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‘Far Flung Northern Report’ Category

  1. A Guide for New Parents by New Parents . . . a work in progress Vol. 1

    July 30, 2009 by Nate and Michelle

    As we set out on the adventure of parenting, we realize that there are many things we wish we’d known before. This first installment includes a few tidbits to keep in mind as you care for your new baby.

    1. When your baby is small, and the diaper slightly big, ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS do up the onesie. Forgetting to do this may result in the diaper sliding down, causing a mess on the blanket, and/or Daddy’s lap.

    2. When trying out a “vented” bottle, never try to change out the nipple for a different flow while it is still full of milk. The instructions do not warn against this, but our couch, floor, pathway to the kitchen, and (of course) Daddy’s lap will testify that in the absence of said vent, the milk will make a speedy exit. When combined with the discovery of #1, this can be disastrous.

    3. Squirts of varying natures. Just be grateful that they happen after you apply the diaper rash cream.

    4. It is not unusual to go through 3 diapers in 1 minute. See #3.

    5. You may think you have too many blankets and/or onesies or both. You don’t. Especially when only a few onesies can actually hold up the diaper (see #1). Oh, and you can never have too many burp cloths either. The end.

    Stay tuned for our next installment of A Guide for New Parents by New Parents.

  2. Keep Hope Alive

    June 11, 2009 by Nate and Michelle

    Okay, so I know I haven’t been much of a blogger of late.  Partly because I forgot my login (something you should never change while under the influence of baby brain) and partly because I just forgot (a common thing of late).

    Anyhow, I am writing today to support a great cause.  A cause that has brought much joy and anticipation to my life since hearing about it.  Jimmy Fallon (of late night TV) is attempting to stage a 20th anniversary Saved by the Bell reunion!  If that doesn’t make you giddier than Lawrence Welk or powdered Donettes, I am not sure what will.  So, whether you’re a preppie, jock, or geek you can help bring joy back to television by signing the petition.  And while you’re there, the Zack Morris and A.C. Slater videos are pretty awesome.

    Let’s say it together:  Go bayside!

  3. Idaho, a Gem of a Journey

    March 22, 2009 by Nate and Michelle

    Get on the ground and roll around.  Do the potato dance.

    It’s amazing what boredom will make you do.  Out of desperation we decided to attempt to add excitement and wonder to our rather dull day by driving to the enchanting Gem state.  For those of you who do not know, or can not read the title, that is Idaho.  ID.  Land of potatoes.  Thus the opening song that one of us, who would like to remain anonymous, made up during the fascinating and extremely scenic drive from Logan to Preston.

    But wait, that’s not all.  If you order today we will throw in a real family heirloom, a genuine square of toilet paper (unused) from THE Stokes Market in Preston ID.  We will also slash the price by 1 payment, making this extremely affordable keepsake yours today for only . . .

    Arriving in Preston, we did the only thing logical to do in Preston: search for Napoleon Dynamite sites.  However, since this trip was severely spontaneous and derived from sheer desperation to salvage an already dismal day celebration, we were lacking A) A map/list of sites, B) a camera, and C) our minds (what WERE we thinking anyway?). 

    We did, however, after a frantic call to free directory assistance, find the DI.  In it’s temporary location due to remodeling.  No dance groove videos or sweet suits.  They didn’t even have used tots.  We also went to Kings, where they do NOT carry 24 packs of markers.  Or 12 packs either.  They really mix and match these days with the economic crisis.  Only 10 packs for Prestonians.

    And, yes, we went to the bathroom in the one grocery store we could find.  No, no movie significance that we know of, but, hey, I’m pregnant and picky and it’s the nicest looking building in Preston.  And it was my birthday.  Apparently.

    We also saw a suicidal cow just south of Richmond, UT.  It appeared to be precariously atop a billboard that was smaller than the actual cow.  Reports from the engineer in the family indicated that the structure was not designed to support such a load.  Yeah, we’re talking about you, Betsy.  They weren’t kidding when they said happy cows come from California.

  4. Pearl of Wisdom

    March 13, 2009 by Nate and Michelle

    If you are pregnant and just starting to show, and your co-worker comes up to you patting her gut and says “you’re almost as big as me now,” the incorrect response is “I’m getting there.”

  5. The Pinky and the Brain Cloud

    March 9, 2009 by Nate and Michelle

    A comprehensive look into a disconcerting phenomenon

    by Snow White and the Seven Samurai

    Gee, Brain! What are we going to do tonight?

    Since the inception of “Animaniacs” in 1993, “Pinky and the Brain” (P&B) has become one of America’s most iconic animated comedies. It has been said that these two mice even rival the greatness of Disney’s classic Mickey Mouse. These mice became so popular that after the unfortunate cancellation of the “Animaniacs” series, “Pinky and the Brain” continued to air in their own show from 1995 to 1998. Despite the greatness of the show, one downside has been proven; one’s productivity in other projects is inversely proportional to the attention given to the show.

    To prove their mousey worth

    In the critically acclaimed article “Their Genes Have Been Spliced” (Laboratory Mice; September 14, 1993), Elmyra Duff represents attention given to the show with the variable B. In explanation of this variable, Elmyra suggests that B be given a value from 1 to 100, representing the percentage of one’s attention occupied by the show. Thus,

    B = Percentage of person’s attention focused on P&B  (1≤B≤100)

    But what if the chicken won’t wear the nylons?

    In a follow-up study performed by Dr. Otto Scratchansniff, productivity in one’s current endeavors could be represented by a variable P, with the limits of the variable’s values being 1 and 100, where a value of 1 represents someone only being 1% productive, and 100 represents a person being as productive as possible (“Easy to Explain,” Twilight Campaign; September 9, 1995). Scratchansniff points out that when a test subject was shown an episode of “Pinky and the Brain,” their overall productivity decreased.

    Are you pondering what I’m pondering?

    The author would suggest that the relationship between the variables P and B can be shown by a simple algebraic relationship:


    Therefore, P and B are inversely proportional. Given the limits on the two variables and this equation, a graph showing the relationship between the variables looks like the following:


    It can be observed that even if only 10% of one’s attention is focused on “Pinky and the Brain”, only 10% productivity is achieved.

    Let me put this in terms that even you can understand

    A study was conducted recently by German Professor Otto Von Schnitzelpusskrankengescheitmeyer and his lovely assistant, Dot, involving college age test subjects performing menial tasks while being subjected to the influence of “Pinky and the Brain” versus a more wholesome television show. In this study, test subjects were divided into two groups: Wacko and Yakko. Both groups were assigned to write an honors English term paper on the collective works of Shakespeare and their impact on modern society. Group Wacko were forced to watch “Brady Bunch” episodes, while group Yakko watched “Pinky and the Brain” continuously while writing their term papers. Brain activity of each group is represented in the following pie charts.



    As evidenced by the above pie charts, “Pinky and the Brain” severely influenced the abilities of the test subjects to focus on their tasks. Therefore, we can draw the conclusion that one’s abilities to do anything is affected by the influence of “Pinky and the Brain.” We also learn from this study that Shakespeare’s Romeo was actually wooing Juliet in an effort to take over the world. Ultimately, he fails, as did the student who wrote the paper.

    Egad. You astound me.

    Another observation to be proved in future research is that the integral of the equation P=1/B is P=ln B, which, when evaluated over a given period, shows that overall productivity over a length of time is severely inhibited by “Pinky and the Brain.”

    Come, Pinky, we must prepare for tomorrow night.

    The lyrics to the theme song for “Pinky and the Brain” state that “To prove their mousey worth, they’ll overthrow the earth, they’re dinky, they’re Pinky and the Brain.” Though the episodes of the show indicate that Pinky and Brain use outlandish methods to overthrow the earth, their real plan is to air their show until all humans are completely unproductive. Then, and only then, will they take over the world. Narf!

  6. Thankfulness and Stuff.

    November 26, 2008 by Nate and Michelle

    We are blog slackers.  Sorry.  But I just gave you one more thing to be thankful for.  This post.

    For one day every year the people of our nation are thankful.  What are they thankful for?  I’m sure that varies.  We celebrate being thankful by stressing out our parents and stuffing ourselves full of wonderful food.  Perhaps we are thankful for food.  Or our parents (or whoever prepared said food, i.e. typically mom). 

    When I was growing up, I never gave much thought to Thanksgiving.  But now that I am of a certain age and asked to provide supplemental food offerings for the blessed feast (and hinted at to come over early to help prepare), I am beginning to realize how much work goes into Thanksgiving dinner.  I am not sure how slaving over a meal all day (sometimes starting the day before) is going to make me thankful for anything.  Especially food.  And family.  Without both I would not be slaving over anything, but watching football, the Christmas Story marathon, and eating Twinkies and Doritos.  Or going hungry.  Perhaps we as a people should start fasting on Thanksgiving.  I know that would make me more thankful for food at least.  And probably make me think of those less fortunate than I who go hungry often.  And perhaps I would appreciate normal dinners more.  Just saying.

    Or maybe I need to be thankful every day that is not Thanksgiving. 

    Any way you look at it Happy Thanksgiving.  I am looking forward to spending time with family, although not so much for the kitchen part, and watching massive amounts of television.

  7. The Unsettling Settlers

    October 8, 2008 by Nate and Michelle

    A couple years ago, we were hanging out with some of our friends when we were introduced to a game called “Settlers” (or “Settlers of Catan”).  Needless to say, we got hooked.  After holding out for a while, we reluctantly forked out the $40 for the game.  All was well.  We played it with friends, got them hooked, and life was good.  Then we found out that the game gets more interesting if you get one of the additions, such as “Cities and Knights,” “Seafarers,” or the all-time great “Settlers of Zarahemla.”  For my birthday, I decided to frivolously spend another $40 for “Seafarers”.  It definitely makes the game even more interesting and gives you a lot more room to play.  The problem, though, is that we bought the original game before July of 2007, so it did not come with border pieces.  While we were able to improvise, it looked awful and messy, so we researched and found that for another $8 we could get an “adapter kit” that would give us border pieces and some other useful bits.  Now life is great. 

    Except for the unsettling part about Settlers.

    If you’re like me, you would have been doing the math on how much it all cost.  Figuring tax and everything, it costs about a Benjamin Franklin when all is said and done.  So what is the game made of?  Does it come gold plated?  Is it on a nice velvet table like the ones available with super-deluxe versions of Monopoly?  What is the justification? 

    The justification is simple.  The game is all cardboard and tiny pieces of wood, but it’s made in Germany.  With the U.S. dollar declining in value lately, that’s what it costs to buy stuff from a European country.  Not that I’m saying the game isn’t worth it, we just need to play it a lot to get our money’s worth.  Maybe we could start charging our friends to play it…  I could handle that.  Getting paid to play Settlers would be awesome.  Anyone want to play me for $1?  It’s much better than a double cheeseburger.

  8. Baaaaaaaaad Traffic

    September 4, 2008 by Nate and Michelle

    Shortly after moving here, the community thought it would be nice to welcome us with a little taste of home. Of course, being surrounded by sheep in a traffic jam is not quite the same as being surrounded by other cars. Nevertheless, the effort was greatly appreciated.

    I can’t believe it’s been a year this month! I think I’ll have a Freezie to commemorate.

    A Baaaaaad Traffic Baaaaack-Up.

    A Baaaaaad Traffic Baaaaack-Up.

  9. Movie + Karaoke = . . .

    September 3, 2008 by Nate and Michelle

    I am not at all opposed to Karaoke.  Okay, I only like it in small groups where nobody else is any good, but I have to say that this completely caught my attention.

    Yes, that’s right.  Mamma Mia Sing Along Edition.  I guess the only difference is that the audience is actually SUPPOSED to sing along this time.  Although they did anyway.  On the up side, Pierce Brosnan can’t sound any worse with the extra help!

  10. Finding Your Inner Red Neck . . . at a Price

    July 30, 2008 by Nate and Michelle

    The demolition derby rolled over several cars and right into town last weekend.  We have heard from several reliable sources that it is quite the experience.  Nate had a big city brother staying with us and we were all incredibly excited to go, that is until we saw the ticket price.  $10.  Ten bucks to hang out with your fellow red neckers in quite possibly the most white trash sporting event since Nascar!  That’s like 10 Freezies!  Sadly, my hickish dreams for entertainment died last Saturday night.  Maybe we can figure out how to win tickets to next year’s event.