Saturday, April 29, 2006

Our backyard friends the llamas

Soon after Adria and I got married, I was talking about our apartment in Keizer and causally mentioned that there are llamas just behind our apartment. Now, when I said this I didn't think that there was anything too odd about this as I had seen geese and a miniature pony in peoples front yards in South Corvallis on more than one occasion.
However, the family members to whom I related this story didn't really believe me. This isn't the first time that this was happened. Once while playing Pit at Aunt Carol's house, I brought up that there is a difference in the words associated with certain animals changes on the language that you are speaking, and that some animals in some languages have larger vocabularies than they do in other languages. For example a dog in an English-speaking country can say "Woof", "Bow Wow", "Ruff", "Grrrrr", "Arf" or "Bark". However a dog in Russia will only say "Gav Gav". My family thought this to be interesting and so they asked me what other sounds Russian animals make. The first animal that I thought of was a pig. The Russian pig makes the sound "Khryu-khryu", which my family found hilirous, however, they also didn't fully believe me. That is until I showed them this site, which catalogs the sounds of the worlds animals and verified my claims.
Anyway, back to llamas. Turns out that a family that goes to church with us owns the llamas that live behind us. Adria was speaking to the owner one day and was told that we could feed the llamas carrots if we wanted to. So today we went back there and we fed the llamas. Here are some pictures from the feeding:

Here is a movie of the feeding of the llamas that I took as well (note: if you are reading this e-mail version of the blog, the movie might not come through, however if you see the on-line version of the blog, the movie will be there):

We had fun feeding the llamas, although it was troublesome at the first to get them to come over to get their food.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Going Postal

As many of you have heard by now, I have accepted a position with the US Postal Service. I was offered a Professional Specialist Trainee, Industrial Engineer position in Anchorage, Alaska. This program is a two year program where I will be exposed to the Postal Service operations, and at the end of the two years, I will be an Industrial Engineer at Anchorage facility.
What does this mean? Here are a couple of things:
  • While I will be a Postal Service employee, I will not wear the Postal Service uniform that normal carriers wear. Also not all postal carriers have the same level of trivia knowledge that Cliff Clavin has
  • I don't think that becoming a Postal Service employee will encourage me to listen to the band Postal Service or the band Death Cab for Cutie (whose lead singer is also the lead singer for Postal Service)
  • While my brother James so far has been the only one to even suggest it, I am not going to go to Alaska and use my Russian skills to spy on the Russians. I am actually going to work for the Postal Service
  • Although the job is in Alaska, people say that Anchorage isn't as cold as you think that it is. Because of this I find it doubtful that we will need to dress like we live on the Planet Hoth during the winter
We are excited about this job oppourtunity. I know that for me personally it removes a lot of the worry from my last 7-ish weeks of college. Also the concern of finding a job has been just about the only worry that I have had during our entire marriage.

On Monday, Adria and I sent some time walking around the Oregon Capital. We had a pleasant time walking around the Capital and seeing some of the statues and monuments that they have nearby, some of which I hadn't seen before.
Here is a carving of Lewis and Clark on a horse. Lewis isn't too visable in this picture, but trust me, he is there.

Here is a picture of one of the first missionaries to come to Oregon. His name was John McLoughlin.

The picture on the left is of a guy riding his horse reading a small book. The inscription that is in the picture on the right (sorry that it is crooked, I was taking the pictures with my cell phone and this is the only way for it to fit) reads:
Commemorating the labors and achievements of the ministers of the gospel who as circuit riders became the friends counselors and evangels to the pioneers on every American frontier

We hope that this finds you well

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Pictures of Brad and Vanessa's Baby

Here are some thumbnails of the baby that Brad sent me. Click on the pictures for a larger view.

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Baby Samantha

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Vanessa and Baby Samantha

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Samantha, Vanessa along with Samantha's Grandmothers

At some point, Brad and Vanessa are going to update their blog, so updates can be found there, or by following this link

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Uncle Garthie and Auntie Adria

This evening I flipped open my phone to see what time it was and I noticed that I had a voicemail waiting for me. The voicemail was from my brother Brad. He said that his wife Vanessa had just given birth to their first child. He also said that both baby and mom were doing well. While I doubt that they will get around to updating their blog soon, you can check out their blog at this link
As for the name of the baby, I am not sure. I just hope that due to the events of the past 48hrs, they don't name their baby Suri

Monday, April 17, 2006

Easter Recap

Adria and I had a pleasant Easter weekend. On Saturday we were planning on attending the church Easter egg hunt, but due to the morning rains the location was shifted to another location. We found the address of the home that the party was going to be
at... but that address wasn't right, and we couldn't find the real address.
After that I embarked on the most difficult Easter Egg hunt that I had ever undertaken before. Adria had spent the past week thinking of places to hide Easter goodies from me in our apartment. Here is a partial list of her hiding places:
  • In a bag of frozen peas in the freezer
  • In a bag of tomatoes in the refrigerator
  • In the box of Bisquick
  • In a pair of socks in my sock drawer
  • Inside the box that holds the wiring for our doorbell (I never would have found that egg if the plastic casing of the doorbell hadn't fallen off)
  • Inside one of my neckties
  • Behind a wall clock
  • In the oven
After about 2 or 3 hours of looking for the 26 hiding spots that Adria had chosen, and having only found about 1/2 of the goodies, we finally started playing "Hot or Cold", and I was finally able to find all of the hidden goodies.

After the Easter Egg hunt, Adria and I helped chaperone a youth dance. I had a good time, although it was nice to be able to have all the snow cones and popcorn that I could eat. Also Adria bought me a new necktie on Saturday. This necktie can be seem in the above picture.

Easter Sunday itself was good. We had a good church meeting, and then Adria and I drove up to Portland to spend the afternoon with her parents and siblings. We had a nice afternoon with the Davises.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone. We hope that you are having a happy holiday

Here are a few of my more memorable Easter memories (in no particular order):
  • On one Easter in grade school I got to stay up late and watch more of the Ten Commandments than I was able to on previous years because I didn't have school the next day. In previous years I knew that about the time that Moses would turn see the burning bush, Mom or Dad would tell me to go to bed. However on this year, I got to stay up until the Passover scene, and then I had to go to bed. Luckily for me I had started to record the movie before then and was able to finish it the next day. This remains to this day the only time that I have seen the ending of that movie (while I have seen Moses protect the daughters of Jethro at the well of Midian many more times). I also remember thinking that the movie ended rather abruptly.
  • One Easter while in Russia as a missionary my companion and I, as well as 2 other missionaries got on the bus to go to church as on any other Sunday, but when we got on, the bus had 3 times as many people as was typical. So many people were on the bus because they were going to visit the cemetery and eat lunch (as per Russian tradition). So while the bus ride itself wasn't as pleasant as usual, the bus rides on that Easter were free which made up for it.
  • I remember the first time that I got a chocolate bunny for Easter and being really excited about it. The excited soon faded once I realized that the bunny was not solid chocolate, but rather was hollow

Adria and I also colored some Easter Eggs for family night. Here are some pictures of the eggs.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

First Post

Garth and Adria

Here is the update on the activities of us for the past month:

I (Garth) have recently embarked on my final term at Oregon State University. My class load should be very manageable as I have only 3 classes: Material Science II, Third-year Russian, and Introduction to Numerical Analysis.

Spring break was spent watching my NCAA tournament bracket get shredded to pieces, preparing for the fantasy baseball season and completing 3 books, "Breaks of the Game" (follows the 79-80 Portland Trailblazers), "How Soccer Explains the World" (tries to show how globalization has effected the beautiful game), and "Fantasyland" (a re-telling of the author's first season in an expert fantasy baseball league).

Adria continues to enjoy here job at the Asian Health & Service center. On Tuesday (April 4) she helped teach members of the Evergreen Club (the club for the more elder visitors of the service center that helps the members stay ever-green) color Easter eggs. Adria also is taking a Citizen Emergency Response Team class on Thursdays at the Fire Station where they get to perform first-aid during mock distasters while the fire fighters act try to mess them up. She enjoys putting out fires. Adria took 3 days off of work while Garth was on spring break which she spent on some spring cleaning and catching up on sleep. We were also excited to not have to spend so much time on the daily commute over spring break as the next story illustrates:
We had some company over on Wednesday of spring break. Adria and invited her friend Rachel (who she met at church) and Rachel's husband Seth over for dinner, and then our friends/apartment managers the Taylors (Trent and Denelle) came over for desert. We had a pleasant evening. Rachel works in Corvallis for HP, Seth works in Portland as a corporate lawyer and Trent also goes to Oregon State. So Denelle is the only person in the room who doesn't a have commute. Thus it was interesting when Seth asked "So what do you like to do when you aren't driving?"

We also enjoyed the General Conference weekend. As we don't have a television we watched the various sessions of the conference at the Stake center (I found out only after the conference that there is a video stream of the conference at and these same streams can be watched on "on demand". The drive to priesthood session also marked the first time that I had driven a car with a manual transmission without Adria in the car to remind me to put the clutch in at red lights. I have found it much easier to practice driving a manual transmission in Keizer than I did in Portland before we got married as Keizer has no major hills to speak of, while the area of Portland that I always practiced in seemed to be nothing but hills.