Sunday, October 19, 2014

How things have changed.

I saw this 4-Runner on the way home from dropping off payroll today.  Considering how I had to special order my Wrangler to get a manual transmission, it amazed me how much things have changed from when an automatic was so novel that they advertised it.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Bizarre Morning.

Whoda thunk just filling up the Wrangler could be such an exciting event? [Note: “the other guy”, “the maniac” and “the crazy guy” are all referring to the same person – butt crack boy who started the whole thing.]

On my was to the Chevron this morning, while I was waiting at the intersection of 21st South and 13th East, I saw what I thought was a homeless man going up to cars stopped and asking for money.  It was obvious he was being aggressive, at least in the sense that none of the people in the cars had called him over to give him money.  They kept their windows up and took off as soon as the light let them.

As I was filling up I looked over to see if he was still going out into the road to harass drivers, and saw him (he’s the one with the blue hoodie on and butt crack showing in the first picture) at the driver’s window of a red Mercedes.  It caught my attention when he started banging on the window.

By the time the Wrangler was filled up, he had started punching and kicking the car.  I went to the front door of the Chevron where one of the workers I knew was standing and asked if anyone was calling the cops, I had no idea who was in the car and things were escalating.

A customer coming out of the Chevron was on the phone, and told us that he was calling the police.  By this time the driver of the car (he’s the one in the blue shorts and neon yellow shirt) had gotten out and was trying to keep the assailant from further damaging it.

The driver was trying real hard to keep his cool, but the other guy was swearing at him, insulting his family and continuing to kick the car.  Finally the driver had had enough, got in between the other guy and the car, trying to keep the other guy from doing any more damage.

The other guy wasn’t having anything of it, and tried to push past him to get back at the car.  At this point a brawl started.  It had been 10 minutes since the police were contacted and still no sign of them, even though the guy on the phone (and the driver was on the phone to them also) was encouraging them to get there fast before someone got badly hurt.

The other guy’s buddy, who was yelling things about the world coming to an end (I’m not making this up, honestly), pulled him away from the driver, things would deescalate for minute, then the other guy would head back towards the car, the driver would get in the way and the brawl would start over again.  This repeated itself several times, and still the comps were nowhere to be seen (it took them a full 20 minutes to get there).

A crowd had gathered, people had their cell phones out taking pictures (obviously I was one of them) and video of the whole event.  The Chevron parking lot was packed.

A young lady unknowingly pulled up behind the red Mercedes in her Honda Element.  She started taking a video of what was going on in front of her, the other guy noticed her (and for some reason he didn’t notice the other dozen people with their phones out).  I watched as he kicked her front bumper and then went up to her window, yelling at her to stop.   When he started pounding on her window a bunch of us started yelling at him and moving towards the Honda.  A guy across the street, in the white pickup, grabbed a 6’ pole out of the back of his truck and got the other guy’s attention away from the Honda.

I will never forget the look of sheer terror on the lady’s face as she jumped out of the driver’s seat into the passenger seat to get away from the maniac banging on her window.

The guy with the pole really didn’t want to fight, so when the other guy came towards him, the guy with the pole led him around the white truck away from the young lady, who took this opportunity to climb out the passenger side of her Honda and blend in with the rest of the crowd.

At this point I’m not sure what happened, but we noticed that the crazy guy had calmed down and was hugging his buddy who had pulled him away from the fights earlier.  Finally, the police showed up.  No lights, no sirens, no hurry.  The paramedics beat them there by a minute or so, at first we thought they had just happened across the scene.  The crazy guy was sitting calmly on the back bumper of the ambulance being looked over by the paramedics when I (and a couple other witnesses) went over to the driver to give him my name and phone number in case he needed witnesses.  I saw the police putting the other guy into the back of the police car as I waited at the left turn light on my way home.

And the whole time my good camera was sitting on the table in the garage.  Gotta learn to never leave that thing at home.

And I’m still wondering how the driver is going to explain all this to his insurance company.

Friday, October 17, 2014

So much for compliance

I was coming out of my school’s driveway on Wednesday and stopped at the red light.  (My school is on a main road, so the exit has a stop light.)   When the light turned green, I was looking to the left and saw the car coming towards me come to a stop, so I proceeded through the light.  I glanced to the right and saw an SUV with yellow flashing lights coming towards the intersection.   I figured that since there was no audible siren, and the lights were not red and blue, that the vehicle was not an emergency vehicle so it would stop at the red light.  Imagine my surprise when it just sailed right through the intersection, forcing me into the middle lane to stomp on my brakes.  One block past the intersection they turned off their lights and proceeded like nothing was wrong.

Now, maybe I’m wrong, but I thought there was a reason certain public vehicles were not given the blue and red flashing light bars with loud, obnoxious sirens.  Yellow flashing lights are supposed to mean “Watch out for me, I’m here parked on the side of the road checking to make sure this sewer is not backing up.” and red (with or without blue) flashing lights mean “Get the hell out of my way, I’m trying to save someone’s life.”

I was even more surprised when I saw the tag on the back.

Guess they only need to make sure everyone else is in compliance, not themselves.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Shoulda been an Art Teacher.

I’m trying to inspire my students to enjoy and understand mathematics, but instead I seem to be their artistical muse.

One of my students drew this on the back of her test:

And another student, in another period, drew this on his notes:

I was talking about why scientists sometime leave square roots in this form: 2√3 instead of calculating it out in decimal form and rounding it off to 3.5. The idea being that if you are sending a rocket to Mars and doing thousands of calculations, all those rounding-offs would cause a huge margin of error, and you could end up missing Mars by hundreds of thousands of miles.

At least he was paying attention to the lesson.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Thematic Photographic : Patterns.

I went back out to Skull Valley, where I wrote about the apocalyptic scene I saw out there.   I really wanted to see if there would be any cars still out there after 2 weeks.  Nope, not a one.  But I did find a lot of patterns.

Patterns in the dried mud that only 14 days ago was so wet and mucky even 4 wheel drive vehicles got stuck in it.
Patterns on a clutch plate that been out there for who knows how long.  And how did it get out of the vehicle it was in?
Patterns from vehicles when they finally got to make their exodus.
and finally, patterns in the mountains caused by spring runoff.  You can also see the shoreline of the late, great Lake Bonneville that used to fill most of Utah with water.
Check out Thematic Photographic to see more on patterns.