Saturday, January 13, 2007

Fog in China.

This was the pictureesque view from my hotel window one morning.

When it gets really foggy in
China they close the roads down. We almost missed one visit because the road was closed all moring. This a picture I took before hopping on the plane in China.

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Christmas... Made in China

This was a dancing santa at a place we went to eat. It is amazing how much stuff is made in China. This year's Christmas brought to you by China. It was pretty cool to see Santa in China. Christmas is a growing holiday in China. We'll see what the future holds for China.

McDonald's in China a special treat

Deliciousness defined sweet green bean pie from McDonald's. China is the best!

Mcdonald's keeps it real. This wouldn't fly in the US, but In China a tasty treat.

MMM..... green bean pie

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Mitt Romney for President??? Why not?

I've always had an interest in politics from an early age. I've never really gotten more involved in politics beyond running and serving in various positions in of Leadership in Middle school and High School. But, not more than that.
When I heard Mitt Romney was going to run for president I took notice. Mitt Romney is a Mormon and so am I. So, that's probably what peaked my interest in his announcement. So, I thought I'd look into the different candidate and see how they all stack up.

These are the early front runners that I can see so far. It is pretty early but, we'll see.

Obama- When they started talking about Obama a while back. I thought wow, this could be a potential player. He seems pretty smooth knows his stuff. I like the fact that he is young and hungry. His strikes he's young, his voting so far is pretty sporadic. I don't know if race is going to be a huge hurdle or not. I would hope in this day in age that it wouldn't be, but I'm sure it is going to be an issue. One of the things that I find disappointing is his admission to using drugs in his Youth. I don't know why, I know nobody is perfect, but you want those leading you to be or close to it. He was on Oprah and seemed like a smooth guy. I just don't know if he'll get it done.

Giuliani- Seemed to be the darling of the nation after 9/11. I think he handled himself well then after that he seemed to just to drop off the face of the earth. Sure, he threw out a couple of baseballs, but then disappeared. I don't know what I think about him. I don't like the guy had an affair. I mean it bugged me that Clinton did and worse he covered it up. Giuliani did come out and say it was true, but again it goes back to wanting our leaders to be perfect. The ethics of adultery used to be straightforward. "Thou shalt not commit adultery". Alas, it seems that some people missed that memo. I can't vote for him.

Clinton- I don't know what to think on ol' Hillary. I give her credit for sticking with Bill during all his scandals. She did put him on the couch for a long bit in the Whitehouse. It seems like there are a lot of people in her own party that don't like her. I think the popularity of Bill could help us. The fact that she is a woman sadly, will hurt her. I would like to say that our nation is ready for a woman president, but I think that some aren't ready for it. It may give women a great shot at the Whitehouse in the future. She may pave the road for others, but I don't know. She did win her senate race by a landslide, but NY isn't probably a slice out of the Nation's demographic. I'd like to see her run, but I don't think she can get it done.

McCain- The guy already ran once and lost. I don't know if he can do it either. I don't know what he's done really. He's ran his office well I guess. He supports almost all the war initatives that Bush does, which could prove unpopular. I lived in Arizona for quite few years. McCain seemed pretty well liked. There were a lot of transplants from California who moved to AZ for cheaper housing. So, there was a more and more people who didn't seem to like him in AZ. I don't think he can pull it off. He has a lot of political experience we'll see.

Romney- The guy was Governor in Mass. One of the most notable things he did I think was pass the Health Insurance bill. It is basically, like auto insurance. It requires all residents to have health insurance and it is affordable and in some cases free subsidised by the State. Many people are saying the Nation should adapt the same thing because of all the benefits. The guy is a leader. He saved the Olympics in Salt Lake he made a ton of money for Bain when he was the head there. You can't tell me that the economy doesn't need someone with some business sense to get things straightened out and put in sound policy. The guy is well connected in different sectors and has friends all over the place it seems. I don't think that he will have any problem pulling good people around him to fill in any voids or give him advice when needed. He recently held a fund raising campaign and raised 6.5 million dollars. That hasn't been done by anyone before. He did it using technology and his well connected friends. The president of EBAY was there I mean how much more connected do you need to be? Giuliani I heard raised 800k his first fund raising go. The guy is squeaky clean I doubt you could dig up much dirt on him. The thing I don't like is that he has waffled on the issues concerning gay rights, and other hot issues, etc. He needs to stick to his guns and stand up for what he believes. He's been married to his wife for a long time they met as kids when he lived in Michigan. I like what I've seen in him so far. I think that there is a long way to go. But, I always have to ask myself in a leader, Would I follow him? I think I could follow Romney.

So, time will tell it's a long road ahead. I just look online and see so much junk out there and figured I might as well post my opinion as well and post some of the facts I've seen so far. I will probably post any new info as I see it come up if it catches my eye.

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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Hunting in China

Gayla and Hangter with bb guns locked and loaded.

This vendor we visited bought hats for Gayla, Hangter, and I My hat is obviously not in this picture. We shot bb guns at ballons one night. It was fun.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

BYU football is Back. I claim Oregon but Bleed BYU Las Vegas Bowl

Game OVER!!!!

After the game the fans rushed the field. So, we joined them. Cosmo the Cougar was feeling it. Putting the ducks out of their miesery

Da fam at the game.

Cristi and I at the game.

Deb and McCall.

McCall showed up with her game face on. It was good to see the little one being brought up right.

Tanner and I after we purchased our sweet VEGAS BOWL shirts from a bootleger on the strip. Las Vegas isn't my favorite city. I like to go there but, once I get there I'm ready to leave. Not a fun city if you don't gamble. Roller coasters would be cool if they weren't like 20 bucks a ride. But the shirts were cool and we bought blue visors too.

Cristi with Tanner talking it up on the celly. We arrived to Vegas in the P.J. to cheer on the mighty cougars.

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Mellow Yellow's Sister?????

This is a pink vw that was parked in Boise on the side of the street.


Crazy pictures from China

Every trip I like to take pictures of things that are crazy or just looney. So these are some of the funny things I saw. Enjoy.
Now this doesn't see to crazy but, this is China. I mean it's a communist country. There aren't even many churches at all in China and the only ones that do exist are controlled by the Red Party.I thought this was interesting. I mean a bible at a hotel is no big deal, but this is China.
Sorry this is sideways. Ok let me explain. Below is a river. Above is a bumper car ring. I'm not the smartest man in the world but, I know long falls, electric cars, and water isn't a good combination. This was crazy to me. But, while I was there I didn't see anyone take a ride.

This isn't too crazy. But I stayed at a hotel that was a hotel/art gallery. These were some crazy wierd statues. Anyways, take it for what you will.

This is pretty easy. I debated if I should even post it because it was too easy. This was in my hotel. It wouldn't be so bad, but my hotel was kind of classy. And I walk in and see this huge ornage hand chair. Nothing says class like a huge orange chair.

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China temple in Fujian Providence

This is the coolest place. You come here to dream and gather your thoughts. The best time to come is in June. If you are a local you can stay at this place for a small fee. If you are a foriegner you can stay at the temple for free. Next time I'm coming in June and going to get my dreams in check.


Inside the temple

Chinese Dragon at a temple we visted

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New pictures

I had a 5am flight from Boise and sat in the airport for 4 hours waiting for my flight. So, I tested my camera.

San Fran Airport waiting to hop my flight. United is my airline of choice. I love economy class. I always sit by a bunch of Chinese people drinking Tea. My first trip I learned a lot from the people I was sitting by. This trip I tried to watch movies and sleep. I watched like 4 movies but got no sleep. By the time I got to China and to my hotel after a flight after I got to China I hadn't slept for 36 hours.

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New Year New Gear (Our New year's letter)

Dame New Year Letter 2006

As I write this letter Chinese is blaring over the loudspeakers in an Airport somewhere in the middle of China. Although, There is a big Picture of Santa in the newsstand window and a huge fake tree in the middle of the airport it doesn’t quite seem like Christmas. Maybe because here in China Christmas is a new holiday adopted from the West and they haven’t quite perfected it yet. Maybe because I’ve been here for 2 weeks eating fish heads and donkey meat and have missed all the goody plates chocked full of chocolate delights from friends and neighbors. Maybe its because in the place of eggnog I’ve been drinking corn milk (Yes it is as bad as it sounds). But mostly, I think it doesn’t feel like Christmas yet because I’m not with the ones I love. But not to worry by the time I get home I will have an entire week to soak up the holiday spirit and even go watch my beloved cougars play in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Cristi asked me to work on the holiday New Years letter Cristi and agreed to go back and fill in anything noteworthy that I may leave out. Note: Cristi’s Corrections and Clarifications in Red.

We decided to start the 2006 New Year off right and went to an Exotic south of the border location on New Year’s Eve (We went to Nogales, Mex. a 2 hour drive from our condo in Scottsdale, the stray dogs and the border patrol spotlights were a nice touch). We partied with the locals and ate exotic foods until the wee hours of the night and rang in the New Year with style (We got there and there was nothing to do besides buy fake Rolexes and wresting masks so we bought some tacos from some street vendors while a lone mariachi played his guitar. We also bought some fireworks which got confiscated at the border). We invited some tight acquaintances to revel in the experience with us (My family happened to be in town). What a way to start the year off right (Note to self: Never trust Brooks to plan New Years festivities).

A lot of people talk about getting in shape for the New Year, Cristi and I took our resolution seriously and signed up for the Disney World Marathon (We were peer pressured into it by Brooks’ brothers). We trained like you wouldn’t believe (Neither of us ran more than 6 miles at one time before the race- if that). I must have worn out 3 pairs of sneakers just during my training (Brooks bought a new pair of shoes the day before the race because the ones he was wearing were pretty thrashed. I ran in a pair of black-market Nikes that I bought in Mexico that said Air on them but doubt that they much of anything in the sole). When the race came, we were in the best shape of our lives. (um…once again we didn’t do much training) The gun sounded and we ran like the wind. I set a personal best and never even slowed down and Cristi finished pretty well in our group as well (Brooks set a personal best if you consider stopping to stretch, then cramping up, taking a break at the medical tent, taking pictures with Mickey and Minnie and other Disney Characters along the route and walking, not slowing down then yeah, he never slowed down. I beat all 5 men running in our group and finished close to an hour and a ½ ahead of Brooks, the last one of our group to cross the finish line. I think he may have beat one of those guys in a wheel chair and a 90-year so he made me proud). The Vaseline that was distributed throughout the race was a welcome relief. If you don’t know what I’m talking about I’ve got one word for you- Friction. However, having those medals around our necks was worth it all (Brooks was too numb to feel anything at that point). The race was pretty easy to be honest (Please see comments above). I’d do it again in a second. I felt great the day afterwards and ran a couple of miles just for fun (Neither of us could walk let alone run and Brooks had 3 huge blisters on his feet because of the new shoes he bought the day before the race, who does that?). I would recommend a Marathon to anyone (But he’ll probably never run another one himself).

Cristi got a job doing therapy with kids in their homes and on the weekends she was hired to be on the design team for magazine. She also was asked to nanny a 4 year old a few days a week who needed some assistance. Now he had a real serious medical condition, strep of the buttocks (I’ve never heard of this but I guess it is a real medical condition) and was traumatized and couldn’t control when he went the bathroom! So Cristi spent the next few months wiping his bum (Umm…Ok, that’s true but I used my psychology skills on him and am glad to say he is better and now going on the toilet! I am also glad to say that job is now over.). During this same time Cristi started shooting photos of newborns and got to be quite busy between all her jobs. She decided to start her own photography business and Cristi Dame Photography was born, she’s really quite good and has been perfecting her skills ever since then (My website is now up and running so, visit my website at

During this time I was just going to school trying to finish up all my Graduate classes and working really hard so I could get my MBA in International business (Sleeping through classes is more like it). I also started shooting a new documentary on the Arizona/Mexico border with some upstanding citizens who were protecting us from the influx of illegal aliens (Brooks went and signed up with the minutemen who for the most part are crazy gun toting retired guys who don’t have anything better to do with their time). It was pretty exciting to be on the front lines helping to make our country safer (He really signed up to get some good footage and interviews but I wouldn’t call sitting around in the middle of the desert pulling each others fingers making the country safer).

There were some major changes the last few weeks of spring. We decided to go and work for the family business and move to Idaho. So we sold our small condo and moved temporarily into a great new place that I had grown to love earlier in my life (Temporarily has turned into 5 months. We live in the basement of his parent’s house. We are sleeping in the same bed he did in high school). It’s really a great set up, and I couldn’t ask for anything better. (How about our own house?) School played a major part in both of our lives towards the end of spring. Cristi applied for grad school and was accepted to ISU’s masters of counseling program. I graduated with honors magna cum laude from Thunderbird (Hmmm… maybe we should just leave that at: “graduated”.)

As summer came around we all got excited about my Mom’s birthday because we were going to celebrate it on a boat, in Europe. Sound sweet? Well it was besides the minor incidents of my backpack getting stolen and our bags showing up 8 days after we had set sail. But I have to admit that I made the Celebrity Cruise shirt I was given by the front desk look good over those 7 days. They did loan us some formal wear on formal night so I didn’t have to wear my shorts, Cristi’s loaner dress to was stunning (It had shoulder pads and looked like a tuxedo dress). She really dazzled everyone within view.

The trip it’s self was awesome. We had lots of fun with the family and enjoyed all the great stops. We took a romantic gondola ride in Venice (As romantic as you can get with Brooks’ parents and his grandma in the boat with us, and his brothers and their wives in a boat beside us but it yes it was nice) and saw David, the Sistine Chapel (which dad kept calling the Sixteenth chapel), and cruised around on mopeds in Greece. A really memorable trip and we took some great pictures (In every picture we are in a new location but, Brooks and I are wearing the same thing since we didn’t have any clothes for the first part of our trip- it’s awesome).

Currently I’m working in the family business (Woodgrain) and have lots of opportunities to travel and work with a lot of great people (And leave me for extended periods of time).
Cristi is working on her Master Degree and keeps pretty busy with school and her business. We were both called to work in the Nursery at church. I’m not sure why they decided to do this. I don’t know if it was supposed to encourage us to have kids or remind us why we don’t have any (The kids are really cute they all have their own personalities and interests but watching 12 infants at a time has been a great form of birth control). We are looking for a new house in the Boise area and are just waiting to find one that feels like home (The only problem is that to Brooks, his parent’s basement does feel like home). So, once we have our house you are all more than welcome to come for a visit, our door is always open. Boise is a pretty hot destination, do you like Potatoes? and….. ummm tater tots?… Napolean Dynamite was filmed here and uh…OK, I’ve got nothing. Just come and visit us, the skiing is pretty great up this way (We really would love to see all of our old friends, so come on up and we’ll show you a good time).

Well, I’d better wrap this bad boy up. The lady on the loudspeaker is saying something in Chinese, I think she is saying the flight is on time or it is late I’m not really sure at this point (What I wouldn’t do for a baked holiday treat right now). It’s with great joy that we wish you all the happiness in the world this upcoming year and maybe a few fruitcakes (I think everyone could do without the fruitcake Brooks. Happy New Years we hope that life finds you happy and content, we couldn’t ask for anything more (well, maybe except for moving out of the basement)).

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year,
Love the Dame’s,
Brooks & Cristi