Friday, May 28, 2010


Hill Cumorah monument
Whitmer farm home

Hearth in Whimer family home

This is the Chapel and visitor's center at the Whitmer farm

Letters from EB Grandin's printing press

This isn't the exact one but the same make and model of press The Book of Mormon was printed on

These are the grain bins in the threshing barn

A real cooperstown bible in the Smith family frame home

This is the table in the Smith Family kitchen

Another shot of the Smith Family kitchen

Smith frame home parlor

This is an orignal doorknob in the Smith home

Smith family frame home, Alvin started construction but died during the process. The house is 85% original, people lived in it up until the church bought it. You could see the spot where Alvin stopped working on it and someone else started.

That is the Palmyra temple in the background, it is the only temple with clear windows. They face towards the sacred grove.

Smith family log home

This hearth in the Smith family log home

Threshing barn

Coopers shop

These fences were everywhere and pretty neat considering they were loose standing. The guide said they are their version of panels. Imagine moving these Greg.

Sacred Grove, it is a pathway of trails that just meander through the woods I kept looking for an end...

Palmyra Temple

Palmyra Temple

View from Hill Cumorah

Upstate New York countryside

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Life on the Road

So I didn't post last night, and there is a good story. So after my jet lag fiasco, I took an epic 3 hour nap. That didn't phase it I guess. I went to bed at like 11 but I couldn't fall asleep until 12:30 and then about 5:30 I kept waking up. It was a sad day. So I got ready and I just headed towards Syracuse. On the way I stopped off in Palmyra, it is a pretty significant place in my life. I took a ton of pictures for my sweet sister in law, who has a better chance of getting called there on a mission in the next year than ever going there. Ask her why. But I won't bore this post with a million pictures. So I will post straight pictures later.

So I wandered around the Hill Cumorah, The Smith Family Farm, Sacred Grove, and the Palmyra temple in a hurry. I think I spent maybe an hour and a half there. I was in a big rush. Well anyways so I get to Syracuse and start working. I was so tired though. I worked for a while and then came back to the hotel room. I ordered another Chick parm grinda(thought I would give it another chance to redeem itself) and it was amazing. As well as the buffalo wings I got with it. I love wings. Well so I decided at 7 to catch a nap, needless to say I slept until 5 AM.

So Thursday kinda snuck up on me, but it allowed me to get an early start on my work. I pounded through my audits and was done by noon. I came home and sent out some quick emails and then I hit the road, I figured with a whole afternoon to kill I could hit up Palmyra again.

So I got there and I decided to take the tours. I started at the Smith farm, there is no point going unless you go with someone who really knows the historical significance of those areas. I was amazed at all the information the missionaries passed along to me. I also made it to EB Grandin's shop and the Whitmer farm home. It was nice because I was the only one on all my tours. I got to get some good conversation in with all the senior missionaries. They were amazing. They bore such humble testimony and were so helpful.

Visiting the places I visited today didn't really change my testimony much, I knew going in there those places were very significant in my life and will be for a long time. But visiting them was neat, the Smith family home is 85% original. They still have almost all the original door knobs and the original kitchen table where Martin confessed losing the 116 pages to Joseph. It was neat to know who used those knobs or who sat at that table. I had a great time.

After all that I stopped by the Outlets to get some well deserved gifts for my sister and my neice Abigail. Two of the top 4 women in my life. I found Abbi her first Polo outfit, Train up a child in the way they should go and they will never depart.

This trip was a great one. My sleep is all jacked up though, considering it is after midnight and I have to get up in less than 4 hours to get to the airport for my flight. Oh joys of being such a high profile auditor.

I will include one picture, this was my dinner last night. Chick parm with banana peppers and wings.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Delicious Goodness

So today I pulled my sorry jet lagged butt out of bed. Last night I kept telling myself it is only midnight in Utah and I don't have to get up until 6 . . . NY time. Needless to say this morning was epic. I kept falling asleep and it didn't help I have two beds, so I would get out of one and climbed right into the other. So around 10 AM I finally roll into the office. So I power through their audit. Savage has a very smart business model for most of their contracts. They pass along alot of costs so it is quite easy to audit sites with many pass along costs. This one had more than I had ever seen. So it went fast. They asked me what I wanted for lunch, I said Pizza. I haven't had a good pizza since I left Conneticut (other than Giordano's in Chicago, but that is different). So I was more than excited for it for lunch. But when I saw the menu I came across a piece of goodness I had nearly forgotten about, a Chick Parm grinda, which is a chicken parmigiana sub for those not native to the North East. I should have stuck with the Pizza. It was delicious though.

So after lunch I decided it was too early to go back to the hotel and I just took a quick trip into downtown Buffalo. Downtown Buffalo is smaller than Salt Lake City. It was kinda neat, just driving around. I finally found this little war memorial museum down by the water. It was kinda cool walking around and seeing the ships. Sorry no upclose pictures. I wasn't about to pay $9 for a self guided tour.

This is for Greg. I know you'll would appreciate this.

So after wandering around by the water I went home to destroy the jet lag.

I took a good nap, had a good run, and even started studying for the GMAT. I absolutely hate the English language, it is the bain of my existence. I would rather cut my own fingers and toes off than study English. But I need to take the GMAT just in case I don't get into BYU's MACC program. So I am sucking it up and doing it.

It was about 8 and I was getting hungry so I went to a place over by the water that was recommended by the manager of the office I audited today.
I got in there and it was an old school Italian joint. I order eggplant parm. I love the stuff, ever since Sandy Pirro made me a whole mess in Middletown once. As I am sitting there I see a sign that says we only take cash, so I tell the lady to cancel my order. Best decision I made all night. I went home and ordered this goodness.

When I went to dip the wings they wouldn't go into the bleu cheese sauce because there was a chunk of bleu cheese the size of a golf ball in the bottom. It was so good.

Being in Buffalo today has made me think a lot about Connecticut, seeing three family homes, italian places, the water, the green, the delicious food and even the humidity which I didn't mind today. I love to claim Connecticut. It is such a great place to live. Driving around Buffalo today I caught myself thinking, why haven't I been back yet? I am glad I waited though. I think I may return at the end of all of this. I will start looking around at tickets.

Tomorrow is a big day. I can't wait.

Monday, May 24, 2010


So I spent a great weekend at home with my family. My brother was in from North Carolina and it was really fun to sit around and just joke about everything. It seems no matter how many times we get Nat it never gets old. As my brothers and I sat around joking they started talking to me about my job. I realized that if you just read this blog you would think this is really a tough gig. So after all this bomb business and talk about getting lynched and getting out of town fast. I need to set the record straight. I am an internal auditor. No one likes them but it isn't that bad because since no one likes them I don't have much of a reputation to ruin. People know when they get a visit from me it will be bad so they are expecting it to be bad. Friday in Houston I reviewed my findings with a lot of different people. It went really well. Things ended great there.

Now, I am sitting in Buffalo getting ready for my next adventure. I got up this moring to snow in Utah and checked the weather, I never thought I would escape the winter of Utah in Buffalo New York but considering it is upper 80's for the rest of the week. Enough said. So I had a friend tell me I needed to read this book called the Giver. She is a 4th grade teacher and I was like what you can't recommend a book for my age? Do you really think I can only read on a 4th grade level? Little do they know that I owned Mrs. Schenck's 4th grade reading contest. There is probably still a monument to my accomplishments of over 10,000 pages in a school year. Moral of the story, don't judge me. So after I got a copy of it I was on the way to the airport and was like this isn't going to be enough to fill me up this week. So I stopped and bought one of my favorite stories. I have only read it abridged to this point, and my brother and sister-in-law said it is great. (Note anything my sis-in-law recommends, is gold.) So I picked up a copy of The Count of Monte Cristo. I love it so far I am like 80 pages into it.

So I fly from Salt Lake to Chi town, get there and I don't have a seat assigned. I goto the nice lady at the counter. She misread my name and was like one minute. Well it turns out United sold 30 some odd extra seats to this flight. So all the Canadians are trying to get home to Toronto and everyone is hassling her. In the hubbub I got forgotten and she was like we need 15 people to volunteer to go tomorrow night. I said to myself if they think I am not getting there tonight they are sorely mistaken. So I go back up there as the last passenger goes down the Jetway and I say am I going to get a ticket and she looks at my ticket. Oh I am sorry I thought your last name was Eric....Yea good one. So I climb on board and barely make it to Buffalo.

Pick up my rental car, 448 miles, sweet camry and drive the wrong way. So 30 cents in tolls later I am in my hotel and getting ready to goto bed.

This trip is going to be extra special, I won't have any pictures up tonight but expect a bunch over the next week. I work in Buffalo tomorrow, and sleep here tomorrow night. Then I drive to Syracuse. Along the way is a special place to my religion. It is a small town called Palmyra and I have never been but am so excited to go. In 1820 Jesus Christ and God appeared in Palmyra and changed my life. I wasn't there nor am I implying that I recollect the appearance, but it has had a direct effect on everything I do. It will be a great week.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Today was a good day. I really enjoyed it for some reason. This morning I had my first "conference call" It was everything I imagined, emotions were high, lots of pressure, deals getting made. It was quite an event, not to mention I did probably the third most talking during the whole event. It was a great time. This morning I was kinda sweating the meeting though. I got an email last night late from a manager about his score. I understood perfectly why he was upset, but there was really nothing I could do but explain that the letter of the law said he was in the wrong as much as I believe he was in the right. As crazy as it is auditing has a lot to do with my religion. I believe in God, and I believe in a very just God. He has many laws and none can be broken. No matter how hard I try though I will break the laws. Now if God and I sat down on a conference call it would go pretty similar to the one that went on today. I will explain my position, and God will say I understand your position perfectly but there isn't much I can do. We set up these rules for the benefit of the whole. I will just have to take the score that is given me. Or I can reach out to Jesus Christ.

Kinda cheesy I know but it is something that has been on my mind all day today.

Tonight my coworker and I went to dinner at a nice family on the south end of Houston. We knew them because his friend married their daughter. It was really cool to see my coworker just be so comfortable around people he had met twice. We went over there and it was like we knew them our whole life. They made us dinner and we all chatted about life. Come to find out their son and my sister both graduated just barely in chemical engineering. I had heard some stories about him from my sister. She told me about how there was one kid who helped her stay sane around so many socially awkward kids. Thanks man, if you hadn't she would have taken it out on our family....and that is a lose lose situation.

Tomorrow we drop the bomb though. Then catch the first flight we can out of town. It has been a good trip but Houston is too humid and smelly for me to ever stay for more than a week.

Sorry no pictures.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Crazy Day

In class and in industry there is a saying that auditors are the guys who go through after a battle and finish off the wounded. I never really understood what that meant until today. Up until yesterday I thought I was suppose to work and listen to people and on times when they were trying but it seemed like they couldn't keep the rules I would let it slide. Well last night I got an email explaining that that isn't my job. It makes total sense, but imagine the reaction I got from the lady who I reported had an amazing score that when I went back through totally objective turned south in a hurry. Fun times. Needless to say after staying up late last night and then an early morning this morning I ended up not wanting to do much tonight other than sleep...or watch a baseball game.

So we realized at about noon we were doing really well as far as work was concerned. So we decided to work a normal 8 - 5 shift today and then hit Houston. We wanted to catch a Rockies v Astros game so we got in the car and grabbed the GPS. Along the way the dang thing got a short in the cord. So we were like lets just do this old school...then I remembered I had google maps with GPS on my phone.

So here it is in all it's busted glory. Well we finally make our way all around Houston and can't find an exit to get onto some streets.

It is funny, people who live in the hood hate the hood, and people who don't, think it is some novelty. Take for example someone's decision to stop and get Quiznos right across from a group of about 50 porch monkies with nothing better to do than watch two white kids get out of a new car and walk into a Quiznos. I hate the hood. Between growing up in my neighborhood and some of the places on my mission I try to avoid it like the plague. There is nothing fascinating or interesting about it to me. To each his own though. Finally we make it to the game though, get some tickets that are reserved for charities off a scalper for 10 bucks and make our way in.

Relaxtion is this. It was so nice to sit there in shorts and just enjoy the game, we left early but it was still worth the money. Sorry to my cousin's boy who I couldnt grab a picture for, and my cousin for leaving early. It was a really good night though.

Goodnight Houston, tomorrow I wrap up my work. As it stands, we plan to give the audit news on Friday and then run to the airport before everyone in this office teams up and lynches us.