27 August 2012

Kevin, Mite Wrangler


Last year I wrote a blog post about my brother-in-law that generated a comment about how interesting my family is.  I realized that it's so true!  My family is super interesting.  Each Monday I'll be interviewing a family member (or dear friend).  I hope you enjoy these Meet Me Monday posts.



Kevin and his wife.
 Photo courtesy of Neysa Brandon Photography



Today's interview is with my brother-in-law, Kevin.

Where do you live?
Good ol' Veradale Washington in the Inland Northwest.

What are your hobbies or special interests?
My hobbies include watching as much football and sports in general that I can get away with.  playing sports (soccer, basketball, football) whenever the opportunity arises.  I enjoy a good video game here and there and lately my  special interests revolve around finding ways to put my almost 3 month old daughter to sleep.

What is your current profession?
I am currently a professionally employed Mite Wrangler. Developing process methods of growing dust mites for use in allergy medications.

What made you choose that line of work?
I was interested in Biology in school and wanted to work at a pharmaceutical company while living in Spokane if at all possible. This turned out to be the ticket.

When people find out what you do/did, what question do they usually ask you?
They usually have a pretty odd look about them, which generally follows with something along the lines of "I've got plenty of dust mites at my house you can have for free".

What question do you wish they would ask?  Or, what insider information would you give them?
What are the morphological and physiological differences between the European and American house dust mite?

If you had it to do all over again would you choose the same thing?  Why or why not?
Things have worked out pretty well, even to continue to work in the pharmaceutical industry I believe I might have been better served by studying an engineering field instead of scientific.  

20 August 2012

David, Contractor

Last year I wrote a blog post about my brother-in-law that generated a comment about how interesting my family is.  I realized that it's so true!  My family is super interesting.  Each Monday I'll be interviewing a family member (or dear friend).  I hope you enjoy these Meet Me Monday posts.
David with his family.




Today's interview is with my brother-in-law, David.


Where do you live?
Oklahoma


What are your hobbies or special interests?
I like the outdoors, working on cars, hanging out with my family and sports.


What is your current profession?
I'm a contractor. I contract mostly home remodels and additions.


What made you choose that line of work?
In some ways I feel like I was pushed into it because I don't have a college degree. When there is lots of work, I enjoy it. When it's slow I start to question whether I should do something else.


When people find out what you do what question do they usually ask you?
One of the most common questions is how work has been with the economy. 


What question do you wish they would ask?
I wish they would ask 'will you come work for me?' haha.


If you had it to do all over again would you choose the same thing?  Why or why not?
I probably wouldn't. I would have made sure that both my wife and I finished college. I would have gone into a field more financially stable.



13 August 2012

Casey, Spanish Language Interpreter

Last year I wrote a blog post about my brother-in-law that generated a comment about how interesting my family is.  I realized that it's so true!  My family is super interesting.  Each Monday I'll be interviewing a family member (or dear friend).  I hope you enjoy these Meet Me Monday posts.
Casey loving on our niece.




Today's interview is with my brother, Casey.



Where do you live?
Tahlequah, of Red Fern fame.

What are your hobbies or special interests? 
Wow, where to start? I love science, biology and physics are my favorites. I love science fiction, anyone who can dream and inspire others to make those dreams reality is awesome. I love art, I have been drawing my entire life, but didn’t discover a love of  oil painting until I was in my mid twenties. I love motorcycles, the minimalistic approach to speed and power calls to the physicist/engineer/mechanic/daredevil that lives in my head.  I love archery, I started  when I was twelve and can’t get enough. I love music, I have collected all kinds of music for twenty years. Sometimes I just lay on the floor for hours with headphones on and let the music take me where it will.   

What is your current profession? 
I am a self employed Spanish language medical interpreter. I provide contract interpreter and translation services to five county health departments. The Hispanic population in our area continues to grow at a faster pace than any other group. By providing communication between patients and healthcare providers I feel that I am able to do real and lasting good in my community. The best part is that it often extends beyond the workday. People ask me for help in stores, the post office, at church, and in the schools. It makes you feel good to randomly provide service to others.  

What made you choose that line of work? 
Spanish has been one of my best friends for the last 13 years. It has gotten me out of trouble, kept me employed and given me the chance to meet new people on an almost daily basis. I have worked jobs where I was not required to speak Spanish, but I can’t imagine doing it again. I think the main reason behind this is the love I have for the culture, language and people of Mexico City where I served my mission.

When people find out what you do, what question do they usually ask you? 
“How did you learn to speak Spanish?” People are always surprised to find out that I speak fluent Spanish, and they want to know how I did it.  Some think my parents must speak Spanish, or that I am a native speaker.  It always surprises them to hear that I lived in Mexico City for two years as an LDS missionary, and that I learned Spanish while I was there.  I feel good about my abilities when a native speaker can’t tell that I am a non-native speaker.

What question do you wish they would ask?  Or, what insider information would you give them? 
I wish they would ask why I chose to serve a mission, sometimes I tell them anyway. As for insider information I would tell them that any language requires practice to master, and more practice to maintain. It really is like a muscle, it must be used to grow strong, and used more to keep it strong.

If you had it to do all over again would you choose the same thing?  Why or why not? 
Yes and no. I would choose it again because I love it. I would not choose it again because of the instability and insecurity of it. The best interpreter is only useful while there is a demand, and unfortunately you have to convince others that there is a demand.  I wish I could work a full time job with benefits that would better care for my family, and still do this thing that I love. Maybe one of these days that will happen, but for right now I worry about tomorrow and the next day.

09 August 2012

New York City Living

These apartment homes are in New York City, which is enough to make me smile.  Add to it the stone work and I'm smiling really big.

08 August 2012

On Being Fat and Being Awesome

I was a confident teenager.  I know that sounds crazy and completely opposite of what we hear all the time, but it's true.  I was a good student, involved in activities, knew what I stood for and was comfortable in my own skin.  Maybe it's because of my experience during my teen years that I'm continually surprised at my lack of confidence in myself now.

I feel absolutely ashamed that my lack of confidence is almost entirely born from my physical appearance.  I am overweight, and have been for years.  I've tried, multiple times, to get myself into shape, but I never seem to be able to lose more than 20 lbs.  And so I'm ashamed not only of my appearance, but also because I can't seem to alter it, and because I'm letting society/others determine a portion of my self worth.  Isn't that the exact thing I'm always telling my young friends not to do?

I'm pretty sure that this post will take some people by surprise.  I think I come across as capable (which I am) and confident (which I am not).  But there's a reason for that.  I always say, "Fat people have to be awesome."  We all make immediate judgments, and the most common assumption about fat people is that we're lazy, uncommitted or apathetic.  That's why we have to be awesome.  We have to be the most capable, the first to volunteer, the friendliest, smartest, whatever-est because our personalities and abilities have to overcome the immediate judgments that are made about us.

And sometimes I just get tired of being awesome, because it's a lot of work.

06 August 2012

Michelle, Insurance Representative

Last year I wrote a blog post about my brother-in-law that generated a comment about how interesting my family is.  I realized that it's so true!  My family is super interesting.  Each Monday I'll be interviewing a family member (or dear friend).  I hope you enjoy these Meet Me Monday posts.


Michelle.


Today's interview is with my friend, Michelle.


Where do you live? 
In the awesome “Live free or Die” State of New Hampshire!

What are your hobbies or special interests?  
I enjoy reading, swimming, hiking, but most of the time I really enjoy spending quality time with my family.  Life is sooo short and I feel that I need to spend more time making lasting memories with the family.

What is your current profession?  
I’m currently working as a Licensed Multi-Line Representative at Annick Insurance Agency.  I help people with their Life, Health, Home, Auto and banking needs.

What made you choose that line of work? 
I actually didn’t chose this line of work, I’m actually a programmer, but I really like working with people… I know this sounds corny but the Lord chose this position for me.  

I was working part-time at a college and really needed a full time position.  I was networking and asking everyone for help. The day I was going to temple for the first time to be sealed to my husband the Bishop of the ward called me, stated that a friend of his was looking for someone to help in the office on a full time basis, gave me his number and I called him.  It wasn’t until a few weeks after I was hired that my employer told me the real story of why he hired me.  He went on to say that he had interviewed over 30 + people for this position and for one reason or another none of them fit right.  One night he decided to get on his knees and pray about it.  When he started to pray his friend's name (who happened to be my bishop)  kept popping into his mind and stayed there until he called him which was a few days later.  The Bishop told him he knew the exact person that would be perfect for the job.  I had to take some tests and pass in order to get the job and I could never have imagined myself in this position.  I’m so happy that the Lord knows me better than I know myself. 

When people find out what you do, what question do they usually ask you?  
They either get annoyed, because people really don’t like to talk about insurance, or they start to ask me about life insurance and how much they should carry or what policies are best for them.  Sometimes they ask questions about an accident they were in and who I think is at fault.  It really doesn’t matter what I think, it’s the laws that matter and that we have to live by.

What insider information would you give them?  
My advice to everyone is.. even though the State of NH doesn’t require you to carry insurance on your auto policies.. GET INSURANCE.  If you are in an at fault accident, and have no insurance, the State of NH will take your license away until you either make restitution or set up payments with the person/Attorney to pay back all the damages.  The State of NH will also put an SR22 on you (which is forced insurance) and this will increase your insurance premium more than if you were just an average Joe coming in off the street.  Say you don’t have the money for full coverage.. then just do Liability to cover the other persons vehicle and save yourself from the headache and loss of money/time from having an uninsured accident.  Liability is really cheap compared to an at fault uninsured accident.

If you had it to do all over again would you choose the same thing?  Why or why not?  
Absolutely!  I enjoy helping people find the right solution for them, helping them save some money or protect their family.  It’s always nice when I get to hand a family a check when their loved one had taken out life insurance and unexpectedly passed away.  I know that the family member cared enough about their loved one to get life insurance and even though it’s a tough time to go through (and seriously, no one likes to talk about it).  But, the surviving spouse doesn’t have to be scared that they need to sell the house or change their way of life because there isn’t enough money.  Too many times someone passes away unexpectedly and the first person the family calls is the insurance agent to see if they had life insurance.  I’ve seen this happen, where the wife loses the home, cars, barely making it and the 16 year old son having to work now to help pay rent.  It’s very sad.
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