Almost Christmas

Ok, so I am finally posting my first blog. Hopefully I can figure it out in a timely manner. First is our picture from Thanksgiving that Phil never managed to post. It was quite the meal.

Currently, we are getting ready to go to Utah to spend the Christmas holiday there. We plan on going skiing on Christmas day which should be fun. We will be teaching our 4 year old nephew Ammon how to ski for the first time. Hopefully, it is not a painful experience. We'll see if Phil can still beat me racing down the slopes (my three times down to his one).

To help get us in the Christmas spirit this year, we took a trip up to our version of "temple square". It wasn't quite as impressive as the one in Salt Lake, but it was still neat. They had lots of lights lit outside, and lots of activities in the visitor center. We got to see a The Alexandria Singers put on a show, as well as a room full of nativities from all around the world. To top it off we saw the movie Nora's Christmas (we were hoping for Mr. Kreuger's Christmas, but that will have to be next year). We hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!


I've had a few requests for updates on Thanksgiving and such. So here we are, 3 weeks away from Christmas and doing nothing but putting up ornaments on the tree and pictures on the blog. We played a fair amount of golf while H and Tina were in town. H and I went to the local 9-Hole course and he played quite a bit better than I did. He lost more balls though. For upcoming vacations, we are planning on Christmas in Utah, then perhaps New Years' in New York. The pictures are on the other computer. I will upload those later.


Jen and I went to Monticello this weekend, which is where Mr. Jefferson used to live. He spent a lot of time in Philadelphia and Washington I imagine, which would probably be at least 2-3 weeks journey in horse and buggy from where Monticello is. So I'm not sure how much time he spent there during his busy seasons.


Jen and I had a halloween party the other night as a murder mystery dinner. It was quite the event. I was the prince of Dimness (the Prince of Darkness's little brother) and Jen was the wicked witch of the land of depressed. I think she had the best costume. We also carved some pumpkins for the occasion.

Work has been a lot better lately, I've been working more normal hours. It's been quite nice to take the metro in to work every day and not have to worry about traffic or getting stuck behind an accident or what not. I also download the news onto my Ipod and watch that every morning.


This is the monument to our old President Abraham Lincoln erected at the supposed spot where he gave the infamous Gettysburg Address so many years ago. We went and saw the field and area where that battle took place, and had a personal tour from one of the rangers. It was amazing how so many things fell into place to make things happen the way they did. If one of the groups of troops had been even 10 minutes late, everything probably would have been different.

While here, Ric and I went to the driving range and he gave me a few pointers on how to swing, so now I think I would have a better time competing with Dad and H on the course. We'll have to set a rematch at some point, now that I have my clubs.

I have been in Chicago since we took this picture, which was 6 days ago. This will be the longest time Jen and I have been apart since we met in Provo a couple of years ago. Thanks to a video camera we have at our house I can see and talk to her, but she cannot see me. If I were traveling more often, I'd want to get one of those webcams, but I think this will be an isolated incident. I'm now on a different project than before, and report to the Department of Defense, so the hours aren't quite as extreme. I'm doing more preparatory work for an Audit than an actual audit, which helps as well. So, we'll see how things go in the near future.

A friend of mine is getting married. For more information, please click


Most of you have probably noticed that there haven't been any Phil's Pills lately. This is partly due to so many complaints that Jen doesn't blog, and partly due to how hectic work has been lately. It seems like I keep working harder, but more work keeps getting backed up. First, my senior decided that it was time for her to stop flying up every week from Atlanta, so we spent all week trying to get everything from her before she used all the frequent flyer points she'd built up to fly to France for two weeks. Then we had to complete all the workpapers and documentation for her, which is what we're still doing. The deadline is Wednesday, so hopefully by the weekend everything will be back to normal.


We purchased a new couch recently. Apparently it's a loveseat, but I just don't feel manly saying loveseat. We went and watched my super exgirlfriend the other night looking for some laughs, but were sorely disappointed in the selection of jokes. I think that will end my philosophy of "well, as long as it's free"(we had used the tickets we'd gotten from American Eagle for trying on pants, see previous post) as for going to movies. I adopted this policy back in Provo where we had the beloved dollar theater, and if you ever needed to soak up two hours of a date, that's where you could be found. I guess those days are in the past.
I noticed that I wait all year for summer to come, and then when it does I just complain about the heat. Apparently, I'm tough to please. Although, it seems like winter in my office with the way they have the thermostat.


I'm sad to say that I tried to get Jen to do some posting, because after my last post, it seemed like everybody was tired of me, and wanted to hear some news from Jen. It didn't happen, so it looks like it will be me again this week.
It was a pretty light week at work, so I got a lot of miscellaneous items taken care of, like setting up an eye doctor appointment. I've had the same eye glasses for about 8 years, and the rims are starting to deteriorate, and lenses are hard to see through they're so scratched up.
This week we found ourselves at the mall, and saw American Eagle had a deal where you could try on a pair of pants and they'd give you a free movie ticket. I'm not sure who it is in charge of that marketing department, but it doesn't seem like a very good idea for the company. Jen and I both tried on a pair of pants, and decided they weren't our style, and promptly collected our tickets and left. We were already planning on using the tickets we bought with the gift card we got for test driving a hyundai sonata, which again, was not our style. It seems like some companies work hard to give stuff away.
The other weekend we went up to the Washington Memorial to watch the fourth of July fireworks. We got there around 5, and had to escape to the Smithsonian for cover from the thunderstorm, but after that it was a pleasant evening. For future reference however, we probably could've shown up around 9 and been fine to find a spot. That's one of Jen's pictures.


Well, at the start of July, I thought I'd make it so that another month shows up on the side of the blog under Previous Posts. I feel like new man now that our insurance with Deloitte has kicked in.

I went and got VA plates for my car, and it took more time getting there than it did to actually get them. There were policemen blocking the road for some reason, and I spent a good part of my trip to the DMV in some random neighborhood. I got Patriot plates, being Independence Day weekend, I thought it would be appropriate.

We went to see Superman Returns last night, I was pleased. His boots and uniform were certainly a step up from the silly tights Christopher Reeve wore. Smallville doesn't really show him in tights or anything. My friend explained that, "No tights, no flights." I guess that's why he doesn't fly too much on that show.

Zoom. Zoom. Zoom. Part II

Due to popular demand, the Phil's Pills Editing Committee Chair decided to put up a picture of his wife's car. It does have license plates now, but other than that, it is almost exactly as you see it there. That is not our porch, though, ours is to the left. I have a pot of basil that I'm growing, and Jen has a box of flowers.
It's been raining quite a bit here.
We finally finished off a lasagna Jen had made the other day. It was quite delicious. We also went to Ruby Tuesday's last night for dinner, because I'd seen a commercial for it and it looked to be quite a hearty meal. I was a little disappointed. Any other recommendations for restaurants are welcome. Especially those in the area, Christianne, I know you're reading this. Posted by Picasa

Nats - Yanks

Jen and I went to the Nationals game the other day. It was pretty hot, but we enjoyed the game and a nice hot dog. There's nothing quite like eating a ball park hot dog and watching a baseball game. In case you were wondering, it wasn't me that took that picture. Our seats were way up at the top.

In other news, my little brother Mark just got back from his mission to Venezuela. Turned out he didn't really spend all the time in Venezuela, there was some time in Aruba looking for Natalie Holloway, and some time in Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic, one of the two.

My job has started picking up. I got through all the silly training, (how to expense things, yada yada yada) and am actually doing what they hired me to do now. To clear it up, I'm a Data Quality & Integrity Consultant for the Audit/Enterprise Risk Solutions division of Deloitte & Touche. Currently I'm working on the Fannie Mae project. That should clear it up.

For all who don't know, we also bought a car a couple of weeks ago. I was waiting for people to ask me to tell them, but after a while decided that was silly, because that really doesn't come up in normal conversation. So, I told a few people, and some people I didn't tell. I don't remember who's who. That's all for now.


I just finished my first week of full time work. It was mainly just training business, so I still don't have a good feel for how my job will be. At 5 oclock after work, though, I can still get home in 15-20 minutes, that's pretty good. If I do go to clients' offices, all the travel will be reimbursed. Jen and I went to see X-men, even though H already tipped me off to what was going to happen. Still a good watch. This week at work, we had IMPACT day which is the day where everyone at Deloitte goes and does service. We painted some fence at a high school that used to be Grover High School, that they played in Remember the Titans. So if you go watch that movie, you can see the fence we painted. Before that on Wednesday we had an AERS picnic, and a softball game between our office and the Baltimore office. We lost, but I had an RBI single.

Zoom. Zoom. Zoom.

Jen and I took a trip up to the office this morning to guage traffic a little bit. Even though I'm a couple of exits on I-495 down from Tyson's Corner, it takes a good 15 mins to get there. My friend just moved in a little ways away, and we estimate that it'll be about an hour in the mornings for her. Speaking of long waits, we finally got our VA driver's licenses yesterday. After three trips and waiting a cumulative of about 2 hours, they finally let us go.
I guess it was little Mark's birthday the other day. I remember on my birthdays on the mission, we'd go out and knock on doors all day with no lunch or dinner break just so we could find somebody and baptize them, and then I could say I found them on my birthday. It didn't happen, but it would've made for a nice story. All that usually happened was my companion buying me a pizza. It's probably the thought that counts though.
We're now in June, which marks the first time I've paid over $1,000 in rent for one month. They don't even let me pay on my credit card, or I could get 1% cash back.
Christianne seems to get a lot of replies after putting pictures of children up on her blog, so here's a child on mine.
By the way, there was a comment from a "bloggerbyu" saying that this was the most boring blog ever. It may be boring, but I don't think it is THE most boring. No need to exaggerate to make points. Just because I don't make references to 90's TV Shows or spoil plots for good movies that are out there doesn't mean that there aren't good comments, either.


We had our first BBQ the other day. We did it charcoal style, no propane for us. My burps still tasted like the mesquite flavored wood chips we used well into the night. It was quite delicious. The countdown is down to 8 days left before I have to go to work full time. We went down and checked out the area. It seems to be a reputable area of business and commerce. Speaking of Commerce, we went to the Washington, D.C. Aquarium, which happens to be in the bottom of the building of Commerce, paid five bucks to walk around and look at about 10 fish tanks full of somewhat interesting fish. We had gone on the recommendation of a friend, but I don't think this friend had been. They even tried to throw you off by saying that the shark feeding was at 2, but really the only sharks they had were 2 leopard sharks that were about the size of my left arm. So, when you people come to visit, I don't think we'll be going there. We went to the National Air and Space Museum afterwards which was interesting, but also packed. I think we'll have to postpone our tourist activities until after Memorial Day weekend.
We went and saw the Da Vinci Code, after scoping out one of the cheaper theaters. It was rather entertaining, and would've been even better if I hadn't read the book, but was still worth the watch. They had a couple of things that were different than in the book, but I won't spoil anything for the rest of you. Other upcoming attractions include the new Superman movie, which will be playing in IMAX theaters. I think it will be quite the show.
Oh, the picture is there because I need a picture to put on my profile. I hope all of you have seen the slideshows I've put up on google. If you haven't let me know, and I'll give you the link.Posted by Picasa

Dodgers Stadium

I'm using the Blog This button you can find in Picasa2 from google to create this blog. I thought you'd all be impressed.
I thought I'd also incorporate Tina's policy of always having a picture on your blog. I imagine that makes it easier to read. This is us at Dodgers Stadium in LA. The Dodgers creamed the Brewers. It was a beautiful day, and there's not much better than watching a baseball game and eating a Dodger Dog.
We went to the National Zoo the other day. In the invertebrate section they have a display of spiders, and they forgot to put the glass up, I think, because the spiders can just crawl out and around it they wanted to. That creeped me out, so we left. The lion and tiger were both just sitting there staring. There was a guy that threw a big hunk of meat at him, so he went and got it and went back to staring.
I'll be starting my new job a week from Monday. It'll be my first full time employment, so I guess that's something. Posted by Picasa

Clicking for Pennies

I'm glad to see Tina joined up and got back on the blogging bandwagon. I think it's a good way for people to keep up on other people without having to call everyone. My brother Steve is a fan of that, but it takes a good portion of your nights to do that, and I don't think I want to spend my nights that way...I have to think for two.

We watched American Idol last night. Yes, I watch that. I think Taylor Hicks will win. He was better. I got sucked in to watching House as well, which turned out to be a let down. It seemed like this weird illness, but it turned out just to be hallucinations.

Since I have virtually no responsibilities until I start work, I'd like to sleep in until around 11, but our bedroom window gets the sun in the morning. So, I get up at around 7 every day. I think I'll go drive around tomorrow at about this time, just to get a feel for the 'real' traffic. We've done a pretty good job until now of avoiding all the traffic by leaving the house at odd times. I thought it'd be good to figure out what time I should leave. I have a friend who has nightmares of showing up at work the first day late. I agree it probably would be bad, but I don't have nightmares.

I've put an ad at the top of my blog, and encourage people to click on it, regardless of what it is. It won't put spyware onto your computer, or flood your emailbox with SPAM, I will be paid per click, though. If you do some of the clicking and come out to see us in DC, perhaps I'll buy you something nice with the proceeds.


We've finally made it out to Fairfax, Virginia. It was quite the drive. Longer than I've done in a while. We ended up going with a Penske truck, which was a lot nicer than I was expecting. Just a couple of days before we left, they called and undercut Uhaul on their price. I have very little brand loyalty, so I decided to switch. Phil and Jimmy came and helped bring all of our stuff down on Monday morning, then dropped me off to pick up the truck. I was counting on Seth to come help out with the rest, as the event "has been on his calendar for months," but it turned out he had taken a bike ride. Jen and I took care of it ourselves. Most of the hassle was organizing everything in the truck anyway. Another person would've been in the way. Then we closed the door on our first apartment together and left for Centerville to continue the packing. We had quite a bit of stuff up there, but in all the excitement, we forgot to pack our BBQ. So we'll have to decide what to do about that.
I had prepared several books on tape to listen to, but we only managed to listen to Ender's Shadow, which was rather lengthy. I began to tire of the intense thought processes that Bean went through in everything that happened to him. At the end, Orson Scott Card offered an afterword, commenting that lots of people have said that they want to see a movie of Ender's Game, but he's not sure that will work out.
After arriving here, we got our apartment. A guy came and offered to help move us in, and it turned out he had come from Utah just a year or two ago. They offered to give us dinner that night so we wouldn't have to have another fast food meal.
Yesterday, we decided to go up into the city and we went to several landmarks. We started at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, which I thought was rather interesting. We saw the flag they flew at the pentagon on September 12, after the attacks. They had the first national flag as well that they were restoring. There was also one of the suns from the Nauvoo temple. Then we went to the GW Monument, swung by the White House and finished at the Lincoln Memorial. All very exciting. I guess that's all for today. Look for updates in the future.


I've recently returned from a trip to southern California. The weather was quite overcast and chilly, which I thought was surprising. The first day we spend split between Disneyland and California Adventures, going on such rides as Space Mountain, the Matterhorn, Tower of Terror, and other such infamous rides. I decided the best ride was a mixture of drops and very fast speeding up. I suppose in this day we're more accustomed to going fast, so that's not as much a thrill any more, but the excessive acceleration is quite a thrill. Almost like driving a Porsche. We ate lunch at Club 33, an exclusive restaurant on the Disneyland Campus. I ate lamb chops for the first time. It's sad that they killed a lamb for that, but it sure was good. Perhaps the lamb died of natural causes.

The next day was spent at Universal Studios. I met Spiderman, Captain America (who seemed quite pretentious), and King Kong. We also took the tour, and drove past the area that was filmed as the Back to the Future courthouse. That was something. Then we went on the Jurassic Park ride, which features an excellent drop at the end. We were actually one of the last cars to go, and the kid next to me wanted to hold my hand. That was weird.

We attended church at a local ward on Sunday. One of the little kids tried to get out of going by pooping in his pants right as we got there, but emergency actions were taken, and everyone returned in time for the meeting.

Monday we were back at Disneyland for a few more rides, then back to Utah. We had a little bit of a booking problem at the airport, but it looks to be straightened out shortly.

All said and done, it was a fine trip. Fun was had, memories made, relationships strengthened.

In a contemporary note, on the show "24", why didn't Chloe just blog what was on the memory key before she did anything with it. At least making a copy of it would've been smart.


It turns out I graduated the other day. I will soon be making my way into the office as one of the many corporate graduates in the Washington, D.C. area. I'll be moving out on May 15th, in case anybody wants to come help me move my stuff into our Uhaul we rented. Turned out we got a 17 foot truck for the 14 foot price. I guess we got lucky.

Anyway, I guess before that we'll be heading out to Disneyland to enjoy some of the last west coast attractions we'll see for a while. Who knows where we'll end up in later years, though.
I guess that's all for now.

Opening Day

Today marks the beginning of a new era in Phil's Pills publishing. It had humble beginnings back in the days of paper and envelope weekly letters. We progressed to having a geocities website back in the days of the inner loop group. Then we went to weekly emails. We've finally joined the current trend with today's blog site.

Yesterday I finished up my classes for the semester, and am eagerly anticipating finals next week. Mom and Dad will be visiting shortly thereafter to join in the celebratory festivities in conjunction with my graduation.

Last weekend was a fun filled holiday complete with an easter egg hunt and an attempt at a Soduku puzzle. Those sure are hard. My little niece, Elsie, had a new easter dress and wanted to show it off, so I'll include that picture.

So that about wraps it up for this edition. Any and all comments will be appreciated.