they must die.  Amanda, my AWESOME bug-killing wife, took care of it.  She piled all three of them up, I stepped back about 15 feet because I'm a little girl, and she stepped on them...and squirted the innards all over me!  I literally had green worm goo that flew about 15 feet through the air and landed on my shirt.  I yelled...or screamed...what's really the difference, right?  

I know, some of you may not believe me, or think that I'm exaggerating, and that's ok, you don't have to believe, I know my truth...

Monday, August 20, 2012

BBQ Pizza!

The fruits of their tomato canning labors-and this is only batch one of many!
Tonight Amanda and her mom were canning tomatoes in our kitchen.  Her mom has a rather large garden and we have 26 tomato plants; therefore, we are BUSY canning tomatoes!  Because they were busy in the kitchen, I decided to cook dinner on the BBQ to try to stay out of their way and thought it'd be a good night to try a pizza on the BBQ.  I must say, for a first timer making pizza on the BBQ, they turned out very good!

Peach and Rosemary Pizza

This one is a Peach Pizza-I put pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, sliced peaches, and rosemary seasoning on it.  The rosemary's subtle taste really compliments the peach's sweet flavor! 

Caprese Pizza with Fresh Mozzarella and Basil

This one is a Caprese Pizza-I put pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, sliced tomatoes from the garden, fresh mozzarella on top of the tomatoes and sprinkled fresh sliced basil from the garden on it.  The taste is amazing and the fresh mozzarella really adds a nice creamy texture on top of the warm tomatoes.   

We made the dough from scratch, the tomatoes and basil were from our garden, and the peach we used was given to us by our neighbor from one of his peach trees in his back yard (best peach I've ever had).  Needless to say, I'm happy with how the pizzas turned out.  I really enjoy playing around with new recipes and summer is the time to do it!  We have more food than we know what to do with coming off from the garden so we've got to be pretty creative on how to use it all! 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Technology Overload!

Me, after being electrocuted...
The other day I was up on the in-law's house fixing their air conditioner...swamp cooler rather.  It was about 7:30pm so the sun was getting pretty low in the sky already.  I was just getting started when Amanda runs out into the back yard and yells "Steven!  The power just went off to the whole house!  What did you do!?!?!"  I am grateful for her confidence in me that I could make something like that happen with no tools and only looking at the AC unit.  Her biggest concern was for me and wanted to make sure I didn't fry myself, which I too am grateful for! 

Not Me :(

So after extensive testing and deductive reasoning, it turns out I don't have mind control over electricity, although that would be cool.  The power went out in the entire neighborhood.  We could see into the neighbor's house and their TV had gone off, fans were slowing down, and no lights on anywhere as far as the eye could see...which was far because it's a two-story house. 

Then the really cool part happened:  People came outside and started talking to their neighbors!  I know this is hard for some to comprehend but it's true!  Half the neighborhood was outside, talking, laughing and joking.  Kids were riding their bikes in the street, people were walking their dogs.  Some kids up the street started a game of basketball in their driveway.  It was so cool!  It reminded me of The Sandlot. 

So it got me to thinking: What if we were to shut off our own electricity for 3 hours every evening.  No cell phones, no TV, no iPads/Pods/Phones, no internet, no computers, nothing electronic.  I admit it would be hard at first-I'm constantly checking my phone and texting or e-mailing or surfing the web-but I think it would be so cool!  To get to know your neighbors and actually KNOW them would be very cool!  To see your kids outside (gasp) riding a bike, or chasing the girls with a worm, playing hide-and-go-seek, sitting on the lawn looking up at the trees, learning to play guitar or piano instead of video games, just enjoying the beauty and simplicity that has been forgotten. 

I challenge YOU to look at your life and ask; "Am I addicted to technology?  Does it replace more important things in life?  Do I spend more time on the computer or watching TV than I do with my kids or spouse?  Do I have a better relationship with Facebook, Blogger or Pintrest than I do with my family?"  I think we would all be surprised at how much time we really dedicate to technology. 

Just something to think about...

Monday, August 6, 2012

A Follow Up....

I found this quote and thought it fits the point I was trying to make earlier.  Very well said!

Rick Warren
"Our culture has accepted two huge lies.  The first is that if you disagree with someone's lifestyle, you must fear them or hate them.  The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do.  Both are nonsense.  You don't have to compromise convictions to be compassionate."   -Rick Warren

Tolerance vs. Intolerance

I've wanted to weigh in on this subject for some time now but as I previously stated, I haven't felt like I should post it on Facebook.  Before I get going, I want to emphasize that I believe everybody has the right to believe what they will and practice what they believe.  In fact, I encourage it. 

OWN your beliefs, OWN your actions, and OWN who you choose to be. 

With that said, I would like to talk about the Chick-Fil-A mess this past week. 

Here's The Scoop: Chick-Fil-A, founded in 1946 by S. Truett Cathy, was built and based on strong Christian values from the beginning.  The current president and Chief Operating Officer Dan Cathy (S. Truett's son) gave an interview to the Baptist Press in July of this year.  Click here to see the actual interview.  While being interviewed, he stated that he and his father's company is in support of the family unit as defined in biblical terms and that marriage should be between a man and a woman.  He also commented that sinful actions are inviting the judgement of God on this country.  Some news reports have stated that Chick-Fil-A has donated millions of dollars over the years to organizations fighting for these same beliefs.  I assume that is correct but have not been able to independently verify the circumstances of said donations.

Here's The Problem: After the interview with the Baptist Press, media outlets picked up the story and spread the news as quickly as possible.  Of course, Gay Activist groups picked up the story and have used it to make a point.  Conservative groups have picked up the activity of the Gay Activist groups and have used it to make a point.  I know this is going to come as a shock to some of you but, generally speaking, Conservative Groups and Gay Activist Groups don't see eye-to-eye.  Shocker, I know. 

Things Are Heating Up:  After liberal government officials around the country announced their intent to torpedo Chick-Fil-A, I got very interested on the issue.  Officials in Chicago are trying to deny Chick-Fil-A building permits based on these comments and actions.  Alderman (a fancy word for a council member) Joe Moreno from Chicago's 1st Ward stated the following "Because of this man's ignorance, I will now be denying Chick-fil-A's permit to open a restaurant in the 1st Ward."  Boston mayor Thomas Menino sent a letter to Dan Cathy directly stating he strongly encouraged Chick-Fil-A to reconsider locating in Boston.  Click here to view a copy of the letter that was sent.  And of course, Conservatives had to weigh in as well.  Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor, called for a "Chick-Fil-A-Day", encouraging anybody supporting Chick-Fil-A to eat there on Thursday, August 2nd.  LGBT Support Organizations encouraged people opposing Chick-Fil-A's comments to attend a "Kiss-In" two days later.  They encouraged people opposing the comments made to go to the closest Chick-Fil-A with signs and encouraged same-sex couples to kiss in front of Chick-Fil-A.

My Weigh-In:   It is interesting to me that LGBT Support Organizations preach tolerance when they are so very intolerant of opposing opinions.  Is it my or Dan Cathy's job to judge people for what they do?  Absolutely not!  Thankfully I don't have to fill those shoes, nor do I want to!  Is it to be expected that comments made by a President or other high-ranking official in a business or organization will be under scrutiny?  Absolutely!  It's all PR people, Public Relations.  Does Dan Cathy have the right to say what he said and believe what he believes?  Absolutely!  I don't really care if you agree with what he said, what I care about is if you agree he has the right to say what he said without the fear of retaliation.  Isn't that what freedom of speech is about?  If you agree with him, eat his food.  If you don't, don't eat his food.  So why is it ok for LGBT activist groups to rally and show their support for their cause but Heterosexual groups are all of a sudden "Hate-Groups" if they were to try to march for their cause.  Doesn't each group have the right to their own opinion? 

Another issue: The Kiss-In.  I'm married to the woman of my dreams and love kissing her.  If anybody asked me to go make out in front of a business to make a point, I'd tell them to go pound sand.  It just doesn't seem right that somebody should and would encourage something like that. 

A Houston Chick-Fil-A on "Chick-Fil-A Day".
Here's one more, and I think the last, point I'd like to make.  On Huckabee's "Chick-Fil-A-Day", records were set for highest sales by the company.  Law Enforcement was called out to almost every location to help with the overwhelming support and added traffic, but not one case of property damage or violence.  People got to eat tasty chicken sandwiches and got to support what they felt to be right. 

On the LGBT Support day, buildings got vandalized, workers were harassed, public grounds were trampled and left with mountains of trash after everybody cleared out, and the silver lining, people got to support what they felt to be right.  Oh yeah...and Chick-Fil-A still sold tasty chicken sandwiches all day, offering free food and water to those who were there to oppose them.  So I ask again, how is vandalizing a business NOT hateful?  Click here for a link to a video of a a customer harassing a worker.

It's just interesting to ponder...

I don't want this to turn into a debate on Gay Rights, it's not.  It's about people preaching and demanding tolerance when none is given in return.  I don't get it, I really just don't get it...

Saturday, August 4, 2012

In The Beginning....

Hello and thank you for looking at my blog!  I'm going to be real honest-I am a blog virgin; therefore, the start of this blog is expected to be rough at best.  My purpose in starting a blog is because I have so many thoughts and ideas but I don't feel like I have a good outlet for those thoughts and ideas.  I tried Facebook and I feel guilty every time I post something...I feel like I am forcing my life down someone's throat.  My wonderful wife started an awesome blog several months ago and has really enjoyed it.  To view her blog, click here.  (Her's is much nicer than mine.)  I thought a blog would be a great way for me to rant and rave and, if somebody doesn't like what I have to say, they aren't forced to see it or un-friend me (gasp) on Facebook.  It seems like a happy medium to go with for now. 

DISCLAIMER:  My thoughts often turn to politics and religion.  I respect other people's views and strongly feel they have the right to maintain those views.  I expect the same in return. Some of my best friends have completely opposite views than I do and we get along great.  Some of the most meaningful and soul-searching conversations I've been involved in have been controversial at best.  The key is to realize that people don't need to agree with you on everything to be a friend but they do need to be respectful.  So that brings me to my one and only rule:

Do not be a jerk on here, you will be deleted.

Here's a tip for life in case you haven't figured it out yet: Don't be a jerk anywhere or eventually people will delete you from their life, not just their blog.  Let's face it, nobody wants to be 80 sitting in a nursing home, sucking back juice-boxes alone. 

Amanda and Me
So Here's A Bit About Me:

I am in my late 20's, am married since 2007, and am hoping to adopt a child soon. More to come on the adoption at a later date. I am conservative in my political views. I graduated college with a business degree in 2010. I am currently working in a field that does not use my degree. (Go Figure!) I don't like seafood but can eat shrimp and tuna fish. I can not eat oysters. I would say I try to have a positive attitude most the time but am not perfect by any means. I love being outside: Hiking, Camping, Swimming, Biking, Gardening are all some of my favorite things. I also love to eat! My favorite food is Chinese but if you put a plate of french fries in front of me, I'm going to eat them. I also love cooking and inventing my own recipes. I am a "do it yourself" kind of guy. I wake up early every morning whether I want to or not, and I'm basically useless after 11:00pm assuming I even make it that far. I'm compulsively clean but am learning to relax and let things go...only took me 28 years. I am my worst critic by far but care more about what my wife thinks about me than what I think about myself. Luckily, my wife is the best part of my life and she lets me know on a regular basis that I am hers as well. I am a life-long devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I prefer people to ask me questions about my life or religion than skate around the issue. I love having good conversations on religion and politics. I also prefer people to make educated decisions in every aspect of their life opposed to following blindly and not thinking for themselves.

I'm sure there is much more about me that I could put on here but that's what the rest of the blog is for.  I encourage people to participate in my blog.  I want to learn from you as well.  Thank you for taking the time to look and read a little about me!

Friday, August 3, 2012