New 2.1kW Solar System

Our solar install was completed today!  I’ll let the photos explain the rest.

New Roof!

After meeting with many contractors, we found one who was willing to do a complete tear-off + build without taking shortcuts. (Not that our roof was that complex or difficult to begin with!).  Here are a few before/after photos of the work they did. We’re very happy with the job. Doubly happy that two broken trusses were repaired, and that our gutters were fitted with new flashing to keep water moving into the gutter itself.  The shingles are CertainTeed Landmark in Weathered Wood, and the drip edge color is Terra Bronze.

Oh, and of all the excitement, Joel is the lucky recipient of an updated Tdap shot (for tetanus).  He stepped on three old nails through the week…  the first two didn’t break skin but third time was apparently the unlucky charm.

Deer on Campus

A group of deer can commonly be seen on campus throughout the year.  Over the last few days they have been staying near a few particular trees off of South Campus Drive. I had brought my new Sony α77 body and 16-50/2.8 lens with me today so I decided to hold up a bit of traffic and give the camera a spin. Looks like I didn’t do too bad for my first field day out with it.

Baileys for Seasonal Times…

… or for any time, really.

We love Baileys, especially in our coffee.  This morning we were experimenting with grind coarseness and amount for use in our new Ekobrew cups; the experimenting led to our Baileys running out.  Later in the afternoon, we were at the liquor store and a bunch of top shelf specials caught my attention — all of them were seasonal boxes of bottles with free glasses.  The Baileys special came with two glasses.  We went around the store looking for what other glasses we liked, but didn’t buy anything since no other box had glasses as cool.  Attached is a photo I took so you can see =)

Thanksgiving, and likely some overspending.

Having a moment to breathe, finally, I’ve decided that it’s time to make a post. I had planned to post a recap and photos from our first anniversary in Moab, but I suppose I’ll put that off (some more) since I’ve already failed to in a timely manner.

With Christmas with in Taiwan this year, Ashley and I made Thanksgiving in Boise a priority. We started driving straight from the office on Wednesday, and reached our destination after a few stops for food and … Pre-Black Friday shopping.

Yes, we shopped this year. As much as I tell myself that we don’t need anything each year, I inevitably end up as one of the many holiday sheep. Amazon had started their sales earlier in the week, and I had noted the complete IT Crowd series going on sale when we’d be on the road. A nicely timed rest stop and well-bookmarked iphone took care of that purchase.

Thursday was filled with much welcomed time with family and food. After eating a proper single serving size, consisting of four plates of food, Ashley and I headed out to Walmart and Target on Eagle Rd for Blu-ray Movies. Walmart was first with a 8pm opening time. Since big ticket items are never of interest, we pulled into an empty neighboring store lot right at 8pm, parked, and walked right into the store. Ashley and I split up and made a grab of maybe 30-40 BRDs before meeting up to figure out what we actually wanted to take home. By 8:35, we were checked out and headed back to the car. Even with the crazed crowds, Walmart was a pleasant experience. Shoppers were courteous, and Walmart had done an excellent job of being prepared. Never before have I moved through a checkout line at Walmart in less time!

Next on the list was Target’s 9pm opening. Ashley and I pulled into an impossibly difficult parking lot at 9pm even. I dropped Ashley off so she could go grab movies while I parked. When I got to the front of the store somewhere around 9:10, Ashley was still outside at the door (not in line), and the line to get in was still wrapped around to the back of the building. The geniuses at Target had decided to funnel the line into a single door — not even a double door mind you. We thought that the line would already be gone by now, but floods of people kept arriving and extending a line that Target should have terminated long ago.

Anyhow, here is the highlight story of our evening:
At the entrance to Target, a woman in her 40-50s along with a friend was busy arguing with one of the guards. Said woman kept trying to convince the guard to let her through so that she could sit down out of the cold. Why? Well, she kept saying that “I’m paralyzed.” This was quite hard to believe, and the guard was obviously not fooled; the woman was standing on her own two feet and moving around. At one point she even turned to the crowd behind and with both hands waiving in the air exclaimed “Please don’t trample me, I’m paralyzed.” No less than five minutes later, she worked her way over to a weak spot in the shopping cart barrier and tried to cut the line by jumping the carts. She fell over the carts onto the cement, at which point her friend started to frantically yell at the guard – “She’s down, she’s down, go help her now.”

Sick of this, Ashley and I ended up in the back of the line. (Seriously… why did Target let the line continue to get longer after 9:20?). We finally got in, found out that none of the BRDs were actually worth buying, and left the store in disgust close to 9:50. What a waste…

Friday after a late breakfast, we made a quick to to Best Buy for some more BRDs. Best Buy was dead due to the midnight opening. The movies we wanted were still there, so we left after the quick score. Costco was next and last on the list. We went so I could get one of my favorite things that Costco passes out for free each year – the annual Costco Cook Book. <3

Everything else I picked throughout the day on Amazon’s Lightning Deal page, while we watched movies at home. Over the weekend, we managed to watch quite a bit of the Avengers series with Bruce. We figured that he and Sherry would like them – they did. We managed to get through all of Captain America, half of Thor (before we broke for “Christmas”) and The Avengers later on.

Since we wouldn’t be around for Christmas, we did it early this year. Grandma came, we made all of our gift exchanges, and many smiles were shared. The dog was so worked up over her presents that she even managed to unwrap a few of her squeakers on her own. I was particularly excited about getting the Lego Midi-Scale Imperial Star Destroyer that I had wish-listed. I was assigned Bruce, so he got The Rocketeer BRD that he wanted. Also, since we men all like A Christmas Story, I got him the BRD of that. A Christmas Story served double duty to annoy Sherry a bit 😉

In all, Ashley and I had a fun weekend. Lots of family, lots of food, and spending time with each other.

No pictures to post this time around, but I’ll leave an incomplete list of the shopping scores we made:

  • Withings Wifi Scale
  • Legos Tie Fighter
  • Shun Paring Knife
  • Xbox 360 with Kinect Holiday Bundle
  • Dance Central 3
  • Queen 40 Limited Edition Collector’s Box Set
  • Rampage boots for Ashley
  • Asics running shoes for me
  • A nice music stand
  • Ekobrew cups for our Keurig machine
  • Quite a bit of flash drives (been needing to build a collection of bootable OS installers)
  • IT Crowd series
  • LOTS of BRDs (mostly $4 discs, a small handful of $8 new relesaes: Brave, LOTR trilogy, Harry Potter discs, 007s, Dark Knights, Avengers series, TMNT trilogy, Die Hard box set, and lots more still)

Our new site!

Exciting day everyone!  This is Joel…  I originally wanted this site’s URL,, last summer in 2011 when Ashley and I got engaged.  It wasn’t available to us then, but as a recent turn of events would allow — now it does!

What perfect timing than right after our 1st anniversary weekend!

Stay tuned as we keep all of you, our friends and family, up to date with our happenings and antics 😉