Tuesday, January 8, 2013



     Another year is gone. I worked a little this last year. I was in Texas for a few weeks and loved it. What a great state! I got a job with the Canyons School District. I'm a part time janitor and work about 2 hours a day, but my foot is in the door as they say. I still do testing for the district but that only happens every 3 months. So life is still happening and so is my reading. I am now on goodreads.com and it helps me keep track of the books I'm interested in and what I've read. I started the year with Fablehaven. I just love this series and many others now, so here I go, the list:

Brandon Mull - Fablehaven 
Rise of the Evening Star
Grip of the Shadow Plague
Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary
Keys to the Demon Prison

Audie Murphy - To Hell and Back

Rick Riordan - The 39 Clues
The Maze of Bones
Gordan Korman - The 39 Clues
One False Note
Peter Lerangis - The 39 Clues
The Sword Thief 
Jude Watson - The 39 Clues
Beyond the Grave
Patrick Carman - The 39 Clues
The Black Circle

James Dashner - The Scorch Trials

Jude Watson - The 39 Clues
In Too Deep
Peter Lerangis - The 39 Clues
The Viper's Nest
Gordan Korman - The 39 Clues
The Emperor's Code
Linda Sue Park - The 39 Clues
Storm Warning
Margaret Peterson Haddix - The 39 Clues
Into the Gauntlet

Obert Skye - Ambush

Rick Riordan - The 39 Clues
The Black Book of Buried Secrets
Rick Riordan, Peter Lerangis, Gordan Korman, Jude Watson - The 39 Clues
Vesper's Rising

James Dashner - The Death Cure

Gordan Korman - The 39 Clues: Cahill's Vs. Vespers
The Medusa Plot
Jude Watson - The 39 Clues: Cahill's Vs. Vespers
A King's Ransom

Tyler Whitesides - Janitors

Brandon Mull - The Beyonder's 
A World Without Hero's

Peter Lerangis - The 39 Clues: Cahill's Vs. Vespers
The Dead of Night

Brandon Mull - The Beyonder's
Seeds Of Rebellion

Rick Riordan - The Kane Chronicles Survival Guide

Seth Grahame Smith - Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter

Pseudonymous Bosch
The Name of This Book is Secret
If Your Reading This It's Too Late
This Book Is Not Good For You
It Isn't What It Looks Like
You Have To Stop This

Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games

The Harvard Lampoon - The Hunger Pains: A Parody

Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire

Rick Riordan - The 39 Clues: Cahill's Vs. Vespers
The Serpent's Shadow

Cressida Cowell - How to Train Your Dragon
How to Break a Dragon's Heart

Jeff Kinney - The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary
How Greg Heffley went Hollywood

Cressida Cowell - How to Train Your Dragon
How to Steal a Dragon's Sword

Lisa Mangum
The Hourglass Door
The Golden Spiral 
The Forgotten Locket

Frank L. Cole
The Adventures of Hasbrown Winters
Hashbrown and the Mashimoto Madness
Hashbrown Winters and the Phantom of Pordunce

James L. Swanson - Chasing Lincoln's Killer

Tim Collins - Prince of Dorkness: More Notes from a Totally Lame Vampire

Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black - The Spiderwick Chronicles
The Field Guide 
The Seeing Stone
Lucinda's Secret
The Ironwood Tree
The Wrath of Mulgarath 
Beyond The Spiderwick Chronicles
The Nixie's Song
A Giant Problem
The Wyrm King

Kate DiCamillo - The Tale of Despereaux
Being a tale of a mouse, a princess, some soup and a spool of thread

Ernest Borgnine - Ernie the Autobiography

James Dashner - The Kill Order

Frank L. Cole
The Guardians of the Hidden Scepter
The Guardians of Elijah's Fire

James Dashner - Infinity Ring

Roland Smith - The 39 Clues: Cahill's Vs. Vespers

Chris Stewart - The Great and Terrible
The Brothers
Where Angels Fall
Second Sun
Fury and Light
From the End of Heaven
Clear As the Moon

Jeffery S. Savage - The Fourth Nephite

M.L. Forman - Adventurer's Wanted
Slathbog's Gold
The Horn of Moran
Albrek's Tomb

Rick Riordan - The Hero's of Olympus
The Mark of Athena

Julie Bourbeau - The Wednesdays

J. Scott Savage - Far World
Water Keep
Land Keep

Eric Larson - In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin

Lemony Snicket - A Series of Unfortunate Events
The Bad Beginning
The Reptile Room
The Wide Window
The Miserable Mill
The Austere Academy
The Ersatz Elevator
The Vile Village
The Hostile Hospital
The Carnivorous Carnival
The Slippery Slope
The Grim Grotto
The Penultimate Peril
The End

Eoin Colfer
Artemis Fowl
The Atlantis Complex
The Time Paradox
The Lost Colony
The Opal Deception
The Eternity Code
The Arctic Incident 
The Last Guardian

Tom Angleberger
Origami Yoda
Darth Paper Strikes Back
The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee

Obert Skye - Beyond Foo
Geth and the Deception of Dreams

Brandon Mull - The Candy Shop War
Arcade Catastrophe

Richard Paul Evans - Michael Vey
The Prisoner of Cell 25
Rise of the Elgen

Carrie Ryan - Infinity Ring
Divide and Conquer

Dinesh D'Souza - Obama's America: Unmaking the American Dream

Jeff Kinney - Diary of a Wimpy Kid
The Third Wheel

Erik Larson - The Devil in the White City

James Dashner - The 13th Reality
The Void of Mist and Thunder

Most of these books were AWESOME! Some of them sucked! A good place to know would be on goodreads.com

I have another job opportunity, but that will be in next years blog.

Friday, August 3, 2012

My first granite table

My first granite experience was in the solid surface counter top shop and Ken took over the business from my Uncle Mark and their other partner Bill. Ken decided to expand the business by offering Granite as well as Solid Surface which was called Durastone, (like Corian), a product that we made. One of the first things I learned about Granite was how easy it was to polish it and then I learned to cut and fabricate it. I took to it like a duck to water and started making my own little pieces of granite art. Fabian was the name of the man who came into the business to teach us how to fabricate granite and he was the primary fabricator of the granite and I was the fabricator of the Solid Surface, but I learned all the same and one day Fabian cut out this little round sink hole for one of the coolest under mount stainless steel bar sinks I've seen! The Granite leftover from the cut out is called Baltic Brown and it measures about 12 inches wide. I got this idea to turn it into a small table and I wanted to make it a little unusual! I wanted to glue on a 2nd layer of stone, but it was a different color. Fabian had trouble with it in the first place. He told me not to mix colors by saying, "we put joints in stone to hide them by using the same color of stone" and I replied by saying, "it's stone, you can see it, so what does it matter!" So I made what was in my mind and got the respect of Fabian anyway, because he said it looked cool!

The leg of this table is a branch from a Cherry Tree that I got from Carl, a good friend of mine. I was looking for something like this branch and Carl's father had just cut some of his tree's, so I went and chose a nice piece. The base is made out of Solid Surface and I had to pour it around the branch in stages, meaning that I couldn't pour it all at once, because of how thick it was going to be. Solid Surface is a man made material basically a plastic and when the Catalyst is mixed in, it causes a reaction to harden it and the reaction causes heat. It would have warped with the thickness of the base. It still warped a little and sits better on carpet rather than a hard surface. It is 25" tall and weighs 30 Lbs. The top is 11.5 " wide and the base is 18.5 at it's widest point(s).

A few weeks after I made this interesting table, our sink supplier saw it and wanted to show his friend. His friend had a store in Park City and he sold furniture but nothing like this. I didn't want to let him take it so I took a picture and gave it to
him to show his friend. A week later, I received word that he had sold my table for a handsome sum! Shocking was more like it!! I was completely and utterly shocked when he told me it was selling for 10 grand and from a picture no less in a week!!! I was amazed! I was also amazed when I found out what I was going to get out of it, a mere $3,000 and I even spent 59 hours of my life making it, (It was my first, and it took some time to figure things out, it doesn't take nearly that kind of time anymore), but I was shocked that I was only going to get 30%, so I told them no and kept it. I have been called foolish and stupid for that decision, but I think that I would have been more foolish to have let it go and to be taken for every other piece that I've made since. I haven't sold any of them and sometimes wonder if I made the right decision, but I know that I did. I'm not that dumb. I have done my research and most middle men and/or sellers only make a commission of 25 to 40% not 70%. I know that I made the right decision and I would be more than happy to sell my work, but not to be taken for someone else's benefit.
What you see, is what I saw and each thing I've ever made, was a visual picture in my mind. I know that I have some kind of talent and I hope that it can help Amy and I out in the near future. I love what I can do with a piece of rock. I'm thankful for the talents that our Heavenly Father has given me and I hope that it gives others as much joy as I get from it. I am going to tell of each of my pieces one by one and as I finish one to the next, I'll be trying to sell them as well. We're going to sell this one, or at least give it a try, on ebay this week. I'm going to start it at that mere $3,000 and see what happens. I was also told of a place in Salt Lake that specializes in local artists work, so I will probably give that a try to too!
This is what it looks like in our house.

My 2nd Table

This is the 2nd try at making something unique! Fabian had been over to his friends shop and brought back some really nice red and black marble. The red marble was very expensive and the other is not as and more common than the red. The other shop had an extra piece, so Fabian brought them back to see if I could do something with them. I decided to checkerboard it somewhat, (with only 4 squares, the game would be over quickly), but I liked the design of black and red squares. The stone holding them together around the bottom perimeter is called Tan Brown and I had to use something, because the red and black was all but taken with only a few little pieces left! The edge is a waterfall edge or a half bullnose and I ground it down by hand. It wasn't hard to do, marble is significantly softer than granite, though it was hard to keep it's shape when polishing due to softer stone!

I had a few problems with it and one problem was that it broke in half and I had to try to put it back together. It worked better than I thought it would and it's very hard to tell where the break occurred. Once I got that done, I had to choose what kind of base I wanted under it. Wood is such a nice thing to work with and I really love all of the varieties that are out there. Usually, I like a lot of knots and holes anything where bugs have gotten in burrowed, eaten or damaged it. I feel that it gives it a lot of character, but I went with a plain old piece of a Redwood Fence Post. I covered it with Amber Schlack to give it a richer red color. Amy and I think that it looks very nice and it gives the room some nice color. This one is Amy's 2nd favorite, while her most favorite one is the Cherry Tree Plant Holder. This table is 23 1/4 inches tall and the top is roughly 17 5/8 inches square and an overall weight of 43lbs.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


When I worked for KMB Countertops, I got this idea from a good friend named Carl to make clocks out of the Solid Surface material. KMB stood for Ken, Mark and Bill, the owners of the company. Ken is who I work for now in the Granite business. Mark is my uncle and Bill is Ken's brother in law. I worked at KMB for about 10 years and in the last 3 years of working there I made some clocks. Each one was different or better known as "a one of a kind", some just happened by accident, but most were designs I thought up. I had to learn to make each and every one of them and some were just stubborn and challenging! I made some money on a few of them, but mostly people just wanted them for free! I gave a lot away, they made nice gifts. I lost quite a few due to temperatures that made them break and I still have several left and in storage. The pictures show a lot of them without numbers, so use your imagination. Some are finished and show the creativity of each clock. I dont make clocks anymore, but a granite clock would be cool!

This is the first clock I made and I gave it to Carl for the idea!

This one is the 2nd and I gave it to my mother.

The wood in this one came from a pallet. I liked the knot in it and tore it apart to make this clock. Cool huh?

This one just happened by accident. I had another idea, but it ended up like this. I don't remember what I had in mind before, but this one was cool just how it ended up!!
I needed a tooth pulled, so I traded with my Dentist!

This one is in a recording studio in New Jersey. I had a friend and her uncle owns the studio. She had me make this and she payed me about $40 for it.

I still have this one and I use it around Halloween. I just need to finid the right creepy-crawlies for the numbers of the clock!!

Everyone tells me this one looks Japanese! It was easy and fun to make!!
My sister is holding this one. It's big of course and somewhat heavy, like 10 lbs. and I made $100 on it. It's still hanging on his wall!

Made with scraps!!

My first attempt of a cow design. I made 2 others and they both sold. It just so happens that I don't have pictures of them. If you like this cow design, I still have it!

If this one looks like it was hard to make, then your exactly right! The maple pieces would float and I had to push them down until the plastic hardened! I still have this one too and I love it!!
This one's base is a separate piece and my nephew, Blake said today "Elephant." Looking at it closer, the knot does look like an elephant!

This one is quite heavy and it cost me plenty! I had to pour the plastic twice to make it work and then I could never afford the time piece. That alone was $80 and the glass cover I wanted for it was $200. I still have it and it's still not finished, maybe one day. I made and designed table as well. I gave that too my sister and her husband for their wedding present.

This one is made out of a Cypress Tree Root. This is it's true color. The outside is very hard, but thin skinned. The inside is very soft and like cork and it stinks!! It grows in the swamp and that's what it smelled like when I cut into it!
I learned how to put things into the resin, like these Sacagawea dollars. The person who got this one took a hammer to it (right in front of me no less) and retrieved the money! Nice!!!
I also put things in the resin like...


A smiley face, ugly, but I got $120 for it...

A Black Widow Spider. I came into work one morning and Ken, Mark and Bill caught and put to death (by way of resin torcher), this spider! I kept it and one day it became the 6 for this clock! The guy who bought this clock only gets to display it on Halloween. The rest of the year, it stays in a box in a closet and if it comes out before Halloween, his wife will throw it out! He loves it, she doesn't!! I sold this clock when I worked at Walmart and it went for $150 which went to charity.
And finally...

This one sold for the most. It went for $275. The company my mother worked for had me make it for an employee which name has been erased. The blue was made with auto paint and it was also made to look like the company emblem. It turned out really nice and I hope the recipient liked it as well.
I made so many variations and I never really made any money out of them, except for the few, but it cost me more than it was worth, so I stopped.

Spalted Maple

The wood in this clock is called Spalted Maple, Spalting: is any form of wood coloration caused by fungi. Although primarily found in dead trees, spalting can also occur under stressed tree conditions or even in living trees. Although spalting can cause weight loss and strength loss in the wood, the unique coloration and patterns of spalted wood are sought after by woodworkers.

I found a stencil that I liked for the numbers and then clear coated the clock for protection. It was a very hard clock to make. I had to push all of the wood pieces down one by one because they kept floating to the surface until the solid surface hardened. It was a fun clock to make and the results are very nice. The dimensions are 12 1/4" X 12 1/4" X 1"

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


When I started working at the Granite Shop again, I worked with a guy who was part Native American and he made a Peacepipe out of 2 pieces of stone. Kevin and I were going to make one as well. I finally finished mine and it's pretty big and over the top! It weighs almost 9 LBS and is 26 inches long. It has just about the same amout of super glue and bondo holding it together as there is stone in it! Currently it could be used, but I'm going to plug it so it won't. I'm afraid that if someone got a hold of it and tried to smoke with it, that they may die due to the glue and fumes involved. I had a suggestion to sell it and so Amy and I will probably sell it as a decorative pipe on ebay.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Great Outdoors part 1

The great outdoors is something Amy and I have experienced the last few days. Part 1 is what I am writing about and part 2 will be on her blog in the next few days or so. On Thursday we went up to the Temple Quarry Site in the mouth of the Little Cottonwood Canyon. I had never been there and Amy took me there to see how it was all done 150 years ago. I love history and I really like to see how things are done.
Click on pictures to get a better view.

After that we drove up Big Cottonwood Canyon and over Guardsman's Pass to Park City. Neither Amy or I had ever done that before. It was amazing and it was nice to be in the mountains.

Yesterday, we went to dig Geodes out in the desert at the Dugway Geode Beds. I hadn't been there since I was young and didn't quite know how to get there, but we made it, eventually!! It was a long way out there and we didn't find any Geodes either, but we had fun just getting out of the house. There were some amazing views all the way out into the desert like this one.

It was very hot and half way there, we stopped at a place called Simpsons Springs. There is a spring out in the middle of the desert. It was amazing to see it since it felt like 120 degrees when we got out of the car!! There was a small stone cabin there and a few other ruins of where houses stood. Simpsons Springs is part of the Pony Express trail and every 5 or so miles there is a marker showing where the trail was. Some of it was where we drove and some was off the road quite a ways. It is really cool to think about how they could ride a horse all the way from the Mississippi River to Sacramento, rain or shine, day and night, all alone! Kind of scary, but thrilling at the same time!
A big green rock called Limestone.

In the far background you can see buildings at the Dugway Proving Grounds. In the foreground is the Spring that animals, Native Americans and of course Pony Express Riders and staff used.

After Simpsons Springs we were driving alone and Amy was feeling a little sick and we saw the sign for Dugway Geode Beds 22 miles. We just about died, but Amy said that we were almost there, so we kept going and when we got there I dug some holes and looked around and we didn't find a thing! We saw a lot of lizards and this one was amazingly big which Amy will have on her blog.

When we were done looking for stones that weren't there and since it was getting late, we left and decided that we would come again someday. All the way out there I had told Amy about all of the amazing animals like Antelope and Deer that I would see when I would go to Topaz Mountain. We saw only 3 wild horses driving in and tons of lizards!

Then at a moment I saw a Pronghorn on the side of the road and skidded to a stop. It hopped away about 30 feet and stopped and looked at us. Amy got a few good shots of it and we proceeded on our way back to Simpsons Springs.

I kept saying that it sucked that we didn't see any herds of animals like I had seen before and before we knew it we passed the Springs and there in the road and all around us were about 50 to 60 Pronghorn (Antelope)! Amy got a lot of great shots and when I was rolling away to leave, we almost hit one that was just kind of strolling in front of us. He was good sized and very close so we got a great picture of him too! We got going again and eventually we came across dust just floating above the ground. We were both trying to figure out what was making it. The answer came when we got closer. There were Hundreds of Wild Horses moving across the plain. I'm not sure if they were Mustangs, but it was amazing to see!!! My Mother would have loved it!! Amy got some great videos and she will be posting them along with some really cool pictures. It was really neat to see wave after wave of horses walking up to where we were to a watering hole and then moving on across the road out towards Dugway Proving Grounds. Amy said, "that that was worth the whole trip!" It was also way too dark to see anymore, so we just got going and about an hour and a half later, we got home.