Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tune-up

I think everyone remembers when one of the exhaust pipes on my car rusted through and broke last summer and made riding in my car an unforgettable experience. When I had it brought in for a check-up the mechanics put a quick weld on the rusted metal, a quick fix. A week or two ago the weld broke, proving the pipe needed to be replaced altogether. I took it into a mechanic to have that replaced and while there I asked the mechanic to take a look at the rest of the engine and see what needed tuning up. Apparently there were quite a few things that could be done- the valve cover gasket needed to be replaced and it was leaking oil into the engine block, and the spark plug wires and plugs needed to be replaced immediately. He said other things that needed to be done but weren't as urgent. Those included changing the cooling fluid and changing the fuel filter.

I gave him the green light on the spark plug wires and the valve cover gasket (gaskets scare me a little bit because what if I don't get the seal like I should? Plus, a lot of gaskets take substantial work to get to.) I told him not to replace my spark plugs, that I wanted to do that. So he fixed what I asked, then I stopped on the way home to get some spark plugs, and a spark plug socket (thanks, dad, for telling me recently that spark plugs need special sockets). Bryan asked me recently if he could observe whenever I fixed something on my car so I waited for him to get home and we changed the spark plugs on my car.

I've taken so long to explain this because it was a large feeling of accomplishment. I had never changed a spark plug before. When I got under the hood I regretted having him change the wires (he also changed the distributor cap, but I don't know if I could have done that). The wires look like something I could have done. It left me wondering if, instead of taking my car back in to have the other things done, I should just try to do them myself. I checked on the price of a fuel filter at auto zone and just the parts would cost $174 while the mechanic would do it for $114. When I googled the fuel filter online, I found it for less than $50, but it didn't look like the same fuel filter that I saw at auto zone. Any thoughts on how easy on this may be? Dad, I'm specifically hoping for feeback from you. Also, for any of you who have taken your car in to had a complete service on your cooling system, is $90 a good price?

In any case, my car sounds like a dream now, I don't remember if it was this quiet before, but I feel like I'm driving a new car with how quiet it sounds. I have a date this Friday, and I wanted to get it fixed before then, but I hiked the Y with this girl last weekend and didn't stress about getting it fixed before then. I know you're all wondering "why not?" The answer is that now when she gets in my car it will feel new and nice to her too, and we can joke about how bad it sounded. That's my best attempt to make the best out of a bad situation.

I think that's all for right now, but I hope to put up some pictures next week. Oh, and for anyone wondering how much I saved by replacing my own spark plugs, it was a little over $40 (by the mechanic's estimate).

Monday, August 23, 2010

Already the end of the summer.

I'd like to point out to everyone that the title of this blog is "Sporadic Thoughts from Tyler" I'd like to put an emphasis on the word, "sporadic."

So what's the latest in my life? I moved this past week into my new apartment in University Villa. I am in apartment 37, Stephen was in 38 last year. I am living with Bryan still and living next door to me are Trevor Guthrie and John Baird. We haven't met more than 20 or 30 people in the ward yet, so it is hard to give any true opinion of the ward, but from what I can tell, it is going to be a fun ward.

When we moved in this last week, there were a few things missing... hand soap, shower curtain, etc. Small things like that. Bryan's take on it? He doesn't mind showering without a curtain. Not if it is going to cost him $7 for a curtain. Sometimes his frugality impresses even me. For anyone who is looking for the rest of the story--I bought the shower curtain.

I start school next week. I don't really have any feelings towards it, it is just something that is going to happen, neither exciting nor depressing.

As I was writing this post I actually got an e-mail from an old mission companion. He is brazilian and is in SLC for a week. I'm going to drive up and visit him for the day tomorrow I think. That'll be awesome!

I also spoke with another Brazilian elder from my mission on facebook today, and he asked if I was married. I told him I wasn't, that I didn't have a girl yet, and that needed to come first. His response to that was:
"hey man many girls there
Just ..date them
go and ask them for date"

I realized that for members down in Brazil, they probably don't see any reason why it can't just be like that. I realized there was no side stepping that logic, so I just admitted that I should date more. I definitely hang out enough with girls, but I am going to try and go on official dates a little more. I'm sure the girls would appreciate it too.

Well, that's about it for now. If anyone wants me to blog about things that I'm not blogging about, let me know, and I'll try to include it in my next post.

Monday, May 3, 2010

My trump card (Hint: not Jacob)



I've been realizing how much of a great card rock climbing is in my hand. I meet girls all the time and whenever they find out that I rock climb, they always always light up and say they think it would be so fun to do. Well its that easy. There are so many hard ways to get a girls number that I force myself to go through, yet I have the easiest way of all. I simply say, "well, let me grab your number and I'll let you know when we're going." Boom, done and done. Its like clockwork. It reminds me of freshman year when I lived in Heritage. We would walk down to the creamery with the intention of grabbing something small, like chip dip or something. We would walk and on our way would quite often see cute girls we didn't know. I had it down to a science. I would glance at them once or twice as we were approaching them, allowing them to notice my glances(and thereby notice US). As we would walk by, I would stop halfway past them, and say, "Hey, do you live in E. Richards? You look a little familiar" They would then tell us what building they lived in and I would say "wait, what are your names?" I would say that with an air of thoughtfulness as if I had met them once in passing. I would then announce that I guess I didn't know them, give them my name, introduce Bryan or whoever else I was with and let them know that we were going to the creamery to grab something real quick and would they like to come along? They would usually bat their eyes, twirl their hair, look back and forth from my eyes to my lips, etc. It never missed once. Honestly, I can't think of a time it didn't work. If we liked the girls, we'd stall in the creamery, comparing prices or buying multiple items, and if we realized that our personalities were different it was a quick painless way to find out. I got lots of numbers and dates like that. It was my trump card. I always knew the climbing card was good, but I just had extra-ordinary success with it over the weekend and I realized what a mega card this could be. Yes, it could probably even be called a trump card.

Let me tell you what is not a good trump card for all those of you trying to imitate my life: "Hey baby, I drive a 1990 two tone red Corolla. Wanna take a spin in it sometime?"
"ooo, two tone!"
"Yeah, eat your heart out. I think it was the hard water from the sprinklers that corroded the back half of the paint job into a dull red. But the front is still a shiny cherry red!"



or

"Hey, did you know I don't even have to work out to keep my six-pack? Yep, I'm just THAT skinny."
That's not gonna win anyone very many dates.

Here are some videos of when we went camping and climbing in the tetons last year:
video video video video

Monday, March 22, 2010

Car

So today my class went on a field trip to Wing Enterprises, where they make the little giant, a kind of ladder. Hal Wing, the founder and CEO gave us the tour. He told us lots about his business, showed us the warehouse, the factory, break room, presentation room, and everything. He was very personable and intelligent. When we left I told my teacher, "That didn't make me want to teach. It made me want to be an entrepreneur." We all piled back in the vans and drove back to Provo. As I was walking back to my apartment and thinking about my experience and how plausible running a business and being successful seems. Even if the success is mild. So I decided that I will also add another possibility to my future. Because going into administration takes a few years, I will have a few years as a regular teacher, with my summers off. If I can come across something that I can do well enough during the summers, it might be more profitable just to teach during the year, and run a seasonal business during the summers. Feel free to leave thoughts about that. Mr. Wing also showed us his impressive car collection. To list a few of the cars that he had in there: One of FDR's personal cars adapted for him and the secret service, the only one ever made to those specs; a bentley with aV-12 engine that he's taken up over 180 but will go over 200; a 2005 Mustang GT4 that he took to a show in 2009 that took 1st place; David O. McKay's personal Buick; a car (can't remember what type) that he modified and was named one of the 10 best cars in Utah; and the yellow Pontiac Solstice that you'll find at the end of this post (both a picture and a video of him revving it). There were about 30 or 40 such cars that I'm sure could all be sold for six figures.

He is extremely wealthy. I mean he had a ring on his right hand that had an 11.2 karat diamond in it. And the other hand had an equally impressive ring on it. I don't want anyone to think I'm fantasizing about a summer business that lands me a 71 Corvette in show condition (though I wouldn't object, much like Tevya). I am just thinking that it would be fun to run a summer business. I suppose the best I'd dream it up to be would be a job that made me wealthy enough that I didn't really need to teach, but still did just because I enjoyed it. I wouldn't be able to be there every day obviously, so I'd need to hire a manager to do stuff for me. Maybe I'd teach a half day and then leave to do some stuff on my company, and I would never even get into school administration. Of course, that is the largest I dream it would ever get. More realistically, I'd like it to bring in an extra 20-30K over those four months. At least I think that is what I think I would need to make to have it be worth my while. But I've never had a family to provide for or a mortgage so I might be surprised.

Tonight for our FHE activity we played something called "bigger and better." It is where both groups get a penny and have to go apartments to see if someone in the apartment will give you something bigger and better and so on. Whoever comes back with the biggest and best thing wins. We came back with an FHE family of 13. They couldn't top that.

Over the weekend, we went climbing, Tyler, a friend of his, Stephen, Jeff Carruth, me, and Annette. It was the first time Stephen had met Annette and he told me that he had realized since coming to college that just because a girl doesn't get married her freshman year doesn't mean there is something wrong with her. He then said Annette was a great example of that, super fun and super cute. It felt good to have him to validate my past dating choice. Then again, most people are interested in Annette as I've mentioned before.

Jessica gave me some homemade bread last night which was super nice of her. The bread is very good, I ate it for dinner tonight. Just wanted to throw that out there.

Okay, here is the car and video:
This car was made out of all NASCAR parts he said.
video

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Climbing



Hello everyone,
This last week I really wanted to climb outside for the first time this year. I decided to do a lot of schoolwork on saturday so that I could climb on Friday. The weather was supposed to be in the 50's on Friday and snowing on Saturday. We went and climbed in the canyon and it was a beautiful day. Stephen is hoping that we can take him and a date of his climbing with us sometime. I don't know if his date will feel comfortable being the only couple on a date. Well, I guess Jeff Carruth wanted to bring a date too, but it might still be weird since they can't really avoid the people who aren't on dates, we're the belayers. I just hope the weather is warm enough. The snow has come and gone in provo like four different times. Its juking so hard I'd break an ankle if it were basketball. Speaking of sports, Shawn Poor called me yesterday and wanted to make preliminary plans for a backpacking trip this summer. I'm sure there will be more to come on that. I went to his apartment later that night (at like 11, so very late) and stayed until morning. Its good to see him every once in a while. We tried to go to the wal-mart there in downtown SLC to look at the furniture they sell, since we are both into that. Shawn would have majored in industrial design if he had been accepted to BYU but is studying architecture at the U instead. He is designing a table for his studio desk that is fairly cool looking, some of the shelves are built like a suspension bridge with lots of wires holding them and stuff. He forgot to square up his power miter saw before he made some of the miter cuts for the joints so some of his joints (on the parts he has already done) are off. It doesn't seem to phase him, but I don't think I could live with that.

I have recently been making a lot of progress on my cedar chest and so I've been spending some time putting together the nightstand I built but didn't assemble last winter. The wood has been warped a little bit, and several aspects of the craftsmanship make me cringe. I don't think many other people would even notice if they looked at it, but having my memory refreshed in my classes about how to do good quality work, I can hardly stand it. If it wouldn't cost so much to start it over, I really might. Oh well, it can be in my kid's room or something or maybe I can show it to my classes as one of my first pieces of furniture. Really interesting huh? But that is what this blog is for, to tell you all about the latest happenings in my life.

Jacob and I were taking an online revolutionary war quiz last night and we got 2 out of 8 right. One of the ones I got right was, "Why was John Hancock the first to sign the declaration of independence?" Feel free to leave answers in the answer section. Make sure you know your answer before you click on the comments part and look at other people's answers.

I want the Canon G11, but have a hard time spending over $400 on any one thing.

Maybe I'll post one more picture from climbing, a picture from the top to the bottom, of Tyler Mix relaxing in the hammock. These pictures were all taken from my phone since I don't have the G11 as I established before. Should someone find an extra $400 in their heart for a camera for me, that'd be really nice. I don't think I could accept it, but if someone won a G11 for free or something, I would take that. Just remember that the next time someone asks you if you want a raffle ticket.

Okay, it looks like blogspot is going to put my second and last picture up at the very top, contrary to what I wanted. And since I can't figure out how to change it, I guess this post will open with a picture of someone many of you don't know.

Monday, March 1, 2010

March 1st update.

So I finished reading Great Expectations today and I really, really enjoyed it. After I finished it I sat back and thought about it. It seemed to be a book whose focus was character development. I felt like that was what the book was teaching, yet it was told with plenty of action in it. It did what movies have a hard time doing with their limited time, and that is to tell the story of a character's development in depth, while still involving action, mystery, love, and suspense. I enjoyed the end of the book immensely and after having finished it just walked around my apartment for a good five minutes, smiling. It was just so satisfactory the way the book ended, no loose ends being left undone, but being all finished within the last few pages of the book. I'm glad I own a copy of it.
Over the weekend, most of the family was in town for BYU's game against New Mexico. We lost a heartbreaker, 83-81. We even had the last possession, inbounding it with 0.6 seconds on the clock but we couldn't do anything with it in time. However, it was really nice to see everyone. Lunch at Jessica's was super good and lots of fun. It was great to see them.
In other news related to their visit, our apartment looks very different without all the movies, it is a much gloomier place without all those colors in it. Bryan and I finally found the place we're going to sign for the next 12 months, Campus Plaza. Its the one on the north side of 800 N. and just west of 700 E. right by the sinclaire gas station on that corner. We are planning on moving into the bottom floor to save on air conditioning in the summer, we won't need to worry about heating costs in the winter because the only utility we will pay is electricity.
Tonight is FHE, and something is planned, but the girl who is in charge won't tell anyone what it is. I proposed to the guy in our apartment who is in charge that we should go to the quarry one week and climb. Speaking of that, the highs in Utah County this week are supposed to be in the high 40's. We're planning on climbing this week if it feels warm enough in the canyon, which excites me about as much as Christmas did when I was a little kid. I better make sure that I'm doing super well in my classes because I know that I'll be tempted to neglect it come April. However, on that note, I am doing much better this semester about spending the time necessary in each of my classes. It probably has to do with my interest in my classes. Okay, until my next update, talk to you all later.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Trip to St. George

So this past weekend I went to St. George for a conference in Technology and thoroughly enjoyed myself. We went down, and I talked with the driver, a Canadian, all the way down. I mention that he's a Canadian because we all know that I'm instantly more open to being a Canadian's friend than anyone else, perhaps. They're just funnier. We got there and checked into the conference and then had an opening speaker, and then we adjourned until the next morning (Saturday). We went to the Olive Garden and had an awesome dinner. I ate as much as I could, and it felt wonderful. The next morning, after our stay in a nice hotel, we ate a complete breakfast and then we were off to the workshops of the conference. I went to the photography workshops which meant we went out to a canyon around there and just took pictures all morning. Afterwards we came back and sat in on a class about studio lighting. Is anyone jealous of my awesome trip yet? Lunch came next and was a complete dutch over meal. I had two plates followed by a dutch over peach cobbler and ice cream. On the way home our teacher bought us blizzards from DQ.
To top off this wonderful weekend I went to the gym that night and found that my bench max has increased. I had taken about 6 months off between the summer months and the winter months and had lost a lot of strength. This means I'm back. Back as strong as I've ever been. I'm going to start running again but eating more so that I don't lose that weight. I think there's a great chance I could be as strong as ever, with as much endurance as ever, all while being as heavy as ever this summer. This is good because I'd like to do a little more this summer. On the plate right now is climbing, intermural softball, Utah novice volleyball tournaments, and I'd like to add some occasional mountain biking and a tri-athalon or two.