I have mixed feelings about The Meridian School. My parents sent us there because they were dissatisfied with public school. They worked hard to keep us there, working without pay in exchange for tuition they couldn’t afford.
I attended from 7th to 12th grade and graduated class of 2006 with few more than a dozen others. There are advantages and disadvantages to small class size. Those who were there with me know what I’m talking about. Surreal.
The grounds were almost unbearably old but the experience was rich. At least when I was there we had many extremely good teachers (and the occasional oddball). Our calculus teacher, Lynn Garner, became Chair of the Department of Mathematics at BYU. Our choir was once substitute-taught by Rosalind Hall, the conductor of the world-famous BYU Men’s Chorus. And Mr Bennett, despite the “Meridian Gaze” speech and his Freudian tendencies, is still thought of as one of the best teachers we ever had. That’s just a short list off the top of my head; there were many others.
Many of the friendships forged in those halls are still strong.
The old Saint Francis of Assisi building is being torn down in June 2008. There will be an open house Saturday, May 24 10:00am – 3:00pm. I will definitely be there.
Cameron came over and helped me put together some shelves for the shed and the garage.
Our projects are notoriously frought with poor planning and peril. Ask us about the trampoline pit. We came out of this one with only one very minor injury. We thought briefly about building wooden shelves but this was way less work and not really all that much money. Plus I can move them any time I want. These are the same kind as we put in the crawspace.
Good times and chocolate were had by all.
Some time ago I started to write an entry about kites. It was about the fun my family and I were able to have with a pair of kites we bought for a dollar. The cheapness of the kite adds a little to the challenge of keeping it up in the air. Economics nuts will agree that I get to realize a lot of consumer surplus. They really are fun once you figure them out. You even have some control over how it flies though you only have one string.
I highly recommend getting one at your local dollar store or supermarket. But that’s not what this post is about anymore.
Yesterday Marc Christensen took some of his co-workers to fly kites during lunch. He owns a variety of stunt and power kites. The smaller stunt kite is a lot of fun. It’s amazing how much control you have with just two strings. Marc also has some much larger kites including one that requires a harness and a variety of safety features.
Rusty had a reasonably easy time of it so I thought I’d have a go. Honestly I didn’t really think about it much. If I had I would have declined.
With your back to the wind there is a cone-shaped area in front of you toward the center of which the pull of the kite gets stronger. The idea is that you keep the kite to the sides of that cone or above it.
This is what happens when you cross through the middle of that cone. I brought the kite over from left to right safely and then started to turn it back to the left. Apparently I brought it too low and lost control. I was launched about 20 feet forward and was very lucky that the kite crashed into the ground. I have several nice bruises and some sore muscles. It was fun, yes, but not a good value proposition for me. I’ll be sticking with smaller kites (or a good deal less wind) from now on.
Sometimes when we hang out with Cam he’ll buy us some junk food. Last night I saw this and my curiosity had to be satisfied. The darkest chocolate I’d had before was 60% and that was a truffle with a lighter chocolate inside. Not counting the huge chocolate bar I found in the baking cupboard as a kid, of course.
The packaging is elegant and the texture smooth but the taste? The package describes the taste thusly, “This full-bodied chocolate[...] is for true aficionados.” In other words only crazy people buy this stuff, the kind of people who convince themselves that if something costs more it must be better. If 40% is good, then 80% should be fabulous! You know who you are.
I’m not saying it was completely disgusting. There’s a shy hint of sweetness, and it really is smooth, but I won’t be going above 60% again.
Update: Apparently they also have a 99%.
We baked a cake for dinner with the Browns last week. It was a cake Rebecca and I had sampled at my Mom’s house and I needed to have again.
While it’s obvious my dusting technique is wanting, that didn’t affect the taste. Given the opportunity the Browns and Jorgensens would have devoured at least half a cake more.
Cake mixes are awesome. They’ve got all kinds of neat stuff in them to make it hard to fail. They can also be boring. People will even try to fix a boring cake by putting frosting on it. Yuck! By contrast cakes from scratch require some education and some care to get right. Luckily you can have your cake and eat it to. Cake mixes can be used as the basis for tastier, more interesting baked goods.
The cake in question here is Almond Cream Cheese Pound Cake from The Cake Mix Doctor by Anne Byrn.
We were once given a bag of some unknown mix and directions for cookies. Months later we finally gave it a try and were delighted at the results. We hungered for more only to discover weeks later what you have already surmised.
Regarding dusting: If someone knows of a store in Utah County where I can get some Baker’s Joy please let me know, or just bring me some. Pam makes a similar spray but I am told that lecithin can leave a sticky residue on my Bundt® pan.
Today I am 30 years old. I remember when Rebecca turned 30 last year I was pretty excited to be married to an older woman. We get to be the same age for two months out of the year.
Rebecca went crazy with office decorations with the help of Wade, my co-worker and friend, and Devon, a security guard. It was pretty embarrassing.
Traditionally in my parent’s family we’d have a dinner on Sunday to celebrate a birthday but that tradition is giving way to a Saturday brunch that can stretch on into the night. I look forward to these events. Unfortunately I’m allergic to Amanda’s dog. I can usually go several hours at Jorgensen Manor before it gets to me.
In our own family we have a tradition of inviting my friends over for cake on the evening of my birthday. This year I had essentially called it off because I was too allergic to want to go pick up a cake (we had a coupon for Costco’s huge chocolate cake that expired Saturday) but apparently Rebecca had other plans. Wade showed up and said he was just in the area and thought he’d stop by. I believed him because I trust my friends. Then the Browns showed up, then Jim, then the Jobes’. I was delighted!
Cameron didn’t show up because he doesn’t check his messages. He even says so but really he could be more clear. We’ll make it up to him.
Thank you all for your thoughts, wishes, and presence.
My good friend and favorite retailer Cameron Hughes has finally started a blog. Unfortunately for him his first post is about a gory mishap with a knife, probably his worst yet. If you like knives head over to his store. Tell them Andrew sent you and they might pretend they don’t know me! If you don’t like knife wounds please don’t look at his blog today but check back later instead.