Sunday, February 24, 2008

Shopping at Smiths

I took a picture in the Smith's up by Millcreek when the power went out while I was shopping. Hope you like it.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Don't try taking pictures of the Cottonwood Mall.

Alex and I went up to the cabin today. Well, not really. We tried to go up to the cabin today. As we got closer to the turnoff, it started looking like we weren't going to have too much trouble getting there. Um, yeah. Our first clue was the 4 foot wall of snow that the plow had left blocking our first turnoff, on the main dirt road about 1/2 mile up from the highway. But we figured "no problem, just means we have to leave the truck here and take the snowmobile." Another Um, Yeah. We got about a half mile from there and got the snowmobile so stuck it took us an hour and a half to dig it out, unpack the track and get it going again. And the really good part of this whole thing? We decided that we shouldn't have 2 people on it, so I ended up walking down (well it is his snowmobile). Nothing like a nice relaxing half mile walk - in almost 3 feet of snow. I did walk in the snowmobile path, which just meant that it was only every 5th step that I went in up to my knee. And the whole way down I kept thinking "snow shoes." Anyways, we made it down safe and sound, and it was well worth the trip to see all that snow, BS with my brother and see the Honda Element that was on it's side on SR-40 at Strawberry Res. No idea how it happened, we didn't see it happen, but we did see it on it's side, and since somebody was already rendering aide, we just went on our way.
.
At least not from on their property, you have to be on public property where their Rent-A-Cop can't tell you what to do. They're tearing the thing down to rebuild it so I went by today to get some pictures before it's gone. I was up on the parking area by Macey's taking pictures when Security Dude came over and told me to stop taking pictures. "What?" The company that owns the property doesn't want people taking pictures of the mall. And why? you might ask. Seems that they are worried about crazy gunmen, the dude mumbled something about the recent shootings on their property, one of which happens to be Trolley Square. I asked if he was serious. He was. "So I can walk right over there to the sidewalk and take pictures, but I can't here?" "Yup, that's about it." Well, rather than argue with him, I just left and drove around the outside of the property looking for a good spot to get some pictures. I found one, but there already was some lady there taking pictures. I get out of the car and notice she is in a confrontational stance. "You got kicked out of there for taking pictures too?" I ask her, and she immediately relaxes. She thought I was Security Dude and was going to give her some more grief. So there I am, taking pictures of a semi-demolished mall, talking about the absurdity of the whole thing. After all, what are we going to do with pictures of an empty mall that they are taking down? There's nobody to shoot. Blowing up the building would be doing them a favor. Maybe if they were already building the new mall I could see their point.

More Bushisms

  • "This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous. And, having said that, all options are on the table." - Israeli television interview, Febryary 22, 2005
  • "I under small business growth. I was one." - New York Daily News, February 2000
  • "It's not Reaganesque to support a tax plan that is Clinton in nature." - Los Angeles, California, February 2000
  • "If you don't stand for anything, you don't stand for anything!" - Austin-American Statesman, 2000

Happy Birthday Patrick!


'Tis the season.

Here we go again. Another Legislative antic I (or a sibling) am going to rant about. But let's face it, the Utah Legislature is in session, and this year is a banner year for showing their ignorance. Now it's the High School International Baccalaureate program. Lawmakers shot down a bill that would have given $300,000 in support of it because, as the Republican Senator from Orem Margaret Dayton said "I'm opposed to the anti-American philosophy that's somehow woven into all the classes as they promote the U.N. agenda." Anti-American, woven and agenda : three words that conjure up images of Joe McCarthy grilling would be communists about their associations. I hear those words and other words pop into my mind : paranoia, delusional, coo-coo.
According to the Tribune Article, the IB program is a program that offers college credit to students who take rigorous courses that expose them to world perspectives, and there is no connection to the U.N. at all. I guess if being taught to be be able to look at other people's points of view, to learn about other cultures and belief systems, reading books like "Crime and Punishment" and respecting people as human beings is anti-American, then so be it. Maybe not anti-American, but it surely is fundamentally opposed to the Utah Legislature's "my way or the highway" philosophy.
Thank you for sticking around for yet another episode of "45 Days of Our Legislature"

Friday, February 22, 2008

Google's taking over the world.

Go to Google.com and click on "Maps". If you live in Salt Lake City, type in your address and click "Search Maps". If you don't live in Salt Lake, before you try your own address type in "600 So 500 E, Salt Lake City, Utah" and click "Search Maps". (Not all cities have this option, so that is why you should try Salt Lake first). When you get there, click on "Street View" and then click on the little guy standing in the middle of the map. That picture is an interactive, 360 degree picture of the intersection or your house. Click inside the box, holding it down, and drag it around. Click on an arrow a couple of times. The roads outlined in blue are the roads that have street views, there are a dozen or two cities in the US that have this. Check out your own address. If the roads don't turn blue when you hit "Street View", then you won't get the picture. I found my little brother's house, but the street my big brother's house is on hasn't been done yet. I got real close to the house I grew up in in Lexington, to the corner where we accidentally pushed my little brother out of the car. (Dad, Danny - SHUT UP, WE'RE ALMOST HOME - but dad, dann - I TOLD YOU TO BE QUIET BACK THERE - but dad...... In dad's defense, we were an obnoxious group of kids and we had been on the road for a while.)

Ouch! Ow! @$*&, ohhh, that hurts.

I'm going to defend Senator Chris Buttars. I'm not going to defend his politics of hate, the look on his face as the lesbian mother testified or his comments about babies. They are pretty much indefensible. I'm also not going to defend him against this push for his resignation. I would love nothing more than to see him kicked out of office. What I will defend is his right to change his mind about meeting with the NAACP. According to the article in the Tribune, he originally agreed to meet with them in private, a "one" on one conversation between the two. He didn't deline to meet with them until the NAACP invited the media without his consent. In other words they wanted to turn this frank discussion into a media circus, and I (OUCH) have to agree with Mr. Buttars that there is no reason he should attend a meeting he never really agreed to. He is a petty, evil man. He should be forced to resign and barring that, the people of West Jordan should not endorse his hatred by re-electing him. But there is no reason he should show up to a meeting set up to publicly humiliate him, especially when the rules were changed behind his back. I wouldn't. You probably wouldn't. He shouldn't.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Younger brother comment.

Being skeptical, I had to check this out... I found this on the web. http://www.americanstroke.org/content/view/17/46/
Danny

I didn't know this! STROKE: Remember The 1st Three Letters.... S.T.R. STROKE IDENTIFICATION: During a BBQ, a friend stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics)..... she said she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes. They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, Ingrid went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening. Ingrid's husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital.... at 6:00 pm Ingrid passed away. She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Ingrid would be with us today. Some don't die.... they end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead. It only takes a minute to read this.... A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke.... totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough. RECOGNIZING A STROKE Thank God for the sense to remember the '3' steps, STR . Read and Learn!Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke .

Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:

  • S * Ask the individual to SMILE.
  • T * Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (i.e. It is sunny out today)
  • R * Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
  • If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 911/999 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.
  • New Sign of a Stroke --- Stick Out Your Tongue NOTE: Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue.. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other , that is also an indication of a stroke.

Older brother rant and rave.

Gun Nut Legislation Round 2

OK – all these suicidal rampaging college students must be having an effect on the Utah Legislature. Again they are promoting gun legislation that is pushing the beliefs of a few on the rest of us. This legislative fervor over the right to bear arms (or did they say they wanted to arm bears – no, that’s a subject for another time) would be funny if it didn’t have potentially (and in some cases actual) deadly consequences.

A few weeks ago a Utah Senator put forward a bill that would require business owners to allow concealed weapons holders the ability to bring their weapon, properly concealed, onto the business’s private property even if the business owner didn’t want it. This is the wisdom behind SB67.

Today I saw a story on another bill, SB473, that seems not only to be in poor taste and against reasonable judgment but also mean and spiteful.

This bill, sponsored by Curtis Oda of Davis County, provides that concealed weapons holders not be required to conceal their weapon. This means if this bill passes they can openly carry loaded weapons into schools, colleges, hospitals and other public areas – even if the school, college or hospital doesn’t want guns on their property.

Does this prompt you to ask yourself – are there really that many people who have trouble distinguishing between Gunsmoke reruns and reality?

As it turns out there is a reason for this bill beyond the obvious. It is a self-centered vengeful reason. You see the University of Utah took up the position of its ultra left wing liberal students and faculty in declaring that no guns were allowed on campus. The Barney Fife crowd challenged this in court and the U lost. It seems we really do need someone to tell us what we should be thinking and doing in public areas.

The University of Utah conceded they wouldn’t go against the court’s ruling but instead required that those packing heat had to keep it to themselves, unless of course a terrorist attack occurred, a student went bizerk or it became necessary to get that parking spot right next to the library (I added the last part, not the U).

That was just too much for these doers of good. They wanted everyone to know they could take over if things got out of hand, or maybe they wanted everyone to know they had a bigger gun than the bad guys.

Would you really feel comfortable walking around campus with a 9mm strapped to your side. Wouldn’t you worry that you would scratch your car as you were getting out? The parking spaces are pretty tight at the U. Wouldn’t you worry that someone (or a group of someones) might want to take your weapon from you or that it might drop out of the holster when you were using the facilities?

But I digress – the message SB 473 seems to be sending is the same as it always is. A small fanatical group wants to impose its beliefs on the rest of us and we should say no. For those who want their voice heard against this sort of fascism, here is the information on how to appeal to your Utah Senator.

By the way – when I wrote my Senator about SB67 a few weeks ago I got an email response saying she was strongly against that bill.

You can get the name, address and email of your Senator by going to the website http://www.utah.gov/government/legislative.html. If you don't know which district you are in it will take a little investigation on this site but it is worth it. You will always have his or her name and you can pummel them with your opinions at will.
Remember only you can prevent bad legislation.

AR

Happy Birthday Todd!


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Most miserable fantastic weather ever.

It's warm out there. It's sunny(ish). Overall it's a beautiful day, and I hate it. Why? I'm not a big fan of winter. Hate the cold, love the warmth. So what could be wrong with the first sunny day in the 40's in a while? Dumbass inversion, that's what. I was out in the garage, sitting in the car with the key in the ignition. I turn the key ever so slightly when a memory jumps into the front of my mind. It's Danny asking "So, which car will you drive during inversions?" Thanks, Danny. Would have been a prefect day for a drive in either the hardtop or the convertible, except for the fact that I could drive the Subaru from Salt Lake to Richmond, Virginia spewing out less pollution than driving either of the LTD's to work and back. So yeah, pretty much the LTD's stay in the garage on all Red Air days. Yellow days I may still drive them, but I'm allowing myself some serious guilt. On the good side, just imagine what this valley would look like if we hadn't made these strides in car pollution control over the last 40 years. Bleah!
Almost as ugly as the guy in the picture (nice seque there Steve). That's my buddy Chris BUTTars, and that's the picture I wanted to use in the previous post about him. There have been several letters in the Trib commenting on this picture. You can see the disgust in his face, and it's ugly. But hey, he doesn't hate everybody, heck no. There is this guy named Gibby. He's a radiologist that bought 120 acres above Mapleton while it was designated an "Enviornmentally Restricted Zoning District." But that didn't worry him, because he knew BUTTars would come to his rescue. And so he did. And thus was born SB201 (Protection of Personal Property Rights from Citizens Referenda). Now the beauty of this bill is that it's what's called a "box-car bill", they have a number and a title, but no actual text. But from the name Paul Rolly and I figured that it was to protect Gibby's 120 acres from the 1,100 residents of Mapleton that signed a petition to stop his, or at least somewhat limit his, development of this wilderness area. But Chris is also a well rounded guy. He wasn't going to just protect, or enhance, Gibby's extra curricular investments, he also introduced SB121 (Access to Qualified Health Care Providers) which would prevent insurance companies from showing favor to health providers that were willing to give them a discount on services. Which just happens to help Gibby's career as a Radiologist. I may be wrong, but in other states do they at least TRY to hide their corruption?
Oh, and just heard on Fox 13 - Chris BUTTars has said that he will run for re-election and that all the hubbub over his innocent comments amount to a "Hate Lynch Mob". K.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Instant Gratification just ain't fast enough.

The other day as I'm pulling into my driveway, the lady (and yes, she was female) that came screaming up on my back end blares her horn at me. I was driving the hardtop and she was in a little Toybaru-Nissazda-Volkonda thingy, so I really wasn't worried about her hitting me. But I'm thinking "What am I supposed to do, NOT go home?" After I showed her how I thought she was #1 and got into my driveway, I started to think that maybe my brake and/or signal lights weren't working. Not unheard of in a 40 year old car. So when I got into the garage I put the door down and checked. Nope, all was working well, she just figured that I had no right to go home if it slowed her down. Sorry. ma'am. Next time I'll drive around the block until there are no other cars on the road.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Danny!


When are they going to stop embarassing themselves?

Seriously? This man openly refers to gay people as heinous and bad legislation as a dark ugly black baby. And the people of West Jordan continue to re-elect him. Of course I've argued for years that you could pit a sack of potatoes with an "R" after it's name against an intelligent man or woman with a "D" after their name and in Utah the potatoes would get elected. Proof? David Monson vs. Frances Farley in the late 80's. Sack of potatoes vs. intelligent woman. The potatoes won. There are a few Democratic strongholds in this state. Salt Lake City hasn't had a Republican mayor for at least three decades. And until Governor Norm Bangerter (of "take two aspirin and get back to work" fame*) we'd had several decades of Democratic Governorship. But our state legislature is made up of a supermajority of old white Republican men, and they pretty much get to do what they want. And now they're trying make it harder for us to stop them. Private School Vouchers went down in a blaze of glory with the citizen's refferendum last election, and that made them mad. Lot of nerve us common folk have not listening to the smart folk up on the hill. So now there's a bill up there that will shorten the time a group has to collect the signatures necessary to get a refferendum on the ballot. By about two months. Yup, they represent us. If by "us" you mean developers, road builders, REAL Salt Lake and Larry H Miller (you know this guy!).
.
* In the late 80's when Utah bypassed Mississippi with the lowest per pupil spending in the country and the teacher's complained, Gov. Bangerter actually said that to them. This was before I was a teacher.
.
And I found a new blog to visit - Salt Lake CityWeekly's blog. I'm not sure if it is an official blog for the newspaper, or if someone just set it up, but HERE is the link.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A little o' this 'n that.

First of all, Rae; the place I got the top done on the LTD is:

The Seat Cover Co.
4651 So 500 West #1
Murray, Utah
(801) 265-0991
It cost me $450 for the top, and so far I'm really impressed with it - it looks fantastic. With the paint as good as it is, it gives the whole car an almost new look - from the outside at least. It feels tight and secure, but only time will tell it's durability, although with 2008 plastics, I'd assume it's even more durable than the original. For the dash, he gave me a quote of $197, and that's for the LTD. A Nissan should be less, although sometimes that isn't true. He says that they put a thin polymer over the top of the dash, so it remains practically original. You can be the guinea pig and get the Nissan done, or wait until I get my tax return to see how it looks on the LTD.
I got a "Out of Office Countdown" calendar for Chirstmas, and have slid on keeping up with it, so here are a few actual GWBush quotes, leading up to today:
  1. You can fool some of the people some of the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on. - 2001 Gridiron dinner
  2. Who could have possibly envisioned an erection-an election-in Iraq at this point in history? - Washington,D.C., 01/10/2005
  3. Rarely is the question asked "Is our children learning?" - Florence, South Carolina, 01/11/2000
  4. We thought long and hard about what to propose. We proposed a bold initiative, an initiative that takes equities out of the system, so people are treated fairly. - Lee's Summit, Missouri, January 2007
  5. Because he's hiding. - Aboard Air Force One, discussing why Osama bin Laden is still at large, January 2005
  6. I'm hopeful. I know there is a lot of ambition in Washington, obviously, but I hope the ambitious realize that they are more likely to succeed with success as opposed to failure. - To the Associated Press, January 2001
  7. I know how hard it is to put food on your family. - Nashua, New Hampshire, January 2000

And finally, driving up to school in a snow storm sucks. Getting there and finding out that class is canceled really sucks.

See ya on the flip side.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.

I don't know if the term has permeated outside of the technogeek and/or educational circles, but we've been talking about Web 2.0 a lot recently. It's not a new program, not a new learning tool, it's a reference to an evolution of the world wide web that happened quietly, obscurely right under our noses. Like I said, we've been talking about it a lot lately in my technology circles, but the discussion in my Educational Technology class last night made the concept crystal clear, along with the importance of the change. Web 1.0, as they are now calling the first web species, was static, unidirectional and elite. Static because once a web page was posted it could, and often would, remain exactly the same for a long time. Unidirectional because we, the users, took information from the internet, a 99% one way flow of information from the net to us. And elite because you had to know HTML, had to have access to a server connected to the web, often paying for it. But in the last few years sites like Blogger, Car Forums, Wikipedia and now it's sister-site Wikispaces, Flikr, Ringo, My Faces, My Space and all these other sites have changed how we web. It's now bidirectional, we read, we absorb and then we give out information. It's fluid, very few pages remain the same for more than a nanosecond, someone is always adding, changing and revising. And most importantly it's universal. With Public Library access to the internet, with the fact that most Americans, and a good portion of the population worldwide, have computers in their homes with internet access, we ALL can be a part of the internet. And now we are all shaping the face of the internet. It used to be growing outward, constantly adding tentacles, but rarely changing what was left behind. Now every time we blog, every time we upload our pictures and every time we add our two cents worth into a wiki it ripples across the internet.
.
Go to wefeelfine and click on the heart on the left. In a moment you will see "Looking for feelings from people in the last few hours" and your screen start to fill with little colored dots, floating around the screen. I clicked on a purple square and a picture of a cat took over the screen and in front of it were the words "i feel so wretched if only we could have helped cassie the feeling of loss is just awful if only we could have spoken to her and tolda her things we needed to say, 24 mins ago / by someone". This site culls the internet for words that express feelings from all the blogs it can find, worldwide, and if you click on the words, it takes you to the writer's blog. Each one of those dots you'll see represents someone's feelings that they have shared on their blog. You don't always get a picture, sometimes it's just the words. It all depends on the blogger.
.
On 43things people list the 43 things they would like to do before they die. You can do a search and see all the other people that have a specific desire. For example I searched "cars" (duh!) and discovered that 2 people want to steal a car before they die, and one said they wanted to "steal another car". Again it's fluid, evolving as more and more people put in their choices, and as some change theirs.
.
On Zillow you get a Google Earth type interactive satellite map, except as you scroll around you see an appraisal value of all the homes on the map. It fluctuates as houses are bought and sold.
.
And finally, on The Dumpster you'll find something very much like wefeelfine, except it only looks for blog entries relating to breakups.
.
Yeah, a lot of this is like Jerry Springer does the web, peeking into people's lives and emotions. But let's face it, when I blog I'm inviting people to peek into my life. I don't put stuff on here that I'm not willing to share, and anyone who does probably would stand at their front window buck naked too. No common sense, there's a reason it's called the world wide web. Final thought on this: on my first visit to wefeelfine.com, as I sat there staring at those little dots bliping around the browser box, I felt some sort of life force in there. Nothing like a Star Trek alien is going to come out of the screen and suck my face off life force thing. No, just that those dots represented the lives of millions of people adjusting the web to add their two cents worth in. We've come a long way from the days I had the computer on in the background dialing The Motel West BBS over and over again, hoping for the crackling of the two modems connecting, but more often getting a busy signal. Just imagine what's going to happen in the next 20 years......

Monday, February 11, 2008

Check out Old Blue.

New vinyl roof. Click here for the story.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm 64?

I got up early Saturday morning to tile my kitchen floor. Like the same time I usually get up for work. Today, Sunday, I woke up feeling my age. My legs were sore, sore, sore. Sitting is fine, standing is fine, heck even walking today wasn't so bad. It's the act of sitting down or getting up that makes me want a shot of tequilla. Seems that all that getting up and down and kneeling was just too much for these old legs. Gone are the days that I could do that for 3 days in a row. Ahh, well at least with age comes wisdom (that's my story and I'm sticking with it.)
.
Actually you may be reading a lot about my age for the next couple of years. 30 wasn't bad, 40 was just another birthday, but 50 is already loomin heavy on me. My mom was 50 when she died. At 28, as bad as it was, it didn't seem like she died incredibly young. I'm turning 48 this year and now 50 seems WAY too young. I hope she forgives me. And I hope you all forgive me for all the age-related posts I'll be doing for the next couple years. It's cheaper than a therapist.
.
And if you care to see my latest batch of scenery pictures - Click Here.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Some of Our Legislators Really Are Out of Touch

Your tax dollars are being spent to sponsor SB67 which will require business owners to allow concealed weapons on their property. You see there is this thing called the Constitution in which a property owner is entitled to a particularly high level of protection and discretion about what he or she can allow to happen on their property. This bill doesn't bother with such trivial things but wants to help us to help those trying to help us.
Our good neighbors at the legislature feel it is necessary to protect us against the government "crawling under our car and into our glove boxes to tell us what we can and can't have in our possession" (Salt Lake Tribune February 7, 2008). The bill would require a property owner who refuses to allow the right thinking vigilante from bringing a gun onto their property to build a fence and a gun safe where the gun can be stored when the kindly protector is visiting the naive owner and his establishment. If you haven't detected some sarcasm my intent is to suggest that SB67 is a significant imposition of the rights of a few on a fundamental right we all have, to protect our own property from harm. I may think differently if gun use was a daily occurance for everyone but it isn't and the Trolley Square shooting, which could have been a boon to the concealed weapons people if a citizen was there and was able to protect others, but they weren't (or at least they didn't show themselves). An off duty police officer, properly trained and professionally equipped for that type of situation, saved many lives. Besides, do we want the government telling us what we can and can't do on our property?
So what can we do as Joe or Sally Public? We can tell our State Senator we want oppose SB67 and demand they vote against it. You can get the name, address and email of your Senator by going to the website http://www.utah.gov/government/legislative.html. If you don't know which district you are in it will take a little investigation on this site but it is worth it. You will always have his or her name and you can pummel them with your opinions at will.
I am in district 4 and my Senator is Patricia Jones. Here is the content of the email I sent her "Dear Senator Jones,I live in your district in Holladay and I am against SB67. I believe it is a gross infringement of my constitutional rights and I strongly urge you to vote against it."
Thanks and have a great day defending our Constitution.
Alex Rossi

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Farmer Days at Harmons

If you happen to be shopping this Thursday, Harmons in the Brickyard is donating a percent of everything they sell (I don't know what percent) to the 5 schools that are there decorating and participating in activities at the store. I'm going to be in something called a "cakewalk" and my principal is going to be in a bagging contest with the other principals at 5:00. Come by if you get a chance.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Shameless self-promotion

video

I sent the picture in to KUTV AM news and missed it. But Danny saw it and e-mailed me the link to the little video clip of it. Of course, since I was at school, by the time I got to it, they had already changed the clip and I thought I had missed the thing. Nope, an hour or so later Danny e-mails me this video clip. Thank you Danny!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Racism is racism either way it goes.

I was watching the Channel 2 News and they were in California talking to people about the upcoming Super Tuesday. With the two who are leading in the Democratic polls, they newscaster just couldn't resist bringing up the vote for a woman or a black man issue. I can't remember who said it first, the woman or the newscaster, but I remember the woman saying something like "I don't know if I'm a woman first or black first" when discussing if she was going to vote for Obama or Hillary. Now I'm not the most Politically Ccorrect person around, although I try to be aware of my biases and deal with them, but isn't it just as bad to vote FOR a candidate just because they are a woman or black as it is to vote AGAINST them for the same reasons? Somehow though one sounds worse than the other. "I won't vote for Obama because he's black" or "I'm voting for Obama because he's black". Which one makes the neck hairs stand up more? Yet if you are voting for Hillary just because she's a woman, you are saying that her opinions, her attitudes and what she will or won't bring to the White House are all irrelevant. She's got to x chromosomes so you're voting for her. In my opinion, EXACTLY the same thing as voting against her because of the xx. Same with skin color.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Mental Disorder Monthly, February 2008 Issue

Sunny day, sweeping the clouds away!
It was a nice, sunny day. Very few clouds in the sky. I'd gotten most of my homework done, so I figured what better to do than take the convertible for a cruise. No matter that it's only 37 degrees outside. So, I call up my old friend from the Churchill days, Adele, and tell her what I'm up to and ask her if she's in. Her response : "Like you have to ask if I'm in!". So I go pick her up, we head over to Smith's to pick me up some gloves and come out to find two weirdos and a kid hiding in my car. Danny, Rae and Dylan were there and saw the car on the way back to theirs. I asked them how they knew it was me, like I wasn't the only 1970 Ford LTD convertible with the top down in freezing weather in the parking lot. Without any hesitation, Danny comes back with "I could tell by the license plate." They head home and Adele and I head out cruisin' around and end up at the 7-11 at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon. Pick up some hot coffee for me and hot chocolate for the lady, get a few good comments in the parking lot and head back out. It's about 3:00, peak of the heat of the day and around 37 degrees F. We figure that's not cold enough, so we head up the canyon. Now, I didn't get a good picture of this (although there was a few people who did) so I'll have to describe us, but there we are heading up the canyon, the top down, with our big parkas, gloves and wool caps on. Clutching our hot drinks like they're our lifeline. We were planning on going all the way up to the Brighton ski resort, but only made it to Solitude when we decided it was getting a little too chilly. We pull into the parking lot, follow the traffic around to find a spot to get some good pictures. I bet her $5 bucks to ask these guys suiting up on the side of the road where the nearest beach is, but she declined, so I had to do it. "Hey buddy, where's the beach?" to which he responds, without hesitation and pointing westward "About 500 miles that way." Good comeback. Even if the ocean really is more like 1000. So we pull around and find a good spot, Adele starts posing like all those women in car photos, except she is wearking considerably more, and I hear the guy behind us (who happens to be taking pictures of us) say to his buddy "Must be a photo shoot for Mental Disorder Monthly". Which I found funny enough to use as the title. Snap a couple more shots, get a few more funny comments and it's time to go - the hot drinks are wearing off and the chill is setting in. I do a perfect Steve McGarrett peel out on the snow, spitting snow all over behind me, to the amusement of three 20-somethingers walking by. Head over to the ski ticket booth, take a couple more pictures, one of the Solitude sign and hit the road. We are seriously cold now. So cold that the previously funny idea of driving home with the car filled with snow from an avalanche is not so funny anymore. We make it back to the city without any body parts falling off, head to the nearest food establishment (Barbacoa on Wasatch) and thaw out over a really good burrito (that cost very little because one of my students (that likes me) works there and gave us them at her employee discount.) Now fully fed and thawed we decide the fun is over, drop her off at her house and head home.

Sugarhouse, Continued.

(Click on picture for full view)

As far as I can remember, Sugarhouse has always been one of the stronger economies in the Salt Lake Valley, I don't think I've ever seen a boarded up store, until this recent redevelopment. And most of the businesses that were there have successfully relocated within a couple blocks of their original place.
The center picture is a drawing of what the development is supposed to look like, the surrounding pictures are ones of the area I took a while ago. From what I understand of the development, it is going to include residential, office and retail space, and some green spaces within. I'm kind of torn about the development. On one hand, I love the historic parts of the Sugarhouse area. My house is almost 100 years old, they kept the facade of the old Irving School rahter than demolish it after the fire, and there are a lot of other old buildings and homes scattered around the area. Sugarhouse Park is the site of the original Utah State Prison and Hidden Hollow still has the remains of the foundation of the old Sugar Mill. On the other hand, it looks like it's going to be a well done development, unlike the strip malls and cookie-cutter housing developments of Sandy. It is nice having all the retail stores within walking distance, and this will only bring more. Of course, that means more traffic in an already congested area, but school hours are out of sync with rush hour, so I pretty much get to avoid that anyway. Guess we'll just have to see.....