Sunday, September 30, 2007

Car 54, where are you?

Shark tooth tattoo or tiling a bathroom, the choice is yours.

So we got together in our group and reevaluated our choic of project. One of the criticisms that the professor had of the tire changing project was that too many groups choose to a classroom of one type or another as their audience. He challenged us to choose a different audience for our term project, something outside of an educational setting. That was the catch with the tattoo - we couldn't come up with any reason for instruction on Tongan tattooing other than either a Mulit-Cultural class or a class for future tatoo artists. So, scrap the tattoo and now we're doing a set of flash cards on tiling a bathroom. Target audience - the part of the general public that is familiar with and has done home repairs. How mundane. At least I can still get the tattoo....
"Hi, my name is Steve, and I'm a caraholic." If you've been hanging around this blog a while, you've already heard this - but I had a friend tell me once that I needed to check myself into the Henry Ford Clinic. (I still laugh at that one). My second car was a 1969 2 door hardtop LTD I bought for $250. You roll down all the windows and there's this big hole in the side of the car with no B pillar obstructing it. "Dukes of Hazzard" was on primetime TV and my friends and I had gotten pretty good at jumping into the car without opening the doors. But I'd always wished it was a 4 door hardtop - the opening is even bigger. Well, in steps the internet. I found this one on the internet, a 1969 4 door hardtop LTD. New paint. Rebuilt engine. According to the seller (whom I actually talked to) it runs like a creampuff. The vinyl roof is beginning to show some wear and I'll probably have to replace the headliner. But she assures me it will drive here to Salt Lake no problem. So, in a couple weeks, Danny and I, (and maybe Rachel or Alex) will be flying out to California to drive it home. Did I hear "Mid-Life Crisis?"

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Hanging a Moon.

I got the pictures from Dylan's birthday and some more scenery pictures - including some close moon shots.
There's the links for ya.

So Leilani and Joanna get together (virtually, over the internet) and decide that this tattoo thing may not be the best idea for our project - can't seem to figure out the "problem" that the instruction is supposed to alleviate. Unfortunately, I've made such a big thing of it here that if at all possible I have to go through with it. Can't let down my e-fans. Seriously though, I've gotten kind of attached to the idea of having a tattoo done in the traditional Tongan manner. So, hopefully, even if we change the direction of our project, Leilani will still let her husband tattoo me. I'll keep ya updated.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Howdy from EdPs 6451

So I show Leilani a picture of the Pi symbol and say something like "It's gonna hurt like hell, isn't it?" and I get a "yup" from her. Wanting to remain deluded as to exactly how bad this is going to hurt, I told her that she was supposed to lie and say it won't be that bad. Not even breaking from typing her notes she comes back with : "It'll be like little fairies kissing your skin"
Uh, I'm not that delusional......

Monday, September 24, 2007


Sorry about it being a little late, hope you had a great one.

Tongan sharktooth pi.

I've passed the point of no return. Lailani has already told her husband that it's going to happen and we've already planned our whole term project on it. So, I might as well tell everyone, 'cause I ain't backing out now.
It all started when Gibb, Lailani and I were talking about what we wanted to do for our term project in our Instruction Design class. We thought of this, that and the other thing (I really can't remember what they were) when I made my first mistake. "No, I don't want to do something mundane, ordinary. Let's do something different." We discussed a couple other things that were still too mundane for me, when Lailani (whose husband grew up in Tonga) said that her husband does traditional Tongan tattooing. here cometh mistake number 2 Which is when I mentioned that I'd been thinking about getting the Pi symbol tattooed on my arm for a while now. The ball was rolling at this point, pushed along by the mention of a traditional Tongan drink (alcohol that is) that preceeds the tattoo. They knew to mention the drink before mentioning that the ink is set in the skin by poking me with a sharpened shark tooth a bazillion times. I was still focused on the drink, and how cool it would (will) be to have a tattoo done in a traditional tribal manner. Anyway, I'm gonna do it. And we're going to take a ton of pictures of it for our project, which you'll all get to see - unless I wimp out at the last minute.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Fun and Games on the way to the "U"

We're 4 weeks into the 16 week semester, 80 weeks of Graduate School, and Gibb and I have quite a routine going. We meet at the Traxx station by our schools right around 3:00 and catch either the 3:04 or the 3:19 train, depending on whether or not we're willing to run to the platform (uh, yeah). More often than not we're on the 3:19 train. Then we grab a bite to eat somewhere on the way, go to class and ride Trax back to our cars. Sounds mundane, no? Right. I wish.
First of all we have a 5 or 10 minute wait between the Sandy train and the University train, on the way to class. On the way back it's never over 3 minutes. You may not realize this, but there's quite a bit going on right across the street from the Galvian Center Trax stop. That's where we met the 'city councilman' that was collecting for the homeless pregnant ladies and we see him there often, cavorting with his other homeless friends. They come in every shap, size and gender. Some have dogs, most don't, but it's been interesting watching their culture. Young folk, who by their dress appear to not be homeless, seem to like to hang out with them. They are always there if we are on the 3:19 Traxx, but we've been early and they aren't there yet. Must not get off 'work' until 3. Three times we've seen the police show up, they've mastered the art of pulling up onto the sidewalk between the planter and the light pole - getting out of the way of traffic without blocking pedestrians. All three times the homeless got up casually and slowly, but not too slowly, disbursed. One of the times the police had a specific young man in mind, he came over to the platform and stood about 10 feet away from us. We didn't hear the whole thing, but enough to know that he allegedly had a knife on him and had threatened someone with it. Our train showed up and we had to leave while the police were searching him, no idea of the outcome.
The Channel 2 news room is right on the other side of Main street. Gibb and I headed over there one day to watch the news as we waited for the train, and after watching them on the big screen outside of the building, Gibb notices this person behind them and says to me "hey that's me!" She'd been standing there, on TV, without even knowing it was her. So I, of course, had to do something goofy and started making bunny ears behind the newscasters, when they all of a sudden went to someone on location. Gibb thinks that it was what they had planned to do, and that my antics really had no effect on the newscast, but I don't agree with her. She's just trying to deny me my glory.
And finally - yes it's time to wrap this up - there's nothing like being gropedby an old drunk woman on Trax. Yeah, we found out that Trax is significantly busier at 7:30 than at 8:15. We got out of class 45 minutes early and headed home. The train was packed and I had to share a seat with an old drunk lady. I could smell the beer on her and she kept leaning over on me. Gibb was on the seat facing me, (yes, we shold have shared a seat, but at the time we got on the train we didn't need to), and she said that there were a few times she thought the lady was going to let her hand "fall" right on my crotch. Gibb kept making the 'cover yourself' sign to me. I did survive the trip with my purity intact.
Anyway, time to go now. I'm officially not working at the Chevron anymore, so hopefully I'll get to posting more often. Or then again, since class is beginning to get going maybe not. We'll see.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Weird Rambling and The Moron of the Day

Ah the opportunity to pick my youngest up from school let me experience the chaos and total lack of consideration that is parents picking their kids up from school. They go where they want, they have no idea anyone else is driving on the same street and they will do hap-hazard things without considering the consequences. I head up the street north of Churchill and a lady pulls over to the right and signals she is going left, I hit my horn to let her know I am there and she can't just flip a u-ee and she gives me this "what's up" look as I pass. I know deep in my heart that if I hadn't given her the horn she would have just flipped first and asked questions later.

Now for the Moron of the Day. I park on the same street past the school buses about 25 feet from the corner. I pull back toward the car behind me to make sure I have left enough space for people to see around the corner and to let kids safely cross the sidewalk. About three minutes later a Range Rover pulls in front of me and backs up almost to my bumper. Her front bumper is half way into the sidewalk crossing. I hit the horn and she just puts it in park. When I go to leave I pass her (after making a 3 or 4 point turn to get out of the space) and she gives me the same "what's up" look. That must be the common theme in this process.

Ramblings . . . . I was going to go to lunch at Trolley Square today and that got me thinking. Where were the private citizens that are the protectors of our civil liberties and defenders of the poor masses against the bad guys when the Albanian immigrant decided to storm the Bed Bath and Beyond with a small army of weapons and ammunition? Isn't this the exact circumstance that the gun lobbyists say requires that people need to carry concealed weapons to defend against? Wouldn't you think that at least one licensed nut-job would have seen this as his opportunity to be Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry? Either they were just as scared as everyone else and kept their guns to themselves or the gun coalition is exaggerating the number of people who want this to happen. Just putting it out there to spark some conversation.

Today is the day that a 70+ elderly lady is going to court in Utah County for resisting arrest which arose from a charge of excessive weeds in her yard. My only hope is that someone with a shred of decency will see the ridiculousness of this and apologize to her, ask for her forgiveness and pay to have her lawn redone. Gloria Alred, a nationally known high profile defense attorney from Los Angeles has agreed to represent her. Maybe she can talk some sense into the folks in Utah County or at least embarrass them enough to lay off. Again, just putting it out there for some discussion.

Alex Rossi

Well, Adele (another ex-Churchill teacher) and I came up with a theory about the lack of oxygen in the Olympus Cove area. The only problem with that is that I've seen that type of selfish, arrogant, narcissistic behavior all over the valley and I don't think it is unique here either. I think it's a characteristic of our "have it your way" society.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


While I was at the 9th & 9th Street Festival I dropped by a bunch of the political booths that were there, and made some choices vote-wise. I thought I'd post some links to people and issues that caught my attention.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

One Heckova Storm

Didja see that storm last night? According to Adele it was raining so hard down in Holladay that she didn't even dare run out to her car. Up here in Sugarhouse we didn't see even a drop. But I did see some reallt great sights. The sky was lit up a bright orange from a combination of the falling rain and the sunset. I ran over to Sugarhouse park to get some pictures (you can see them here). It was awesome, I even caught some lightning on "film". Today, there was a street festival at 9th & 9th. (Oh, that's 9th South and 9th East, for those of you who are not "in"). Walked halfway up 13th East, hitched a ride on the bus the rest of the way, then walked down to 9th East. Went to the Barbacoa there for lunch and ran into 3 Granite High students working there. Hung around for an hour or so and then walked back up the hill and rode the bus home. I love having my UofU UTA free pass! It was a great, relaxing day. (See the pictures here). And the good thing is that I now have Monday and Tuesday night to do my homework. Mindy (the manager at Chevron) got me off the schedule already. Which is really cool, 'cause I really didn't want to do my 2 weeks, but I expected I was going to have to, so this little surprise was a welcome one. This means that as of now, I'm working only one job, and going to school. Way cool.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

It's official

I gave my 2 weeks notice at the Chevron today. Went in a little early to talk to Mindy, the manager, and told her that working 2 jobs and going to school just wasn't working. She was real understanding about the whole thing - she realized that teaching and college weren't the things that were going to give, that it was Chevron that had to. Especially since with the roommates and student loans, (and the theoretical $2,500 raise that I won't believe the legislature really gave me until I see it), the extra money is not a necessity. The really good thing is that she said she's going to have the office keep me on the payroll because I told her that I would still like to work summers - I actually get a lot more done when I have something keeping me on a schedule as opposed to a whole lot of nothing for 2 months. I tell ya, it pays off being a good, reliable employee.
So, Writer, looks like we'll have more opportunities to cruise in the convertible in a couple weeks.........

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Happy Birthday Dylan!!!

September 10th
Got a few more picture galleries if you're interested:

Convertible Time of Year.

I can't imagine not having a convertible. They're great and you might think there's nothing better for the summer. Au contraire, mon frere! The best time for a convertible is right now. Slightly cloudy so you don't have the sun beating down on you or in your eyes. Cooler days, because no matter how fast you're going, 110 is hot even with the top down. Now, summer evenings are kinda nice, but for daytime it's got to be spring or fall. And early fall and late spring afford the greatest comfort zone for the convertible - nights are not too cold and days are not too hot. So give me a call one of these weekends and we'll go cruising in the beast, she's got 5 working seatbelts now.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Happy Birthday Julia!!!

September 6th

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Right before leaving for work, there was a national weather warning for Tooele county for high winds. It warned people to stay away from windows and stay inside. Well, I can't imagine what that storm did to Tooele, but when it hit Sugarhouse it was a doozie. The power flickered on and off about 5 times in one hour. One time it was bad enough to shut down the whole system which takes 15 minutes to reboot, the rest it just shut down the gas pumps for 5 minutes or so. The unusual thing was that the customers were all understanding about the situation, not one of them yelled, screamed or demanded we fix the problem immediatly. Almost revives my faith in the human race. Almost.


Just got back from a bike ride. Only 8 or 10 blocks and already I can feel 743 muscles I wasn't even aware I had. Might have something to do with my not getting on a bike since I got my driver's license. Back when Jimmy Carter was president. Back in the day, we used to ride our bicycles everywhere. When I was around 10, a whole bunch of the kids in the neighborhood, 10 or 12 of us, rode the path the British took from Lexington to Concord. 14 miles round trip and now I can hardly make it a mile. Oh well, at least I still liked it, may take a while but I'll be back up to 14 miles eventually......

Monday, September 03, 2007

Human / Vermin. There's a reason they sound so alike.

Don't get me wrong, I like people, individuals. It's just as a race we suck. There's a lot more lovable ones out there, like sharks and fire ants. At least they don't proclaim to be civilized, you know exactly what to expect from each and every one of them. We, on the other hand, claim to be the evolutionary apex of the planet, the only beings with a sense of self awareness and social conscious. Yet we scurry around this planet exhibiting behaviors that defy any sense of common good and instead display a healthy attitude of self entitlement. Yes, I ran some errands today.
I was gone for a whole 30 minutes today, and ran into 5 instances that were memorable. I get in line at Shopko behind a lady that is just finishing up her transaction. I've got one thing to buy, the cashier reaches for it as this lady's friend butts past me and hands him a video to ring up. Just as I'm thinking "Like, totally rude man, but it is only one thing", the lady pulls out her checkbook. Not cash. Not credit/debit card. But, these days, the slowest method of payment on God's green earth. The cashier, realizing that I am about to slam that lady's head down on her checkbook, which would probably jam her pen in her eye, causing a huge mess he would have to clean up, politely suggests that they can ring me up at the Customer Service counter. Disaster averted. On the way home, I almost get run over in front of the Shopko trying to get to my car, some lady decides she needs the whole lane for her minivan and is driving down the center of the isle in the parking lot, some guy in a BBA edition Ford Mega-Crew cab decides that the extra 30 feet his girlfriend/wife would have to walk from a real parking spot to the Nordstroms Rack might just give her a heart attack so he parks right in the lane of traffic (after all, WE can go around HIM), and finally as I'm pulling out of the parking space at Carl's Jr (halfway into the lane of traffic) some guy in another BBA pickup turns into the parking lot and figures that he shouldn't have to stop and tries to squeeze past me. All that within 30 minutes and 5 blocks of my house. Oh, and Writer, sorry about that huge, run on sentence, I was on a roll.
Well, thank you for letting me vent, I feel much better now. I think I'll go take a nap and get ready to face the hoardes again. Gotta be at Chevron by 3..........

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Week One down, about 70 more to go.

Week one of the teacher-student-Chevron trilogy is over. It's been a pretty good week, despite being incredibly tiring. For about 70 more weeks, until June of 2009, on Mondays through Thursdays, I'll be getting up to go teach around 6 am and not getting home until 9 pm. Friday's I only teach and Sat & Sun are being kept relatively clear for studying.

Teaching : I had a really good week. We've got a bunch of 9th graders that I taught 2 years ago when I was at the middle school, and it's kind of nice seeing them again. Whenever you change schools, you have to get known again by the staff and student body, and last year I was an unknown. This year, not only do I know the kids that were here last year, but because they came from my old middle school, a bunch of the new kids already know me. My math classes are looking good - Algebra I I'm coteaching with the special ed teacher, who is almost as crazy as I am. The UBSCT class has about 15 kids in it and they are all motivated to pass the test. Psychology is a blast. Last class I had them in groups of 3, gave each group a topic to learn (the different theories were our topics), had them talk about it in their group and then had them go around the room, talking to other students, finding out about the rest of the topice from them. It was cool. They stayed on take almost the whole time, mostly chatting about what they were supposed to. My Web Page class is not as dynamic as it was last year, but they are all interested in learning about it, and were even kind of excited when I told them the big project for the class was going to be a web page for a group in the school that I would actually put on the school's site.

Studenting : One of the classes is Foundations of Instructional Design, the other is Foundations of Learning - both of which are more project based, and not your basic lecture-test type classes. I have both classes with Gibb and her student teacher from last year, Leilani. Both professors have let us make our own teams, so we're working together on the projects, and if the rest are going to be like the first one, they're going to be a blast. We had to develop a design for instruction on changing a tire (and he specifically ruled out "get on the cell phone and call Triple-A") I don't know if you can tell how much fun we were having from the pictures (see post below), but we sure did take a lot of them.

Chevroning : Same-old, same-old. Love the people I work with, love the manager who is so willing to adapt to my school(s) schedule. And the extra $$$ ain't bad either.

Tonza new Photo Galleries.

Well, finally got around to getting together a bunch of recent pictures and putting them in galleries. Here they are, check out the ones you think might be interesting, ignore the rest.