Viewing the ‘Life in General’ Category

Dear Intermountain Healthcare


Dear Intermountain Healthcare,

Over the last two years we’ve become frequent fliers at your hospitals. Our daughter has an undiagnosed Leukodystrophy and, as such, reacts abnormally to or has a difficult time fighting off the variety of ailments that beset her. She is tube fed, immobile, and unable to speak. A week ago we were on a family vacation in Idaho and she became very sick. She began vomiting frequently and couldn’t retain the smallest amounts of liquid. Her skin felt hot and she appeared extremely lethargic. We took her to the IHC emergency room in Burley, ID to get her the help she needed.

Three times while in the emergency room we recounted the events that had occurred leading up to our arrival and the history of our daughter’s Leukodystrophy. Eventually tests were ran which showed low glucose levels and an extraordinarily high heart rate–both symptoms of dehydration. She was given fluids and glucose to a point where she seemed to be responding well enough for us to cut our vacation short and make our way back home. They directed that if there were any problems in the meantime to be sure to take her to the nearest emergency room. Continue reading »

Buying A House In A “Bad” Housing Market


I read, watch, and listen to a lot of financial material and one question that comes up over and over again goes something like this:

Hi, we currently own a home and are looking to purchase a larger one for our growing family. Should we buy now or wait until the bad housing market is over?

When it comes to buying and selling homes, “bad” is a relative word. If you’re trying to sell your home and you’re underwater in your mortgage (owe more than the home is worth) then, yeah, it’s a bad market. But mortgage financing aside–if we’re strictly talking house prices–it’s very possible you have a good housing market and a great time to buy! Continue reading »

Put Your Money Where Your PMI Is


For most first-time homeowners, private mortgage insurance (PMI) is a necessary evil. It really doesn’t do a thing for you except allow you to own a home without putting down 20% of the cost up-front. The insurance is actually for the lender in case you bail on them.

Being the frugal fella you are, you have spare cash each month and you need to decide what to do with it. You probably have several options: pay down the mortgage, pay down student loans, invest in a retirement account, pay off credit card debt (credit card debt? but you’re a frugal fella, right?), or put it under a mattress. Whether you’re earning interest or paying interest, these can still be compared to find the most qualified suitor for your cash. Let’s take a look at some numbers, however accurate they may be, for each of these sinkholes:

  • Pay down the mortgage: 5% (mortgage interest rate)
  • Pay down student loans: 4% (student loan interest rate)
  • Invest in a retirement account: 9% (rate of return)
  • Pay off credit card debt: 12% (credit card interest rate)
  • Put it under a mattress: 0% (rate of return)

Now, if you subscribe to the idea that you should put your extra cash in the one with the highest rate, this would lead you to believe you should pay down the credit card. Most people would stop there. Continue reading »

Washer and Dryer Pedestals


This week I took on another man project. Our washer broke after a whole 1 1/2 years of use. Considering we were planning on getting a replacement, I figured it would be a good time to make pedestals for the washer and dryer.

A pedestal elevates a washer or dryer so you don’t have to bend down as far. Yes, we’re that lazy. And tall. And the wifers has a bad back. And apparently the rest of America is in the same boat because you can purchase them at your nearest appliance store for a mere $200 or more per pedestal. No thanks. Instead, I bought a bunch of wood, screws, and paint from Home Depot and made our own. Homemade they cost around $30 per pedestal. Continue reading »

Processes and Responsibility


If there’s one thing I’ve learned to both love and hate in life it’s the concept of processes and responsibility. I’ve learned they can be either invaluable or detrimental depending on when and how they’re used. A few experiences come to mind:

Exhibit A

As a boy scout I remember being taught principles of emergency preparedness. One of the principles stated that, when in an emergency, never say “Someone call 9-1-1!” Instead, point to a specific person and say, “You–call 9-1-1!”

The principle was simple and the difference small, but the effect of assigning specific responsibility could be a matter of life and death. Continue reading »

Greener Pastures


You may have already figured out that Flex development is my primary skill these days. I would say I develop, talk, dream, or think about Flex a large majority of each living day. Today, I’ve decided to branch out into other skills.

Effective immediately, I’m extending an invitation to all Quiznos franchisees to contact me for employment as a Quiznos Cup Dancer. But here are my demands:

  • I must wear the Quiznos cup (illustrated here).
  • I must pay you, Quiznos, the hourly wage you would normally pay a Quiznos Cup Dancer.
  • I must wear it for a single hour, after which I may and will terminate my employment.
  • I must commit my full efforts to provide the best Quiznos Cup Dance you have ever personally witnessed.

Contact me. I’m waiting. Little Caesars franchisees need not apply.

A Thrilling Experience


Today was a momentous occasion.  After eating at Panda Express for lunch, my fortune cookie foretold that a thrilling experience was in my near future.  And oh was it so true!  On the drive back to work my ’95 Subaru hit 100,000 miles.  Twas such a thrilling experience that we pulled over to celebrate and capture the moment forever:


I Don’t Have Time


Whether it’s at work, church, or home, I’ve seen far too many times where the phrase “I don’t have time” has led to misunderstandings and/or arguments. Why? Because it means something different to each person.

Let me illustrate. Picture in your mind a man in his mid-thirties sitting on a couch watching the boob tube while licking his fingers clean of Cheeto residue. What if he said he didn’t have time? Would you agree? Seriously, go ahead and answer. Continue reading »

First-time Home Buying Tips


Buying a home can be stressful.  Buying your first home can be even more so.  You may not know where you start.  You may not understand all the lingo.  You may not be able to differentiate between marketing ploys and practical procedures.  You may not know what you’re looking for in a house or where you’d like to start your search.  You may not know how much you can afford.  As a recent first-time home buyer myself, I ran into a lot of the same issues.  Having learned a great deal through my experience, I’ll offer what I can to other first-time home buyers: Continue reading »

Make Me Some Freaking Fetching Pants!


I’m six feet five inches tall. According to this chart of height percentiles according to age, that means I should be in about the 120 percentile range for my age. Apparently every major mercantile distributor thinks so as well. Continue reading »