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Free Mealing

July 31st, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Uncategorized


Free Mealing…also known as getting paid to read spam from local restaurants!

Free Mealing


Last year I stumbled across and followed the links to join various restaurants’ eclubs, receiving printable coupons for free food or BOGOs or special offers.  Some of the restaurants send a coupon for free food just for joining, but the majority that I signed up for send the coupon about a week before one’s birthday.

(As a side note, many of the ones I chose were managed by Fishbowl.)

This year on my birthday I decided to go “free mealing” throughout the day, dragging Kyle and Rachel along with me for part of the adventure to help eat the free food.  I started off the day at Dennys with a free Grand Slam Breakfast, no coupon required, just be prepared to show proof of ID/birthday to the cashier. (Don’t forget to tip on the retail value of the entire meal.)

With Kyle behind the wheel we headed out mid-day, stopping first at HoneyBaked Ham for a free Ham Classic Sandwich. Next to Del Taco for a Free Premium Shake, Rubio’s for $7 credit for food (chicken tacos), and then to Dickey’s Barbecue Pit for a Free Big Yellow Cup (root beer….aaaagh, root beer).

Later in the day I continued my free mealing with a Free meatball sub at Firehouse Subs (just show ID) and finished up the day at TCBY for a Free frozen yogurt.

Fortunately, most of the eclubs’ birthday related offers are good for a week or two and one doesn’t have to try and eat all your free mealing food in one day.

Offers I took advantage of on other days:

Tucanos – This is a BOGO offer but one that I wanted to try anyway.

A&W – Free Root Beer Float

Baskin Robbins – Free scoop of ice cream

Red Robin – Free Gourmet Burger

Weinerschnitzel – Free Chili Dog


Check out the  list of hundreds of restaurants and their offers.

Upcoming in July 2014

July 1st, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Updates

Birthday. I turn 58 on the 23rd.  Two decades ago when I was choosing a screen name for my aol account I decided on kent56, mostly because “kent” was already taken and “kent13982″ seemed too disconnected from me so I opted for my birth year which happened to be available at the time.  I remember back when I was in my thirties thinking that  someone might assume that the “56″ was my age and got a chuckle out of it.  However I did enjoy my 57th year when my age was 56 and my screen name was especially apt, although I have since migrated to for general purposes and hardly ever use my aol email account for anything. The fact that I still have an aol email account is a testament to email having likely passed phone numbers on the enduring data list, behind our birthdays (the birth year has been known to change for some people) and SSNs. Who knew that a screen name we chose in 1994 would still be attached to us 20 years later?

Girls Camp. As I write this Rachel is at her first Young Women’s Camp at Camp Mia Shalom outside of Fairview, Utah.  Big step for the young lady and hopefully she survives and maybe even enjoys it. Quite the adventure just getting her packed up. “Rachel, do you have your 8 pairs of socks?” I asked. “No… I don’t have any socks” she answered at 11:08 am Monday morning as we were hustling to finish packing and make it to the stake center by 11:30.  The fact that GeriLynn had gotten a completely different answer Sunday night, as in “Yes I have socks” leads me to believe that Rachel enjoys watching me squirm.  Not enough time for even a quick wal-mart run…what was Kent to do? Aha! Remembering the 2 baskets of Rachel’s clothes that had been residing in the laundry room for the past 6 months following one of those wash-everything-on-the-floor-in-her-room events (Really? Am I supposed to put away my 13 year old daughter’s clothes? Isn’t it enough that I washed them???), I managed to scrounge 7 pairs of socks (plus the pair she had on made 8 as per THE LIST) to throw into the duffel bag, knowing full well she wouldn’t wear more than 3 pair over the 4 days.  And no, we didn’t get everything on THE LIST. I just couldn’t see buying a battery operated alarm clock when today’s phones handle that function just fine…although phones were strictly verboten at YW Camp…not even to use as a camera. {muttering}

Kyle’s Birthday. Kyle turns 17 this month and is on the same schedule re his driver license that I was at that age in that we’ll both have gotten our first official license at age 17. All of his performances (Acting Up, Band, Choirs, The Foreigner, Dancing) and various group trips to Southern California and Idaho have wreaked havoc with his opportunities to get his 40 hours of driving practice in. That and the fact that he doesn’t get to drive the Audi and GeriLynn has Dr Car at BYU most days from 8am – 8pm+.  That pretty much leaves just Sunday mornings, at least when he isn’t recovering from his performances, and while he and I did make it over to the RC Willey parking lot a couple of times, first in Dr Car and then in the more exciting green van (Dodge Grand Caravan), we had to stop when he cut a turn a bit too close on our makeshift slalom course around the planters and blew out the right rear tire. So our driving practice became changing-a-tire practice and now we don’t drive the green van.

Pete Hansen. July marks six years since I first started working with Pete Hansen at VIP Media at East Bay Studios. Appropriate to what I spend my time doing now my first self-assigned tasks were to pull weeds. Pete and I have had some fun times over these past six years including moves to two different studios and Pete’s transition from video to photography. Along the way we learned about live streaming video with Utah Valley Live and came up with some really great ideas like Engaging Films Productions. One of the highlights was when Provocreative (VIP’s successor) sponsored 5 (?) teams for the 24 hour filmmaking competition as part of the LDS Film Festival.  The Provocreative Filmmakers group was also a big success  and while that Meetup group has since disbanded, Pete is still actively running the Provocreative Models and Photographers Meetup group.  Pete and meet somewhat regularly for lunch at Thai Evergreen in Orem.  Hmmmm…thai food.  We didn’t make a lot of money together but it’s sure been fun being such creative geniuses. Modest too.

Yard Work. Tina was up visiting from St George recently and rued that it would have been cool to have a time lapse video going of me working in the back yard. And while I’ve put in a couple of hundred hours so far this year I don’t think I’m even halfway done. I tell myself that it’s also my weight loss program, which is true to some degree. Now that HOT weather is arriving I doubt I’ll be outside as much, hence a blog post on this site for the first time in 18 months.  Most of the weeds are gone and we have a small garden growing. I’m about 60% done with building a tool shed and still have the big projects (rock driveway, trampoline pit sandbags, and cabana) to get back to.  Before I turn to those I’m creating a putting brown (sans grass), hanging a tire swing, setting up the volleyball net, creating a horseshoe pit, croquet area, and fixing up the swing set for the grandsons, etc.  Yeah…just thinking about it is making me ready for a nap. Later.



Find Me If You Can!

November 28th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Ok, so I’m not really hard to find…what with being the only Kent Vorkink in the world.  My vital info is out there and I’d be a prime candidate for identity theft, but what a surprise they would get!  My phone number, address, pictures, likes and dislikes, thoughts, family members, etc etc can all be found with just a single google search on my name. (Remember the quotes.)

Were I a Mark Smith or Peter Hansen I could more easily disappear into the woodwork and have some degree of anonymity.  Make a comment in my own name on a website that is highly indexed and I run the risk of it ending up on the first page of google results…which happened 5 or so years ago. So I got proactive and took control of my name. I created dozens of online profiles and made sure that someone searching for me saw what I wanted them to see. Hence, as of the google search I just did a minute ago, the first results on “Kent Vorkink” are:

1) This website

2) My Facebook Page

3) My LinkedIn Page

4) My Viadeo Page (who knew?)(Deleted it)

5 – 7) Ustream and YouTube videos

8- My Page (again, who knew?)(Deleted it)

9) A listing in (says there are two of us…clean up your database boys!)

10) My Pinterest Page

Seriously, anyone looking for me can find me without any trouble. And want to take a guess at my gmail address?

Which ease only creates ample frustration and wonderment at how hard it is to find people that I knew back in the day. Now, I’m a pretty proficient Internet stalker and can find all sorts of info about people pretty quickly. Sure, everyone knows about Google searches, but not everyone remembers to use quotes around their search term or use the Advanced features. A creepy but fun Google search is for similar images. Just drag and drop or upload an image and Google will find images that have many of the same components.

Facebook has many privacy features built in, so one has to get creative when searching for those elusive folks who are my age and don’t have a Facebook page or have it blocked with massive security.  90% of the time their children will have a FB page and likely have a family pic or two, just so you can see if so and so looks as bad as you do.  I should put in a disclaimer here that one can always PAY to get info or belong to sites like Classmates where $$$ will get you more info. Or you could probably just ask someone “Hey, what ever happened to __?”  But that’s not the point of the game.

The first site I usually go to when Google and Facebook fail me is, one of the many sites that collect public info on people. For Utah residents it’s occasionally fruitful to check out for salary, divorce, and other interesting tidbits. More than once I’ve run across someone I know on the Utah County Arrested Person Search. Utah County Land Records provides info about who own what property.

I like data. I typically search people before business meetings, interviews, etc., to get a feel for who they are. Yes, it creeps out some of them and more than once I have blown a deal because I let it be known that I had “stalked” them. Hey! I’m just doing my homework! But based on the number of people in my generation who can’t be found (at least by me) not everyone plays the game the same way that I do.

I had a success recently, locating someone that I had known back in my pre-mission days and because of circumstances isn’t someone that I am going to reconnect with now. I was curious…but not enough to ask someone who might know the details. My failure to find them had bothered me for years! And then I was able to follow a FB clue and lo and behold found family pictures that told a thousand words.  I’m happy. Curiosity satisfied.

There will likely come a day when there is a Wiki page on each of us, whether we want it or not. Digital info has a habit of sticking around and eventually some enterprising person will put together a program that effectively scrapes public data and dumps it into a useful (because there are many sites that try this now but have little but name info in them) form that is editable.  Can we really opt out of the digital world? Fall off the grid?

I’ve thought about how much easier the game would be if I had a private investigator’s access to info. Would I be more satisfied or would it just spoil the game?

And yes, I still google phone numbers that are calling me that I don’t recognize.

Long Term Memories

November 26th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

I’m not one of those people who possesses a sharp long term memory, a result of what I claim to be the need to use my gray matter for short term RAM.  I know those memories are tucked away somewhere, usually requiring some form of prompt to unlock them.

Saturday that prompt came in the form of Gene Ashdown.  I was attending a party feting my mother’s 80th birthday and Gene and his wife arrived to meet a group of Vorkinks & Sheranians whose surnames he recognized but whose faces where unfamiliar except for the guest of honor.  His good friend–my uncle Dan Hucks–had been delayed and I having recognized Gene’s name from conversations with Dan over the years, I took the opportunity to speak with him so as to avoid the hustle and bustle of food preparation.

It turns out that Gene, Dan, and two other University High School   and Westwood Ward friends–Pete Olsen and Steve Taylor–had my father as their early morning Seminary teacher. He would have been about 29 years old (same age as my oldest son Erik is today) and had recently graduated from UCLA Law School. While only a dozen years or so older than his students, he had their admiration and respect, something that came through loud and clear from Gene some 56 years later.

What he really admired as it turns out was my father’s 1955 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible! Yes, the old man certainly had style…even as a young pup of only 29. I should ask my mom, but I’m pretty sure this is not the car that my brother Tim and I used the top as a trampoline, ultimately landing in the back seat when the fabric ripped.

Gene and I were joined by Dan after awhile and he quickly called Steve Taylor who lives just a few miles away and joined us in about 15 minutes.  I left the 3 of them to their own devices, having enjoyed hearing about my father from a couple of fellows that would have known me in diapers.

Then this morning I got a facebook notification that I had been included in a comment by Dave Shipp about a Pacific Palisades ward production from 1974 that Gabrielle (Gail) Roh had posted the program from.  Here again, the memory is really fuzzy. I do recall the program…but I likely have the details wrong. I remember pulling up to Jan Jones’ house, having just graduated from Newport Harbor High School and relocated to my dad’s house in Malibu, driving another of his stylish vehicles, a silver 1972 Firebird Formula 400.  There was a group of teens painting sets and I offered to make a Jack in the Box run, which no one took me up on except Gail, whom as I recall wanted 2 tacos and a root beer…gratis. Twas just the first of many adventures that Gail and I shared.  Again, somewhere in my memory I recall having to fill in for Rick Wayman as Alexander Graham Bell at the actual performance at Inglewood Stake Center, something I was loathe to do.  I think I had all of 3 lines.

But then again, our memories play tricks on us and maybe I was just part of the set crew as the program lists. And maybe there wasn’t a root beer…but I’m pretty sure about the two tacos.

Agency and Accountability

November 19th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Yesterday I semi-dozed through a couple of speeches on Agency.  Not that the speakers were boring or uninformed…my son Kevin blames it on the flickering florescent lights and I going with that until proven otherwise.  I guess I have my own interpretation of agency and it is “the ability to choose.”  As a child many of my decisions were made by my parents.  As I reached the “age of accountability” (8 years old or thereabouts) I was told that I would be held accountable for my choices. As I matured into adulthood the choices I made were on increasingly weightier matters and each choice had a consequence and sooner or later I’ll be held accountable for those choices.

Interestingly, not all people like to make decisions, whether it be they struggle with the multiple variables involved or they have anxiety about having made the wrong choice. In some ways life is easier for them if someone tells them they must do this or that rather than having to decide for themselves.  Ergo, if they had no choice they have little or no accountability. Other folks make decisions perhaps too easily and downplay the associated consequences or accountability, choosing to live in the moment and worry about all those life debits and credits at some later date.

In my lifetime I have seem the spectrum of choice broaden in many areas as traditions and societal norms have changed to reflect the desire of the minority to make choices that previously were banned or deemed undesirable by the majority. Some of these changes were sorely needed as the majority had it wrong; other changes have been controversial and divisive.   These changes resulted in new choices for many people and correspondingly new accountability.

Yet the question remains as to whether or not those who now have a new choice have adequately thought through the consequences of their choice and the associated accountability.  Maybe hundreds or thousands of years of traditions were built on principles that promote life happiness and a better society and these “new” choices are just variations of old choices that were found to have undesirable consequences over time.  Sure, technology provides new solutions to some age old problems…but I think we too easily believe that prior civilizations didn’t face the same choices that we do.

I believe that greater and greater agency is a good thing and provides the opportunities for man to ascend to greater heights of development…or drop to lower levels of depravity.  We shouldn’t fear greater choice, more freedom, fewer traditional norms, or fewer apparent consequences. We just need to recognize that we will be held accountable for our choices.

Journals, Blogs and other Records

November 17th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted in Musings

I wish my father had kept a journal and recorded his thoughts on life.  My parents divorced when I was young and while I saw my father on weekends, the time was spent with my siblings in activities more than discussion. After high school I lived at my father’s house for several years, even commuting together to work at Union Pacific Railroad, and we talked quite a bit.  Yet it is now when I am near the same age that he was then that I am curious about what he was thinking and feeling as he passed through his 50s.  I haven’t done much better at keeping a journal than he did, but I have done some and am keeping this blog (which I suppose I should print out at some time) and have dozens of hours of recorded shows that my descendants can access should they so desire.

I’m in the process of cleaning up this blog, changing some entries to private as they have little value aside from record keeping (eg – my weight lifting activities).  I’m also editing some older entries for clarity and in some cases to make them more generally applicable to the reader.  If I stay motivated I’ll update tags and categories and maybe create some summary pages to make it easier for someone to find the few nuggets of wisdom I have to offer amidst the rubble.

Creating content forces me to organize my thoughts and filter them for presentation, and that might be the most important aspect of the process.  If no one ever reads or hears what I have to say, I improved myself via the effort.


You’re Kilting Me!

June 7th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Nope, not my most original title, but I’m not looking for originality points. (I’m comfortable with the fact that I AM an original.)

Kilt. A Men’s Unbifurcated Garment (MUG). Origins in Scotland, blah blah blah read it on wikipedia. I have Scottish ancestors (Clan McCleod, Septs Bethune and McCaskill) and that’s NOT the reason I wear a kilt. My wife just thinks its a phase, a current obsession, and frequently rolls her eyes when I wear my olive green Utilikilt Original around the house. She was further chagrined to find out (via an egregious display) that there is no liner or modesty shield on this kilt. And that was before I mentioned that I had been wearing it to work in the yard.

Yet “shock value” is not my prime motivator either. Initially I got the kilt (a trade with the guys at Utilikilts) so I could wear it to my first Scottish Festival in Payson Utah last July. I attended with my mother and it was a worthwhile experience and then the kilt sat around, lonely and underused, for much of the past 9 months.  Such a shame! Here I had a fine garment, one of the most expensive that I own, and I’m only wearing it once a year? How can this be?

So I started wearing it around the house. And then out in the yard. And then on an occasional errand.  Yes, I have the natural concerns of a rational heterosexual male in Utah County, but most of those are easily pushed aside with the same logic that I use when considering the sad state of our yard or the cars we drive. So, what’s holding me back from taking the leap and wearing my kilt to work and more?

Photos like these:

Yes, they are bolder than I am and I understand their enthusiasm and passion for their kilts. But they look a bit different than this guy:

Hmmm…of course, this happens all the time in the fashion industry, that is, using great looking models to sell clothes to people who will never look great in them. Yet, how to overcome this phenomenon?  Simple answer…get into great shape! Oh, and find the right shirt, belt, shoes and socks to go with the kilt.

So, while acknowledging that many kilt-wearing men do not have the same reservation that I do (hats off to you boys!) I’m still working on the being in good shape part, much less the great shape.  Is it pride? Maybe.  I’m not completely uncaring as to the image I present. Yet at my age (54 as of this writing) and living where I do (uber-conservative LDS mecca), if I’m going to do it (wear it to Cafe Zupas or Walmart) I want to do it right. Oh that I looked like this guy!:

Alas, Friberg had a talent for depicting studly men whom most of us mere mortals will never come close to matching…but I’m trying.


Never too old?

February 23rd, 2011 | Comments Off | Posted in Uncategorized

While working out this morning at the gym, I was impressed by an older man (late 60s?) who was pulling some pretty good weight on a couple of the machines.  He didn’t look weak, but also didn’t look tremendously fit. I was encouraged as I realized that in another 15 years that could be me, assuming that I continue to work out.  I wondered what he had done over the years and what kind of shape he had been in while still young, or even at my current age of 54.

When one is on the downhill leg in life it is a question of just how fit one can be, the dance between building muscle and losing muscle mass. Have I already reached my peak? Is it still possible to increase my strength before the inevitability of age puts a cap on what I can do?

For thousands of years men have sought a fountain of youth, a way to turn back the clock on Father Time and regain or retain their strength and vigor. (Little blue pills aside.)  Although, a discussion about motivation is in order: Fame, power, ego/confidence , money, sex, or personal satisfaction? I should google it and see if any research studies pop up.  What if the magic elixir of life was nothing more than testosterone?

I’m happy to report that my sore right forearm is about 95%. I’m doing all my lifts again and the numbers are going up. I’m still behind my highs of last summer, which in part was the purpose of this post, wondering if my ceiling is dropping or if I just need to work harder to get back to where I was.

Currently curling 40 with the left arm, 35 with the right, 150 lat pull down (just started again this week), 130 on rowing, 135 military on the smith machine, 195 bench press on the seated machine, 100 fly machine, 60 reverse fly, 200 shoulder dip machine.

A Matter of Belief

February 22nd, 2011 | No Comments | Posted in Kyani

Recently in one of our local newspapers there have been  a  couple of articles attacking MLMs and those who participate in them.  While I am hardly endorsing every MLM or MLMer–for even a cursory review will yield many horror stories–I am defending the right of individuals to believe that their company or products are the best.

Belief–personal belief–whether it be about religion, politics, companies, sports teams, actors, cars, or any on myriad other areas that we touch in life, rarely can be changed with “facts,” as if facts weren’t subject to error and bias.  Certainly eyes will roll when someone makes an all-encompassing statement about the health benefits of this or that product.  These are statements of belief, of passion, of commitment, and shouldn’t be interpreted as statements of fact.  No, not everyone will receive the benefits that the speaker has promoted, even though they believe it passionately.

A friend of mine has dubbed these kind of statements as “American Idol Syndrome.” He, like many of the rest of us, scratched his head at some of the contestants over the years who truly believed they were gifted singers, when in fact most were awful singers, so much so that the producers of the show highlighted them to make fun of them.  While we might not agree with their self-assessment of their singing ability, certainly we should defend their right to believe it.

The water gets muddier when someone’s statement of belief is the cause of our spending money or committing our time and energy, like when joining an MLM. This is why most reputable MLMs have policies against making statements about income or health benefits, without adequately qualifying them so as to be clear that they are opinions or beliefs and not statements of facts. Sadly, most MLMers ignore these policies and brazenly make statements that they might believe to be true but technically are forbidden from making. (The main reason being that the various state attorney generals have required MLMs to forbid these type of statements, else the company will be censured, fined or shut down.)

So, how can one know if the product will have a beneficial impact on their health? Try it.  And that might only be after checking with one’s physician if there are any out-of-the-ordinary health issues to be dealt with.  Hopefully the products carry a money-back guarantee so as to reduce the financial risk.

And those “wild” statements you hear at opportunity meetings and elsewhere? Just accept them as passionate statements of belief and don’t put too much credence in them…after all, YOU get to choose what YOU believe in life.

Your "Reboot" Process

September 17th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted in Daily Thought

I find it common for me to get off track, caught up in the details of the day or the difficulty of the paths I’m treading.  More like a juggler or plate spinner, attempting to prioritize what to do can often result in my doing something unimportant by default. Perhaps a good analogy is a computer that is bogged down by too many open programs and just gets stuck, needing a reboot to clear away the confusion and get started up again. Sometimes my reboot is a “power nap”, sometimes it’s the daily crossword puzzle, sometimes it’s a short walk outside. What I recognize is that I let myself go too long before rebooting and waste time that could be better spent if I could just realize that I’m stuck.

What’s your Reboot process? How to you get back on track and moving forward?

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