Sunday, September 21, 2008

Coin Me

In the Air Force, we have Challenge Coins, aka RMOs (Round Metallic Objects.) If someone throws down his coin, that means he's coining everyone around him. If in public, it's only the people in his group who are present. Everyone has to pull out their coins to prove they have one. If someone doesn't have one, they have to buy drinks for the whole group. If Everyone has one, then the person who threw down the challenge buys drinks for everyone. I try to always have one. For complete rules, see
These are my Air Force coins. They are in order of when I got them from left to right, then top to bottom.
1. Univerity of Utah ROTC. I was a cadet and so I bought a coin.
2. Edwards AFB. The UofU ROTC went there and we got a bunch of tours and stuff. It was way fun.
3. Iceland. My friend Wally at HomeDepot was a Navy SEAL back in the day. He was stationed in Iceland at an Air Force base doing communications. This was a poker chip he brought home from there. This is the coin that has the most sentimental value for me because recieving a coin unasked for and unexpected is a real honor. When someone does something really outstanding in the Service, sometimes they'll get coined by the person in charge, or the visiting General etc. I didn't initially like Wally as much as I should have, but we talked a lot and I grew to really respect him a lot. He's a hard worker, always has a good attitude, always friendly, despite being in pain often. When he gave me the coin I didn't know that it was meaningful, but as I've served in the Air Force, I learned and now I sometimes get almost choked up when I think of it.
4. Airman Coin. This is the coin that we recieve at the end of Basic Training to prove that we graduated. It cannot be bought. If someone were to give you his Airman Coin, it would be a flabbergasting honor. It just isn't done.
5. 323 TRS. This was my training squadron at Boot Camp.
6. Honor Flight Coin. Only 5% of Airmen earn one of these. It's another that can't be bought.
7.81st TRW. This coin is from Keesler AFB 81st Training Wing. I was there for my tech school. I may have to go back there for more tech school in a few years for upgrade training.
8.944th FW. Luke AFB 944th Fighter Wing. This is my Reserves Wing at Luke.
9. McGuire AFB. This is where I went for annual tour this year. So far, I've bought a coin for every Air Force base I've been to and every unit I've been a part of.
10. 944th Comm. Flight. This is my unit in the Reserves. This coin was designed by Sergeant Bryan. He's no longer with us. He moved to Robbins in Georgia. It doubles as a bottle opener.
11. AF Spouse. This one isn't my coin, it's the one I gave to Tamara as a wedding present. From top to bottom it says:
Presented to
For unselfish, faithful,
and devoted partnership.
Your support, caring, and
understanding make possible
our contribution to a

I had explained to her previous to our marriage what it means to recieve a coin, so when I gave this to her, I was pleased that it was meaningful to her.

My Happy Birthday.

Tamara is really good for birthdays. First, she suggested I go to the gym after school on my birthday, which was really great. Then when I got home, there were helium balloons in the house and lunch waiting for me on the table. It was really good.

Grammy Marian came over for cake and ice cream after that. We had a really good visit. She gave me some really nice cuff links. I wore them to the stake Cultural Arts Night last night and to church today. We're glad she's home now.

In the evening, Tamara and I went to a Murder Mystery Dinner Theater. It was a lot of fun. One of the stagehand/waitresses was really mouthy with us. I think it was just her role, but she was probably type-cast. There were three couples at our table (except one of the couples was a Daddy/Daughter date, so they barely can really be called a couple.) The other couples were there for birthdays too. Everyone got nametag/character cards to wear. I was Hugh Mungus. Tamara was Mae B. Laytr.

Tamara's mom sent a really nice card. It was shaped about like a cd case and it had a hula dancer and a eukalalee player on the front. There's a turning handle in the corner that makes the dancer dance and the player play and fun music plays. Then when you stop turning the handle, the music STOPS! It's not one of those annoying cards that just keeps playing. Tamara and I were so pleased with it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Birds of Many Feathers

I've heard that birds of a feather flock together. If you click on this picture and look closely, you'll be able to see pigeons, morning doves and quail all together. About 3 seconds before I took the picture, they were all mixed together, but then they moved around and mostly pigeons were left for the picture.

Rumba Night

You may not be able to tell from the picture, but Tamara and I went dancing on Friday night, and that's where we were when we took the picture. It was a lot of fun. For a total of $10 per couple, we got a beginners' lesson and an intermediate lesson, and then we stayed for the open dance afterward. Admission also included some pretty good brownies and water. It was an inexpensive date, but a really good one and close to home.
Also, I have a fresh haircut in the picture. Tamara cut my hair for me and I helped with the details. :)

I See the Moon

The moon was full a couple nights ago and I was surprised to still see it in the sky this morning. It looked bigger in real life. It happens to be next to a tall antenna, probably used for HF communication.

Food Again!

I just can't help it. I make beautiful meals that have to be shared with the world!
Tamara made tacos last night, so I had taco salad for lunch. That comprises the two containers on the left. I mixed them together in my Bento canister's lid because the individual containers just weren't quite big enough. I also had carrots, green beans, tropical fruit, and pear sauce.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Turner Tree

On my way to school I queued up at a traffic signal behind this truck. I hadn't heard of this company before, but in the top right corner of the photo, you may see the photocop flasher that gratuitously gives out speeding tickets to innocent motorists following the flow of traffic on their way to school. This one didn't nab me, but the one on the other side of the street as you approach the freeway did.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

ASU nappers

{It has been brought to my attention that my blog is somewhat food centric. :-) I sometimes eat here, but that's not what this post is about.}

This is the basement of the Memorial Union at ASU. There are semi-comfortable seats with matching ottomans in the quasi-darkness with a light steady background of voices and lunch noises. This makes a reasonable place for studying the backs of your eyelids in between subjects. I've experienced the aforementioned activity myself and not been too disappointed. It beats the car in the heat of summer, but the car is a very comfortable place to relax most of the year here.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Tamara was out of town for the weekend and I was busy cleaning house. I was not in the mood to cook. I had just finished cleaning the kitchen and I didn't want to make a mess, but I was starving. Solution: Leftovers. We didn't have any leftovers that I felt like eating, so I took out everything from the fridge that needed to be eaten today or thrown out, as seen in picture 1. Inspiration: Casserole. 

Actually I forgot to start taking pictures until I had already put the noodles into the pan to form the base of my casserole. Next I put in vegatable mush consisting of potato, carrot, broccoli and gravy. Next was the parmesian alfredo sauce mixed with drained chopped stewed tomatoes. So the can of tomatoes was not leftovers, but it was integral to meal, so I
 went with it. On top I broke up the crouton slices and slices of butter and then I kinda mixed up the top layers a bit and put it in the oven. A couple minutes later, I realized thin
gs might be slightly bland, so I pulled it back out and sprinkled some Mrs. Dash and garlic salt. Resume baking. 2 minutes more and the kitchen was filled with the best overpowering smell. I couldn't wait, but I did take a picture (2). At 30 minutes I put the Italian cheese on top and baked
 it a few more minutes.

This was all just semi-interesting leftovers, but it was one of the best casseroles I've ever had. I could hear my arteries clogging with every bite, but the kitchen stayed clean and I cleaned out the fridge and I was happy.

I lined the pan with tinfoil and it stayed clean too, so that's alright. Do you see?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My First Married Dinner

I mean it's the first dinner that I've made for the two of us on my own since we were married. I help with the cooking and cook for myself and do dishes all the time. So this week, when Tamara asked me to cook dinner for Wednesday and Thursday, I had no problem with it, but I was surprised and didn't know what I was going to do.
Comes Wednesday evening and my wife is hungry. So I go look in the fridge to see what I can put together for a meal. Tamara is good at shopping, so I wasn't worried at all that I could put together a meal without too much forethought.

We had pasta with cheesey red sauce, veggie wraps, an apple, and pear sauce. I removed the apple peel in checkered pattern just to make the whole meal look better. It worked pretty well. Imagine what this meal would have looked like with half an unpeeled apple sitting on the plate.

Tonight we're going to have poached eggs and toast with milk. I think I'll make fried potatoes to go with it.