Monday, July 21, 2008

The Chronicles of Donut: Origins

This little bugger, though not little any more, is one of our infamous pets. We named her Donut. Why, I don't really know. At the time I just wanted any name but Miss, which is all Callie was calling her. I justified it by saying, "look she has a ring around her neck like a collar," but the true source of the name comes from a character off a series called Red vs Blue. In Red vs Blue, Donut is the comic relief brought on by a male soldier in pink armor. I never would have thought our Donut, would live up to that name the way she has.

Now you are probably thinking, "Boring, who wants to read about your cat. What are you, one of those crazy cat people?" No, I'm not a crazy cat person. In fact I could care less for cats and if you ask Callie I was opposed for weeks about getting one for our family. It's the fact that Donut is so uncat like that makes her so interesting.

I remember the day Callie wanted a kitten. She was feeling down about her circumstances, recent car accident, Mom way out in Germany, poor busy husband working three jobs and going to school full time ;), and countless other things that add up in the daily grind. Callie needed something to love her unconditionally while I was gone during the day. She already had dog love from Monty, but she needed a different kind as well. And so the pleas began.

"Bryce I want a kitten."

"Why, we already have a dog? Our apartment is small, I won't be able to take good care of another pet."

"They're easy. I'll clean the litter box," she says with a manipulative smile.

"I don't know. I really don't want one."

That wasn't good enough to hold her off. Every couple of hours in class I'd get a text, "I want a kitten". Again, I'd try to postpone, "I don't." For weeks this continued, I wasn't getting anywhere. I finally gave in to the next step, visiting a craigslist option.

Our first option was in a ghetto part of Mesa, you know, somewhere off Stapley and Broadway. Some passionate family had found an abandoned kitten and Callie had to see it. I reluctantly went hoping I could postpone further through compromise. In the first five seconds of seeing kitten numero uno, I knew it was no good. The whole time we were there she wouldn't quit meowing. We could barely talk in the room she was so loud. I didn't say anything about whether we wanted her while in the room with the mother and child trying to get rid of her, I would too if I were them.

Stepping outside I told Callie if we are getting a kitten we are going to look at more than just the first one we see and besides this one already had problems, without any of my special help. She was pretty mad but didn't go home that night with kitten number one.

As more time was passing I could tell I was losing points with my wife and quick. I decided to give up my own desires and just let her have what she wanted. The next day she was busy at work on craigslist looking for our next option. As I came home that day I was welcomed with our very own kitten. She was typical playful, cuddly, soft kitten, but most of all she wasn't whining. I was okay with having our second pet in just over 6 months of marriage, after the fact, and Callie was much happier with me. A win win situation.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Bringing Home the Bacon

One of the things I am always curious about when catching up with my friends is finding out what they are doing for work. Being in school and finishing in May makes me even more curious since I soon will be joining the full time workforce myself. So here is a little about what I do for work. You can see what Callie does at

Dell Campus Representative

This is now my main part time job. I am in charge of promoting Dell at Arizona State University. It is very exciting, I get to attend the orientations throughout the summer and display Dell laptops in all their glory, whether its playing fun music, featuring the newest in movies, or demoing an awesome game. When orientations are not going on we set up events, table, and find creative ways to build Dell on ASU's campus. The benefits are great, I get the nicest and newest in Dell's lineup of laptops to use personally as well as for work.

Microsoft REACH Evangelist

This is the other job I have the pleasure of doing. I work with a marketing agency called The Eleven Agency out in Orange County. They have big name clients such as Microsoft, Kellogs, T-Mobile, Nestle, just to name a few. Currently, I have been working as a Microsoft REACH Evangelist which is a fancy, and really really cool way of saying Microsoft Trainer. I train stores like Fry's Electronics, Compusa, and PC Club on Micosoft's impressive array of software. Working for the Eleven Agency is great since it gives a variety of different projects and opportunities with big name companies. Work never gets old which I also like.

I was very fortunate to get this job. I saw an ad on facebook, of all places, saying Microsoft was looking in our area for work on a new project. I applied on the link, took some tests, and got a few calls for interviews. They were interested and just happened to have my group interview on a holiday. At the time I was working at Bank of America and going to school full time so it would have otherwise been very close to impossible for me to make very many face to face interviews. It was amazing to me how things lined up so perfectly. For the interview, I was told to prepare a demonstration of technology and to make a quick website using Microsoft's Spaces. The group was very intimidating, I was the youngest one there. There were webdesigners, financial advisers and other highly paid professionals applying for the same job I was there for. I thought to myself, "I wonder if they are just entertaining me by letting me show up for the interview." Everyone had very nice introductions and pages, I was a recently married return missionary so I had a nice story to tell to introduce myself. The technology demonstration was the best part of the interview. I went in the middle of the group, as I watched the others demonstrate things like usb sticks, websites, and a crank radio, I became confident in what I was going to show. When my time came up I took out my laptop, set it on the table in front of everyone, and showed them why they should upgrade to Windows Vista. I showed them the various features, but spent alot of time on Media Center where they could watch shows they recorded, organize and play their music libraries, and make easy slide shows. Thankfully, it was good enough to get the CEO Graeme Bradley's attention and provide me with the job I currently have.

Graeme is the one dressed as Sponge Bob. The other picture is me by his car (1 of 2 Shaguars).

Sunday, July 6, 2008

4th of July

For the 4th of July weekend Callie and I went up with my brother and friends to Prescott to do some camping. For dinner we had hotdogs cooked over a fire. My first one was great, the second one became flawed when a large flying insect melted to my beefy frank mid fire.

What made the campout so enjoyable, besides having my wife there, was hearing Todd express his fears when it came to camping. "Do you think there are Mountain Lions out here? How many bugs do you think we will eat from sleeping outside? Where's the north star? Is that the north star?"

Fourth of July morning Kevin, Chuck, Todd and Trent went out bouldering, while Callie and I stayed at camp (Callie doesn't hike as we all know). As Callie and I headed into town on our way home, Prescott's streets were brimming with action from 4th of July festivities. Seeing all the action, I asked Callie if she wanted to stop and check things out. She was hesitant until she saw a booth selling fry bread.

Prescott had a county arts, food, and entertainment festival going on in their downtown. It was awesome trying lots of free samples, checking out all the dogs that were there and doing this all outside when back home we would have died. Callie looked for things to buy while I focused on the amusing sights and video recording.

We finished the afternoon by heading to the "World's Oldest Rodeo" where they had even more things to do, buy and eat. The rodeo was great, we bought cheap tickets and were originally sitting behind some 6 foot 8, 350 pound cowboy wannabe, but Callie and I just waited till things got started and then moved to the front where we had much better views. While watching the show we ate great, stuffing our faces with corndogs, kettle corn and fry bread. Check out the above video to see some of the fun for yourselves.