Thursday, February 5, 2009

Like Father, Like Son (Kind of )....

Hello there. I thought it was about time to make my quarterly shot at blogging, although this post will be short and bitter-sweet as I have a shocking announcement to make: Because I enjoy writing so much I am forced to withdraw from the blogging world!

Now you're probably thinking that the prior sentence doesn't make sense since I haven't invested enough into the blogging world to withdraw from it and the love of writing should actually compel me to more actively participate in the blogosphere, not cower from it(the word "blogosphere" is actually one of the big reasons I'm leaving. What a stupid word). Well, those are two very good points, I'll take them into consideration.

Actually, the reason I have not posted anything lately is because I have been busying writing something else. Being both the Son of Doug and the Dad of Bug, I have been inspired to write a book for my posterity (also the prospect of fame and fortune). So yes, I am writing a book. Actually it will end up being a 3-4 book series in the end with any luck.

Although the full explanation of why I have taken on this rather ambitious endeavor will have to wait for another blog post, I will share with you a little of what prodded me to attempt authorship. I love watching stupid movies. To sit around with Regan, Eric, Scott, and Boldt and watch a dumb movie is a near divine experience. In fact if I can't watch "Yeti" or "Battlefield Earth" with my buddies in Heaven, I'm going to have to have a serious conversation with Peter, James, and John (it is well known that they oversee all celestial entertainment).

At any rate, although I am thankful for the existence of stupid movies, I, like many of you, often think "who writes this stuff?!" Some guy actually wrote this piece of garbage script and somehow convinced some producer to invest millions to bring it to life! For examples: Batman and Robin, Indiana Jones 4, Battlefield Earth, etc. After watching said movies and you and your friends say "man, I could write a better script!" I'm positive that some of you are right. We could write a better script, but we, as the mildly worthwhile members of society, are too busy with our families or jobs to sit down and write a better version of Indiana Jones (unfortunately George Lucas was not). So instead of perusing Facebook or in the evenings and mindless listing to music during my daily commute, I have committed myself to formulating a fictional universe and writing its story (and I love the whole process). Even if you think I am incapable, I still need your feigned support to keep me on the stick, because at times I really think I'm on to something.

Just think of some of the authors that have recently risen to fame: Stephenie Meyer, J.K Rowling, etc. Although I am not a woman (I have fathered two children as rather solid evidence of the fact), I share something with these women: I am writing because I love to do it and not because it's my last resort for a paycheck. These authors began their stories simply because they wanted to and they loved it.

So, here goes nothing. Mike Thayer, the engineer author. Hopefully I don't suck it up.

Monday, October 6, 2008

4th of July Reflections in October

Howdy y'all! I apologize again for yet another long leave of absence from the blog world. Much has happened in the months from my last post, so in an attempt to bring you all up to speed on some of the more interesting ones I will start way back in July.

For Mike Thayer the month of July used to be the very pinnacle of enjoyment, containing (Christmas aside) the two most important days of year . These were my birthday (30th) and the 4th of July. For as long as I remember I was in love with fireworks. I would count down the hours to when Days started selling fireworks. When I turned sixteen I don't know if I was more excited to date, drive, or buy fireworks by myself. My passion for the 4th grew more intense with each passing year until the 4th of July antics of Mike Thayer became somewhat of a neighborhood tradition in and of themselves. I started by making parachute guns and melting Ninja Turtle figures that I had doubles of and soon graduated to blowing watermelons to smitherines with sparkler bombs and playing Battle Hymn of the Republic on my electric guitar at 5:30 am on the back of a trailer towed behind Major Bramwell's Jeep. I'm told that some six years later it is still brought up in every July fast and testimony meeting.

Unfortunately, with my mission, internships, and now my job I have been home for only one of the past 5 Independence Days. Without the Cul-de-sac of Fire to fuel my passion, my desire to be a one man patriotic extravaganza has somewhat dwindled. In an attempt to make some sort of connection to the patriot I once was we went up to Dallas to visit my sister Katie and her family to celebrate the 4th. Although I didn't light a single firework, my 4th of July was no less memorable or eventful. Allow me to explain.

The majority of the holiday was spent just relaxing and watching movies with Katie and Jono. To spice things up a bit we decided to go to the parade and then stop by the car show. Having satisfied my manly need to see a bunch of sweet cars we decided to go back to Katie and Jono's. It was also like a million degrees with a billion and half percent humidity, so that may have also coaxed us back to our air conditioned refuge.

In the evening we decided to go out to eat at a Mexican restaurant. Nothing like a little Mexican to celebrate America's independence, eh? At any rate, in order to be seated in a timely manner we elected to sit outside on two side-by-side tables. This gave us plenty of room to spread out our Mexican feast. Abby was sitting in between me and Jill. When the server came out with our food, instead of placing it in front of me or in front of Jill he thought the best thing would be to place the burning hot plate not only in front of Abby but ON TOP OF HER HAND! Before I start my tirade on how absolutely brain dead this loser is lets try and understand what happened from his point of view. I wouldn't want to pass any undeserved blame.

"OK, let's see here. Table 5, table 5..., bingo, there it is. OK I have their food here fresh from that Anasazi-inspired adobe kiln over there. All I have left to do is place the correct dishes in front of the correct people. Simple enough. Ok, let's see...oh, let me make sure I have my oven mitt on here. Now where can I put this bubbling enchilada, oh yes! Let me reach ACROSS the table, ACROSS this man here and place it squarely in front of this 15 month baby who happens to have her hand on the table. There we are."

After taking a step back to gather myself and assess the situation from all points of view I have arrived at the conclusion that the server is a complete jackass. Needless to say my Dad-Rage took over as I quickly removed the plate off my screaming daughter's hand. When the manager asked if everything was ok, I said that it absolutely wasn't and that his bonehead lose-fest of a server burned my daughter's hand. In the end it was a minor burn and Jill convinced me not to call back and ream the poor schmuk.

Goodnight, this is a long post. Anyway, to understand this next bit I have to explain an oddity of mine. I sometimes like to do weird things to Jill that have no function other than making Jill think "I don't understand why you do that?!" A prime example of this is that I often pop the trunk of the car at inconvenient times. Sometimes, we'll get Abby all strapped in to the car and get buckled up ready to leave, and then I'll pop the trunk and sit there until Jill notices. Then I have to unbuckle my seatbelt and get out and close it. Or sometimes I'll be walking in the house with a bunch of groceries and right before we get inside I'll pop the trunk. Don't ask me why I think it's funny, especially when it inconveniences ME and not Jill, but I just think Jill's confused reaction is funny.

Well, as we returned to Katie's I decided to pull the old trunk stunt. Right before we got inside I hit the button. I looked back and our trunk was still closed. "Darn, too far away, oh well." We went inside, watched a movie, and went to bed. During the night, however, I was suddenly awaken by random flashes of light shining through our guest bedroom window. Headlights perhaps? The light moved away from the window and went around the side of the house seemingly peering into each room. Then suddenly, "BANG, BANG, BANG!!" Someone started pounding viscously on the front door. I slowly peaked my head around the corner, not willing to give away my position to the would-be not-so-stealthy intruders. As I caught a glimpse of the culprits from around the corner I realized they were cops! I had to wait for Jono to open the front door since I didn't know his door code. What the heck are the cops doing here?

"Did you park your car out front? We think it may have been robbed."
"Yes, there doesn't seem to be any signs of forced entry, but the trunk is open. You might want to go out and check."

So, much to my wife's amusement (even to this day), I walked outside in my garments in front of the cops to check my car, being the only one that knew for a fact that no one had robbed my car.

"So does everything check out?"
"Yep, seems like everything's there. Weird, huh officer?"
"Do you have a remote key-less entry? You can sometimes accidently push the trunk button."
"Oh yea? Huh... yea, I guess that was it."

So as Jill and I were back lying down in bed trying to allow the adrenaline to run its course, I confessed to Jill what had actually happened. In disbelief, she immediately got on my case saying "that's what I get." I then explained to her that things could not have worked out more brilliantly for me. The very purpose of the "trunk game" is to make it as inconvenient as possible to go back and shut the trunk. Game, set, match my Love. Game, set, match.

Lastly, what were those cops thinking anyway? "Oh, seems like we have an open trunk here. Well, we better go shine our Maglites in every window and then savagely pound on the front door. Then maybe once we get inside we can put a burning hot plate on an infant's hand!"


Sunday, May 18, 2008

My Graduation Beard

Well, here I am some 10 months later. It seems as though I'm only a seasonal blogger. Strictly no posts outside the months of May to August. I actually was working up a draft just the other day (January) but got sidetracked, so now it doesn't really apply and has little to no use. If you're reading this, odds are you already read my wife's blog (of which I am sometimes a ghostwriter) but I'll give you a quick update on my life. Plus the more I write, the less guilt I feel about never writing in my journal since the day I left the mission field.

My darling daughter Abigail is now just about 13 months. She has only just barely started to get teeth, still does not have that much hair, has shown little desire to walk (although she climbs and crawls all over Christendom), and is as cute as ever. Abby has changed from a sweet little baby to a happy, spirited, and adventurous little girl of which I am quite proud.

I have officially accepted a job in Texas with ExxonMobil and will be starting in late June (by the way, if you consider Exxon your "enemy", the cause of your high gas prices, or the reason why lowly polar bears are floating around on broken ice chunks I want you to know that you are a moron). Nothing gets me going (just ask Jill) more than a good conversation about the world's current and future "energy crisis" and global warming alarmism. So if anyone wishes to debate these matters I am more than willing.

A few other things about my current state of being: I'm loyally frustrated at my Utah Jazz, happy that summer's here, totally disappointed with Indiana Jones, trying to soak in every moment with family and friends before we go down to Houston, and growing out my graduation beard,.

A thought on my graduation beard. I've been growing this beard here ever since graduation, which makes him about a month old now. Some people like my beard. Some people do not like my beard. Some people think I look like Jake Gyllenhaal. But all of this has absolutely nothing to do with why I have grown my graduation beard and how long I intend to keep my graduation beard. Sometimes you just have to "grow a graduation beard." I subjected myself to four long years of intense, grueling Chemical Engineering studies at BYU as well as a very demanding and rigorous two year mission, all the while unable to let my inner beard free. Sometimes you just gotta do what ya gotta do because you're entitled to it.

Now don't insult me by construing the growth of one's graduation beard to mean something that it does not. I'm not talking about a mid-life crisis, sowing your wild oats, doing drugs because you finally moved out of the house, or getting married to your "friend" because its finally legal in California. No, I'm not talking about that. That's got nothing to do with the privilege of the graduation beard.

First, there is nothing inherently morally wrong with a graduation beard. Not unless you think that rugged lumberjack-esque good looks are a sin, because if they are, well then convene the disciplinary council! Second, the graduation beard is free. I'm not demanding a boat or a brand new car just because I did what I was supposed to do all these years; I'm just stickin' it to man by growing a sweet beard. Third, my graduation beard is awesome and sometimes startles me when I forget about it and see my reflection. Fourth, my graduation beard makes me look wicked intimidating, which comes in handy when saving a lot of seats at the movie theater or when I mispronounce someone's name because it's like "Although I disagree with him, who wants to mess with that guy sporting that intimidating beard?!"

So for everyone out there that feels entitled to grow their own "graduation beard", as long as it meets the same criteria as mine, I say "grow right ahead!"

Thursday, August 30, 2007

I Miss Abby and Jilly

The wife and the Bug have been gone for the last couple of days and I've really been missing them so I made this. If you can watch this and not instantly love Abby you have no soul and no heart. Enjoy!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Youthful Senility

I realize that it's been a while since I last posted anything, but I do have a somewhat legitimate excuse: I haven't been near a computer. Now obviously that's not entirely true, but it's mostly true. After packing up and saying goodbye to my beloved Bay City, TX we took 5 days to drive back to Provo. We decided to make a vacation out of it and stop by my sister's in Dallas, my Mission President's in Farmington, NM and various Utah national and state parks. All in all it was a great little trip. Almost as soon as we got back to Provo we headed 800 miles north to Spirit Lake, Idaho for my wife's family reunion. So as you can see my life has been in a transitory state as of late and has allowed little time for adequate blog entry reflection. Now that I have had some time to settle down and reflect upon any significant revelation of the last month I have arrived at the rather disturbing conclusion: I may be losing my mind. Let me explain.

For some reason ever since I got back from my mission 2 years ago a portion of my brain has slowly started to decay, leaving me with somewhat of an absent mind. A classic example of the kind of predicaments my absent mindedness puts me in occurred some months ago as I was exiting the grocery store. To make a long story short I unfortunately locked my groceries in the trunk along with my keys. Fortunately, I have a strange habit of unlocking my car door about a million times as I approach it. This allowed me to then climb into the back seat of the car to see if my back seats would fold down allowing me access to the trunk. Being out of luck with the seat I decided to call my next door neighbor and have him run me over my spare set of keys. As I sat in the back seat of my car I decided to use my honed engineering mind to brainstorm of a failsafe that could be implemented in cars that could be used in situations similar to mine. After about a minute I arrived at the conclusion that there should be some sort of button that.... oh yea. I called my friend back and told him that I had miraculously gained access to my trunk.
Now I know that you must be thinking that all of us have brain farts from time to time and that I'm overreacting when I say that my brain is decaying. But what if you were to have 4 similar "car keys" experiences in 5 days? Would you start to worry then? I'll let you be the judge.

Thurs Aug 23rd: Ever since I was about 6 or 7, bathing myself has been an activity that I could easily handle alone. Apply soap to body, shampoo to hair, rinse with water, you're done. Not much too it. Due mostly to the wife, however, I now have a much wider selection of soaps and cleansers at my disposal. This has not been too much of a problem, however, as I have taken these new options in stride. On Thursday morning it all went terribly wrong. After having used the special face soap and applying a healthy dose of shampoo into my right hand the soap bar unexpectedly slipped off its place and went sliding to my feet. After some difficulty I succeeded in securing it yet again in its proper spot. Somehow in the time that elapsed while chasing after the soap bar I had forgotten that I had already washed my face and didn't remember until I had attempted to do it again with a palm full of shampoo. At first I thought, "Good night this is a lot of face wash", but soon realized my error.

Sat Aug 25th: Every year at the Myers' Family Reunion we never fail to make a stop by a fancy hotel/restaurant on the shore of Coeur D'Alene lake to enjoy some killer desserts. As I dropped my wife and daughter off at the front my wife asked if I could remember to bring the diaper bag, I of course told my wife that it would be no problem. After driving up 4 levels in the parking garage I finally found a spot. When I finally met back up with my wife down at the restaurant she asked if I had brought the bag. I immediately turned around.

Sun Aug 26th: Since I was leaving back to Utah a few days before my wife, she tried her best to make my packing as easy as possible. She put all of my toiletries in a separate bag and reminded me to not forget the bag. After about 4 hours of being on the road with my brother-in-law, my still existent clammy morning breath alerted me to the fact that that morning I had forgotten to stop by the bathroom altogether. That toiletry bag never had a prayer.

Mon Aug 27th: With no wife and child for a few days I decided to get some good guy time in with my brother and rent a video game. The Blockbuster near my brother's house didn't have the game we wanted so we decided to travel the extra couple miles to the next Blockbuster. We got the game we wanted, but upon arriving back at my brother's we found out the game didn't work. Steve had to take care of his kid and asked me if I would be so kind as to go exchange the game. As I got to the out-of-the-way Blockbuster I informed the worker that the game we rented didn't work and that I would like to exchange it. She took the video game case and opened it to check the disc for any visible damage.... Do I really even have to tell you the rest? I forgot the dad gum game at my brother's.

Now I know this was an incredibly long post, but then again I did an incredible amount of dumb things in the past week. So now do you agree that I'm losing my mind? Whether you do or you don't you can still enjoy this slideshow of Abby.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

A Man's Man.

So this past week Jill said that she noticed our brakes were grinding just a tad. This was not the greatest of all news. Although I've probably had less than my fair share of car problems (I think Steve somehow got my share) and this didn't seem to be a major malfunction, I still felt a tad miffed about my responsibility of getting this fixed. This might have had something to do with the fact that I feel about as comfortable walking into an autoparts store to pick up some brake pads as I do walking into the grocery store to pick up some maxi pads. I, like many other males whose responsibility it is to maintain the family automobile, am a car-idiot. Like any other car-idiot, I solicited the help of someone less stupid than me.

Upon asking my boss, Chris, if he knew a reliable place in town to get my brake pads fixed, he informed me that it was a simple procedure and that he would take a look at it on Saturday. So I went to Autozone, waited in line next to a 300 pound, goateed feller with a fish hook in his hat (now here's a guy who could buy the super plus tampax and look you straight in the eyes!), got my brake pads, and went to Chris's well-equiped garage. I think that was only time in my life when I actually hoped that there was something wrong with my brake pads. The last thing I wanted was for my boss to inform me that I was a complete idiot and that I should go return my brake pads (I figured if I went back to Autozone my odds of meeting ol' Fish Hook Hat were pretty good). But lucky for me, my brake pads were worn down and needed to be replaced. So after Chris and his 11 year old daughter finished replacing my brake pads I went home and thought of some way that I could repay them. After some thought I decided to continue my day of masculine activities and make Chris some of my famous brownies.

As I looked over the recipe I thought back on an experience I'd had several weeks prior. We were having dinner over at another couple's house and we were in charge of dessert. Naturally I wanted to make my famous brownies, but I didn't have the recipe. I called my parents and my dad (Doug) promptly gave me the recipe. I starting gathering the necessary ingredients for the dough, just as I had done dozens of times before, when I noticed that it called for 2 cups of butter. While cramming 4 cubes of butter into a bowl I vocally expressed some doubt as to whether this was the correct amount of butter. I tried calling my dad again to double check the recipe, but he didn't answer. I then proceeded to call all the females in my family (the only others who rival my brownie prowess) to double check. None of them had the recipe on hand or seemed too sure as to the correct amount of butter, just that every time they make the brownies they always think "man, that's a lot of butter." So after talking it over some more I mustered up enough confidence to proceed. I will now attach the email I sent out the following day.

"Hey, I just thought I warn you that even though the Thayer's famous favorite brownie recipe calls for a lot of butter, the quantity of butter should not make your brownie dough runny. At first the decreased viscosity of the dough will probably be blamed on the low elevation or the different brand of flour, all very interesting arguments. However, in the end, if you don't catch yourself in time and you decide to bake your brownie mix that contains not 1, or 2, or 3, but 4 STICKS of butter and bring those brownies over to your neighbor's house and have their 2 year old eat them, I suggest the following course of action. #1, don't panic, the brownies should come out aesthetically fine. #2, never reveal the true amount of butter, although after the brownie greases its way down your friend's throat the question may arise. And #3, promptly rename your dessert, Baked Chocolate Butter.
Thank you"

I made sure when making the brownies for Chris that I used two cubes and not two cups of butter.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Gigantaornithophobia (Fear of big birds)

Howdy! I figure after about a week or so since my last post I owe it to my adoring fan(s) (I love you Stuv) to add another one. This last weekend the wife, the bug, and myself took a little trip to the city so great that it almost redeems Texas. That city is of course San Antonio. In my opinion, it's the most beautiful mountainless city in the US. It is important that I include "mountainless" as a qualifier because I have been recently told that Cheyenne, Wyoming is absolutely gorgeous. We took a tour along the beautiful Riverwalk. It had almost a European feel to it. We also went to the Guinness Book of World Records Museum, which ironically enough is in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the most overpriced museum on earth. We also went to the Alamo. It's some famous brick barn. I think Johnny Appleseed died there or something. For our sleeping accomdations we chose the luxorious America's Best Value Inn a few miles outside of downtown. We tried checking into a hotel closer to downtown, but they said they were all booked. One kind hotel guy pointed us to a "less expensive place that keeps its rooms clean." Jill didn't want to stay there though. She has this weird phobia of staying in one-story motels with barbed wire chain link fences and barred windows. It was either that or her fear of sleeping across the street from a graveyard (all 100% true!). Whatever the reason we decided to go a tad further outside of town.

Speaking of phobias, on the following day we decided to go the Wildlife Reserve to take a safari Texas style. It was actually a lot of fun. I also found out something about myself. I have Gigantaornithophobia, or fear of man-sized birds. This is well documented in the attached video (Perhaps you could check the severity of my psychological condition Steve). I think this all goes back to the Big Bird movie I used to watch as a kid. There was this evil bird, whose name escapes me but I will refer to as Roger, that was after Big Bird and it scared the crap out of me! I honestly have a vivid picture of Roger’s face in my mind. There's this scene where Big Bird hides in this haystack to avoid being caught and probably tortured by Roger. Now that I think about it, this may have something to do with my fear of haystacks as well. I mean, if friggin Big Bird can hide in a haystack there's no telling what's lurking in there! At any rate, a great weekend of discovery all around.