Thursday, November 7, 2013

So We Went to Europe: Leaving the US

We got on our plane in Phoenix around 6.  Sometime in the afternoon we made it to Charlotte and found some delicious burgers that I had seen on some food show (Bad Daddy's Burger Bar).  And that was the good in Charlotte.  The bad is they needed to repair a seat in the plane.  Which took hours.  And then they closed the airport for about fifteen minutes because of a storm.  After the airport was reopened they spent another thirty minutes working on the seat, and then we started boarding.  I am wondering about this time, what could be so difficult to fix about a seat?!  Apparently, a lot.  When we finally boarded, they had removed the entire back rests of two seats!!

Anyways.  We finally take off hours late and of course land five minutes after our flight to Glasgow had left.  They give us a new itinerary with a flight leaving in four hours, landing in London, and then another eight hour layover before we went to Glasgow.  After about an hour of angry phone calls and talking to different customer service personnel, I did not get upgraded to first class since they blamed the entire delay on the fifteen minutes of inclement weather, and the best I could arrange was to end the flight in London.  Oh and then we got stuck on the runway with another plane malfunction for two hours.  So slightly after midnight Friday night we were finally on our way.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

So We Went to Europe: Leaving Texas

9Fine, fine, I'll write about Europe.  I know it will be a year in a week, I've been busy okay?  I'll try to get this done in a week.

First of all we had to leave Texas.  We decided that to save gas and give me an extra day to work we would tow the Camry with the 4Runner.  I didn't really think it would be that big of a deal.  But there was some vibration coming from the car occasionally.  With a helpful employee of some auto shop we found the source, some swing arm suspension thing of sorts.  They couldn't fix it then so I went to Autozone and bought it for $35.  It didn't look like it would be hard to replace.

It doesn't look hard to slide out, right?
I started working to remove the three bolts about eight at night.  With the assistance of an improvised cheater bar I finished that in an hour and a half.  Next came a pin that I had imagined would simply come out.  It didn't.  After an hour or so, after reading forums online, I gave up and went to Walmart for a propane torch.  Then I came back home for my wallet.  Then I went back to Walmart to buy the torch.  Another hour or so of effort I finally found success.  Fifteen minutes later the new piece was on, and by one o'clock we were on the road.

I might have been a little tired when I took this.  You see the dog sleeping?  And the car following too closely (every time I saw it in the rear view I freaked out a bit).
Look at the little angel sleeping.

Through the night we drove, stopping for Denny's-to-go about four a.m.  The next eight and a half hours passed relatively uneventful.  When we reached Van Horn I told Brea (for the third time that year) that I broke down there once.  Not quite a mile after I uttered that phrase, I noticed the temperature gauge sneaking up.  I pulled off into the first rest stop (a dirt area with a covered picnic table).  We stopped, the thermostat kind of exploded, or at least draining itself of all the liquid it held.  I called AAA, requested a tow.  During the hour or so that it took the truck to arrive, we discussed our options.  If we could get the radiator replaced in the next few hours we could possibly still make our 6 a.m. flight the following morning.  Unfortunately after calling a few shops we realized that wasn't going to happen.  I had resigned to missing the flight.  Then Brea asked if we could tow the 4Runner.  Though I had contemplated it the memory of burning up my last Camry's transmission, even with an aftermarket after cooler, was still pretty vivid.

This is how we started the day.

That being said, I am a risk taker.  And Brea thought we should try.  We unpacked the driver's seat of the Camry and took it off the trailer so I could drive to the auto parts store for a tow hitch that I didn't have with me.  But then I had to disconnect the drive shaft of the rear-wheel drive 4Runner (I had read about it earlier).  And in the process I stripped one of the bolts.  The next few hours involved me under the car with a tiny hack saw trying (unsuccessfully) to cut my way through the bolt.  I am not a mechanic.  I do not have mechanic's hands.  What that means is that including the previous night, the eight or so hours I spent pulling on tools was really starting to hurt my sissy boy hands.  And the back of my head was bruised from the pavement.  And I cut my head open under the car.  And my wife and dog were dying of heat.  Luckily a nice lady stopped and gave us a little water and a few other snacks she had grabbed from her hotel before she left.  We were slightly less miserable but still no closer to getting home.

Finally, luckily, Brea had enough.  Though I had prayed, she had us pray together for a help, really for a miracle.  I just needed a sawzall, was that to much to ask for?!  For another little bit nothing happened.  But then a semi pulled up!!  I asked Brea to ask if he had one.  And....he didn't.  After talking for a bit we found out he only stopped because he only saw Brea standing by the car and thought that the poor girl needed some help.  He checked his truck for tools and came back with a pipe wrench.  I took  it skeptically and....IT WORKED!!!  I wanted to cry.  Instead we just got in the car and left (accidentally leaving a handful of things on the side of the road).

This is how we ended the day.

We scraped the hitch a lot, drove twenty under the speed limit, but we made it!!!  The seven hour trip ended up taking about ten, but we arrived at Brea's parents' house around two in the morning.  Christin met us there, we dropped off our dog and cars, went to her house, showered, got a bite to eat, and then left for the airport.  Europe here we come!!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I Got a Job

In December of 2006 I signed my first contract to work doing alarm installations.  Though it definitely had it cons along with its pros, it was pretty awesome as far as jobs go.  For five and a half years it was the only job I had.

Then I went out and got married.  When things like that happen, moving across the country at a moments notice to make some quick money get less fun.  Mid-October my alarm career finally came to an end.

Now here I am working for a gigantic company, GoDaddy.  Though not necessarily in employees (there's a little over three thousand of us), we made over a billion dollars last year.  We sell more domains than the eight next best sellers combined.

I know it's not a dream job.  But for right now it pays the bills, which is swell.  And they have awesome Christmas parties that they rent out Chase Field for, and give away over a million dollars at.  And they have a lot of other cool contests and giveaways (that I don't win).  Right now I can deal with that.

Chase field, revamped.
Unfortunately I will always look pasty next to this girl.
Some good ol' arcade games.

This is the pitcher's mound where we ate dinner.
Some of my training friends and the giant digital graffiti wall.

She whipped me at Blackjack.

We might have been the only ones that could muster excitement for the B-52's.

 Complete with Psy impersonator.

The million dollar give away.  This went on for 15 minutes, twice, and got much faster.

Ow Ow!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Christmas in the South

Though this was my second year being married, it was the first since my mission that I wasn't with my family, and honestly, it was a bit weird.

The in-laws were great, they really are. But I'm a little biased towards Carbiener Christmases. So we did the best we could to make sure it felt as Christmasy as possible.  We did a little decorating inside.  We wrapped the palm trees with lights again (much to the chagrin of Jeffrey who had to deal with a rather brightly lit room). We made our yearly trip to Starbucks for some spiced apple cider and to the best tree lot ever (the only one I will ever go to as long as I'm in Arizona).  We watched Christmas movies and of course read the Polar Express.

Tree Shopping
They said we could bring Shelby, I told you it was the best tree lot.
I think I helped with the lights, but Brea did most, if not all of the decorating of it.  And a wonderful job she did.
Though one of my bosses tried to guilt me into taking a six a.m. shift I managed to keep the day off.  And it really was pretty good.  We opened up some presents ourselves, we Skyped with Idaho Falls for a bit, and we made our way over to the in-laws to check in.

Though I'm glad we'll be back up in the snow this coming year, sometimes it's good to try new things.  At least that's what my dad always told me.

This is what I wanted my gingerbread house to look like.  It didn't.
Christmas lights at the temple.
Starbucks' cups at the temple are funny.
She's really a very tolerable dog.
Wax got Shelby a rawhide Christmas card.  And then tried to steal it.

"Please just let me open one of them early!"
I wish we had any extra money, cause this was awesome.  Sometimes Walgreens surprises you.
Presents around our tree.
Maybe a bit more than she could handle.
The smaller box of toys.  She loves that squeaky penguin.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Breakfast With Tate

Six months ago we were hurting for some money so I called an alarm company I used to work for, and a few days later we headed to California.  I think we were only there for a week, but it was a good trip, and Shelby loved that we let her sleep on the other bed.  Though she still seemed a little put off that we wouldn't let her cuddle in ours.

The fun thing about the trip was that we completely forgot Candice and Adam were there too, and only like forty-five minutes away.  We decided to go see them one night after I got off, and we showed up a little after the kids had gone to bed.  Brea and I slept on a mattress in the living room.  That is until we heard, "Mr. Jones, how did you get here?!?!" from a tiny little voice.  At five in the morning.  Despite our repeated attempts to get Tate to go back to bed, and our insistence that Shelby was definitely not Mr. Jones, we spent the next fifteen minutes hearing about Mr. Jones' new spots on his belly, and about how much he likes carrots.  We were very grateful when Adam showed up to haul him off.

However, he is a dang funny kid.  With some kinda crazy imagination in that little head of his.  I decided to video him eating breakfast, just so you could have a little taste of it.  And now I have no idea where it is, so I suppose these will have to do.

Found them but blogger wouldn't let them upload.  So YouTube it is.  They're a bit long and slow but probably still worth watching.