Thursday, April 27, 2006

Cool Chemicals

We make about 20 different chemicals that get used for a variety of different things ranging from ink cartridge toner to the active ingredient in mouthwash. The other day I found out that one of our chemicals is pretty sweet. One of its uses is that it aids with regulating some process in diabetics. But that only comprises 25% of our sales of this particular chemical. The other 75% is an animal grade and gets fed to pigs. The reason is that it has been shown that female pigs who ingest this chemical have 1 more pig in their litters than if they don't take it. Crazy. Twins anyone?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Unlimited Golf

A couple of months ago Jenny, Josh, Erin and I went to the golf expo at the Devos Place in downtown GR. Mostly it was a bunch of golf courses up north trying to get people to buy a weekend package for a couple hundred bucks. We glanced but weren't interested in anything like that. But then we came to a booth that was offering a sweet deal. The offer was 1 day of unlimited golf with a cart in April for $20. A normal weekend round of 18 costs $45. So Jenny and I each bought 2 passes so we could put together a foursome of unlimited golf. Yesterday Jenny, Reuben, Michael and I cashed that in and man was it a sweet deal.

We started at 8:12am and played a fast first 18 in just about 4 hours. The course was really nice but the back nine was brutal. There was significant water on every hole and I ended up taking 6 penalty strokes in route to a 99. Here are some examples of our hardships.

The 2nd 18 was the best and most competitive part of the day. We played a version of match play were Jenny and Michael's combined score was compared to Reuben's and mine. It was a very even match and we all played very well. I improved 9 strokes over the morning round and shot a 41-49. Here are some images of the afternoon.

After having so much fun through 36 holes we decided to just keep playing. Why not? It's free, so back to the front for another 9 holes. After 45 we still weren't satisfied and realized that there was just barely enough daylight left to squeeze in a couple more holes. So we played speed golf until 9:00pm when it was too dark to continue and we had accumulated a grand total of 50 holes of golf! What a day. What a deal. I love this game.

Friday, April 21, 2006


Wednesday was the start of church softball season as we had our first practice, and I realized that there are two very strong similarities between Barry Bonds and myself.

1. We are both known steroid users
2. We both hit home runs like we're playing on a high school girl's fast pitch field.


1. The steroids I use are for my asthma (although this looks suspect when considering my superhuman strength)
2. I WAS playing on a high school girl's fast pitch field with 200 ft fences.

It was pretty sweet though. My first swing of a baseball bat in a couple of years was not a great hit but caught the sweet part of the bat and easily carried over the fence. I can only remember hitting over the fence once in my entire career and that was a grand slam in little league when I was 12. So it was nice to hit about 1 out 3 pitches over the fence.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter

It was a very enjoyable 3 day weekend. On Friday Erin and I prepared the house for a shower for one of Erin's work friends.

On Saturday I got my 47th lifetime birdie, went to Grand Haven for the afternoon and for some Fricano's pizza with Erin and Eric, and then had a poker/karaoke revolution party at night.

We spent Easter Sunday with both Veldhofs and Sopers. Now back to full 5 day work weeks...I don't know if I have it in me.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Florida 2006

The 22nd annual family trip to Florida was another excellent one, but unfortunately, probably the last one for awhile. This year 2 big Soper families were missing which brought the crowd down to 18 people, instead of the normal 30-35 and signified an effective end to 20+ years of extended family spring break trips to Florida. On the bright side my dad basically committed to starting the tradition back up for our family in a few years when the next generation begins.

Instead of detailing the day-by-day agenda, I'll just list all the traditions we continued this year because everything we do down there is the same as every year.

-Lodging at Sea Oats. This year we were suprised by their paint job. It used to be a soft pinkish orange. Now this?

-KFC for supper on Saturday night once everyone has rolled in.
-Mayhem trying to get to Sunday morning church. Usually 30 of us pile into a church of 25 people 5 minutes late and completely disrupt the service. This year we decided to go to a church with an average age below 80. As usual, though, there were problems and not everyone ended up at the same church.
-Sunday dinner at a buffet. Yumm
-Sunday night church service in the condo with a skit by the little kids and hymn singing by all.

-Basketball with the cousins and uncles
-Elenbaas men golfing Monday morning
-Shell's for dinner on Monday night with the cousins - Hal and Paul paying.

-Games at night. This year I organized a double rummy tournement for my grandma. She loved the idea and by a random draw we were teammates. We took a dissapointing 2nd round exit on a lucky hand by my mom and grandpa.

-Adult nice dinner mid-week and cousins raucus night of supper and putt-putt golfing. Duby also spent the day with us which was a lot of fun.

-Shopping for a t-shirt at John's Pass.

Check out the new t-shirt. Believe it or not I didn't get a blue one this year.

-"Tips" in the pool.
-Keep away in the pool.
-Mid week day at an amusement park. This year it was Busch Gardens.

In the middle of the day we all went on the log ride. Erin wasn't so sure and told my mom that she was going to hold her personally responsible if she got wet. Well I was in the front of the log and long story short, Erin got SOAKED.

-Grilling on Friday.


Florida has been great to our family and I have too many memmories to even try to write down. I'll definately miss this annual trip and hope my kids someday will have the same chance and enjoy it as much. Thank you grandpa, grandma, mom, and dad for all the great trips!