Thursday, January 31, 2008

Phlegmish Fjords Abound

Did you know that X-ray machines no longer need film? Yup, my doctor's office just upgraded to digital. Instead of film they now stick you between the radiation and some digital receptor thingy. So, the X-ray Tech is telling me all about this so I ask her if I can get a copy of my X-rays. She says "yup" and makes me a CD of them, including the program you use to look at them like they did on the light-on-the-wall thing before. Pretty cool stuff. Anyway, so there's one of my pictures, pretty hot nasal cavaties, eh? Well, the good news is that we think my cough has been figured out. All we had to do was match the time the cough started with the time my cholesterol medicine was changed. Hmmmm. Yup, you guessed it, they happened right about the same time. So we changed it again, and in 4 weeks I go back.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Yet another milestone to freedom

Just this week was GW's final State of the Union report. Just another sign that the end is near (less than 1 year). Whew!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Car back, cars gone.

Well, I got the 4 door back. I'm not going to tell you about it because I took Alex's advice and started a blog for old LTD fans. I call it "Underpopular Old Detroit Steel", because I decided to include all fans of the less popular cars of the 60's and 70's. So, for those of you who get tired of listening to my rambling and ranting about cars, you're not going to get it here anymore. Things of the vehicular nature will remain the domain of "Underpopular Old Detroit Steel" See ya there.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Pictures of 21st So. & 11th East

Click Here.
It will be easier to see if you right-click and open in a new window.

Junior "G" Man Limits Loot of Nebulous Nabbers.

Associated Press, Sugarhouse, Utah. Johnny "Bloodhound" Dorkman thwarted two would be thieves from a major haul. "If it weren't for me, they just might have gotten away with FOUR bricks instead of two!" boasted Dorkman. "I just wished I had been armed, then I could have followed the one culprit into the covered parking at the bank, and he wouldn't have gotten away."
I don't remember what the episode was about, but I can picture the scene from The Simpsons where Chief Wiggum is sitting at his desk pretending to type on a non-existent typewriter, taking the statement from someone he considers to be a prank.
I can't make this stuff up. Sam on the Bus of Death (see earlier post), broken headlights and pulled over thrice by the same cop, finger in the gas tank and now the Junior "G" Man. Sometimes I wonder if people think I'm just pulling their leg. Trust me it's all true, I'm not that creative. This crap actually happens to me.
I drive down 2100 So every day on my way to work, and I knew they were redeveloping the Blue Boutique corner but none the less it was a shock yesterday when I noticed the corner had been leveled. So today I decided to take a walk down there to get pictures. I have a whole bunch of "before" pictures and I want to do a comparison. You know, before, during and after. I had already taken all my pictures, circled the whole block, and was sitting on a bench that looks over the destruction. After a few minutes I noticed this teenage girl who had snuck over, under or through the fence and was taking close up pictures of what was left of the building with her cell phone. She looked like she had probably spent a lot of time at Sugarhouse Coffee, dressed all in black, the make-up and everything indicative of Emo, so I snapped a couple of human-interest pictures of her. She looks over at me and gives this impish little shrug and puts a finger to her mouth in the "shhhh" gesture. I do the same back, letting her know I'm not about to call the cops on her. Well, I didn't, at least. She starts picking through the rubble looking for a souvenir to take, so I walk over to the fence to ask her to grab something to me. As I'm walking over and before I can ask, she comes over to the fence, hands me a 6" chunk of the facade and says "this is for you." As I walk back to my seat I finally realize that this guy standing in the middle of the street on his cell phone is apparently giving a description of us to someone, I'm guessing the police. I heard him say, as he was looking at me, "with glasses and". I didn't hear the rest, but decided that it was time to head home. Now, I wasn't really too worried about running into the police, I'm not sure what the penalty for "Receiving Stolen Rubble" is, but I was afraid of losing my little piece of Sugarhouse history. I already lost my Deadhorse Point Road sign a couple years back, I didn't want this taken away too. So, I left. Headed to the corner and up north on 1100 East. Got to the corner and realized this guy is following me!, keeping the party on the other side of his cell phone informed as to my movements. I have to admit, at this point I started getting a little creeped out. I really didn't want this guy following me all the way home. Fortunately, this is the point he gave up the chase, and stayed on the other side of 2100 South, watching me and relaying my position. So, I decided "f" this, took my glasses off, cut through the covered parking of the Wells Fargo Bank, up the alleyway to Hollywood Avenue, across to McClelland, up to Ramona, over to 1100 East, across to Ramona again and home. I knew the cops were probably pulling a Cheif Wiggums and not really too interested in the Great Rubble Heist of 2008, but I've watched too much CSI and Law & Order not to have this weak feeling of being hunted. And I really, really didn't want Junior "G" Man to see me going into my house. So, I kept an eye out, looked up and down the street before turing into my driveway and I'm gonna lay low for the weekend until the heat cools off. (I am just kidding about that last part, I've already been out of the house to go to Home Depot.) Anyway, I'm home safe and sound, it's been 4 hours now and the cops haven't battered down my front door, so I figure it's safe to go out into society again.....

Monday, January 21, 2008

Now, from my Foreign Corrospondent:

The Car Show – Am I Really Getting That Old

Remember when going to the car show was a treat. When it wasn’t just an exercise in trying to see what you wanted to buy for your next commuter transport or which minivan would suit your family best. You went to experience automotive eroticism. Your heart raced as the latest models came into view. In an instant you were peeling out of the showroom and onto the pavement, unsuspecting citizens scattering everywhere as you chased two guys wearing suits, fedoras and driving gloves in a black Charger……..


The car show used to let you get close to the new models before they began showing up on the street. You didn’t feel like you were on a multi-badge car lot. Now the brands all seem the same, there appears to be no real style innovation and everyone is selling every type. Each badge has an SUV, a crossover, a sedan a mini and a van. When Lincoln offers a pick up and Porsche an SUV you know there is some market bleed-over. All is not lost though, there are many reasons to go to the Auto show even if you won’t feel like you need to go to confession afterwards.

We went in search of the largest luxo mafia cruiser. It seems only Mercury and Cadillac believe there are guys who need leg room (and trunk room when the need arises – for those one way trips to the fishing pier if you know what I mean – fogetaboutit). Although these cars are only a mere shadow of their prehistoric ancestors built in the late 60s and early 70s they do scream F O (the second word is OPEC – you can guess the first).

We got to see Ronald MacDonald. Its not every day you get to see a guy in a bright yellow suit and red hair. He gave us a great auto show gag line – he doesn’t understand why he drives on a parkway and parks on a drive way. Sort of reminiscent of the bad stand up comics before the burlesque shows – they tell me (I’m following the cars as sex theme here).

We got to see a metro-sexual climbing out of a crème colored convertible VW bug. The really sad thing is that this car looked so bland it probably didn’t even give him the “look at me, look at me” feeling he was trying to achieve when he stepped into the car. He probably went directly over to the Buick section after that. Little did he know that we weren’t looking at him but the bug. It didn’t bring back memories of driving our Vdub along the southern California coastline. It just looked like a bland pseudo euro bad styling attempt at retro.

Speaking about the Buick section we spent a record 14.24 minutes in the Buick/Olds/Pontiac section (or the oatmeal section) before we could feel our automotive will to live being bled from our veins. We had to escape. We bounced over to the GMC Tahoe Hybrid. We didn’t want to make the jump too quickly. Going directly into the classic cars or the exotic imports could have caused autophilactic shock.

We did learn the Tahoe Hybrid used a technology called “regenerative braking” to charge the battery. It seems you generate kinetic energy when you brake, which usually ends up building up as heat. This vehicle uses that energy to charge the battery. Neat idea, I wish I felt like spending the $55 grand it would take for this model to show my support for such great innovative ideas. We need more of that in our auto industry.

GMC also has another Hybrid, the Malibu. We wanted to ask a sales person if it also had regenerative braking so first we looked to the young female GM rep near the car, but she was using a manual to look something up for the guy she was talking to (you can create your own Hybrid Malibu Barbie joke here) so we decided to ask an older gray haired car guy who was also a GM rep. We asked him about the technology on the Malibu Hybrid and as he was droning on trying to sound like he knew what he was talking about but wasn’t clear on anything, I looked at his badge. It said his name “Jack” and below it was “Product Specialist”. Isn’t it cool that they can make up titles for people who shouldn’t have them. The guy who gave me my food at the concession should have been wearing a badge that said “gastronomic supply technician” but he wasn’t. And Jack certainly wasn’t a “Product Specialist”, in fact he didn’t seem to know Jack.

We did find out that Toyota was the most experienced in the hybrid market. They had three models that were labelled Hybrids. The Preis, the Hylander and the Camary. The Preis has been around since 2000 and is the darling of the Hollywood crowd who want to let everybody know they are environmentally conscience. The only problem with buying a Toyota is the “we are dominating the world” tax Toyota has on the use of their name. They require you pay them $7 each time you say Toyota. I can’t go though life not saying the name of my car. In fact I owe them $28 for this paragraph.

We found out two other things about hybrids. When you ask Nissan if they have a hybrid they will say yes but it is available in only twelve states and Chevrolet won’t make a hybrid Corvette. The first is like making a full sized chocolate car, nice but you are never going to get it home, the second is like a chocolate suppository, at first an interesting idea, but after you think about it for a minute you think – what was I thinking.

We found out that metallic orange is in this year. Every manufacturer seemed to have a car in that color. The problem with stylish car colors is that they eventually fall out of style and then you are stuck with a really expensive reminder of how old your car is.

We also saw the Camaro concept car, there is no way the production model is going to look like that. After the feds get a hold of it, it will probably look exactly like the Grand Prix. The Bullitt Ford Mustang was a cool concept car that is actually available. It looks close enough to the real thing that if you saw a sandy haired guy tearing around the streets of San Francisco in it you would look for a black Charger.

Well I exited the main hall after gathering a few brochures and just as I thought I would have to go home a little too squeaky clean I spotted the classic car section. There were a few T-birds and a Chevy Nomad. Just staring at me, seeming to say, yes you can leer and you won’t get an elbow in the side. I lingered but the crowd pushed me along.

Just after I was over that I spotted Mustang row. Eight vintage Mustangs lined up with their hoods open. I didn’t even care if someone caught me staring. I was experiencing visual sensory overload. I could hear the horsepower of the 302s and 351s being revved. The paint was shinny and the leather seemed as if I was the first one to gaze upon it’s supple softness. I had to move on.

I passed through the exotic car section. There they were, Italian beauties capable of putting me into heart arithimia. I could feel the pounding in my veins. I just wanted to linger, to touch, should I dare say it, to sit in the driver’s seat and be enveloped by the warm and lusty feel of the Rocaro seats grabbing my hips and …… I had to get out of here quickly or I would embarrass myself.

I broke out into the hallway and headed for the door. As I exited the exhibit hall I passed a 1950 Ford Custom Deluxe Utah Highway Patrol car. The pounding in my head was subsiding and my pace slowed a bit. That helped me return to normal, but I would probably have to go to confession anyway. I can’t wait for the next car show – maybe I’ll drive to Vegas.
Alex Rossi
Sandy, Utah
And for the pictures: Click Here
Hummer v. Poser H3: Click Here

Friday, January 18, 2008

Learn something new....

So, about what would year you say they started putting front disk brakes in cars regularly? Well, with the Ford LTD it was 1970. I brought the '69 in to get some work done on it, part of which had to do with mushy brakes. Figured that they should work as well as the convertible's brakes. Yeah. Well, I went by the mechanic's to see how things were going and found out that the front brakes of the '69 are drum. I knew it already, but I double checked it today and the front brakes of the '70 are disc. It says very proudly on the brake pedal that they are.
So, anyway. The up shot is that there is in fact a big difference between disc and drum brakes. And I found another difference between the '69 and the '70 LTD.

Yeah, I know. You don't care.
P.S. - you gotta read the comments to this post to understand the picture....

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Lisa!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

"Ah yes, the 2.8 v6. The fuel economy of the 4.3 with all the power of the 2.5 iron duke."

"I suppose on the bright side, they leak so much oil that the block will never get a chance to rust." Yes, I have always loved the GM 3.8Litre V6. The Regal. Luxury to spare, slow as a snail. The Skylark. So bad I ripped it out and replaced it with a 4 cylindar. And the Jeep, my Wonderful Wagoneer. Danny kicked my butt going up Parley's Summit. I was in the Jeep, towing nothing, he was in his Mazda B2000, towing a trailer. Passed me like I was standing still, and getting twice the gas mileage. Yup. I love the GM 3.8 V6.
So I was up at 5:00 this morning. I let myself get volunteered for another one of these Saturday college field trips. This time to UVU, Utah Valley University, formerly known as Utah Valley Community College. Other than being at school, standing in the dark waiting for the bus at 6:00am, it was a fun day. Saw some robots, played with physics stuff, learned about fingerprints (did you know that the Egyptians were aware of their use over 3,000 years ago? Neither did I until today.) Anyway, it's 6:30, there are tops 20 people in a bus built for 60 and it's dark outside. I said that it felt like the beginning of a really bad horror movie. We got into a big discussion about who was going to go first. Teachers, #1. Bigger kids second, get them while you're fresh. And last would be Adam, small, wiry and fast. The conversation faded out somewhere around 7200 south. About 15 minutes later we come up over the point of the mountain into a wall of fog. The radio crackles to silence. Tyrel comments that his cell phone lost reception. We all get real quiet and all of a sudden Sam blurts out "Oh my God, I'm dead, they always go for the black guy first" and ducks under the seat. Now I know this isn't very Politically Correct, and I do apologize to anyone who takes offense. But coming from Sam himself, and because of it's spontaneity, I couldn't help but laugh. It's like Guy on Galaxy Quest. "Of course I'm gonna die, I don't even have a last name!".

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Why wasn't I there?

Seems a couple of nights ago the Tesoro on Highland Drive was robbed. I found out when I went to dinner with one of the counselors and a friend of hers that used to come into the Chevron all the time. This friend of hers was driving down the road between Pei Wei and Granite Furniture when she saw a guy running and being followed by two guys, one in one of those fluorescent crossing guard vests. So she gets down to Fairmont Park and turns around and asks the guy bringing up the rear what's going on. He tells her they're chasing a guy that just robbed the Tesoro and she figures "I'm a mom in a minivan, let's go get the guy". She invites the guy to hop in and they flip down the road heading towards Smith's looking for the burglar, who happens to be in a bright red parka. They see him behind a tree and she stops, down the street a bit and the guy gets out of the minivan and goes to confront the burglar. Nobody knows if he ever had a gun, but the burglar tells him to back off or he'll shoot, and of course he backs off. The burglar takes off, he hops back in the minivan and tells her what happened. So she starts following the burglar, at a reasonable distance, and since she stayed back at the confrontation he isn't aware of her minivan. While she's driving they cal 9-1-1, and bring them up to speed, and even let them know when they see the burglar toss the red parka in the dumpster. They end up about two blocks behind him on Hollywood Avewhen the cops show up right as the burglar turns north on Lincoln Ave. She has already described the burglar to the cops, so she just points up Lincoln and they go get him. Earlier today they called her and asked if she actually saw him take off the parka and if he was ever out of her sight. She admits that he did get out of her sigh but that she did see hime toss the parka in the dumpster. She gave them her account and was a little worried that it wouldn't stand up in court, and they told her that it was ok because they had reviewed the tapes at the Tesoro and there was no doubt they got the right guy. And all for $30.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Focusyn with Bart in Psychology.

Yesterday we finished watching "A Beautiful Mind" in psychology class and had enough time to start the presentations the students did before the break. I had them get into groups and pick their favorite disorder, collect info on it and put together a 15 minute presentation. Ski, Ivan and Laurel (names have been rearranged to protect the innocent) volunteered to go first and by coincidence their favorite disorder was Paranoid Schizophrenia. I was surprised that most of the students were actually paying attention to the movie, because they kept referring back to things that happened in it. The other thing I discovered was how great "The Simpsons" is for the discussion of schizophrenia. They brought up the episode where Bart's parents put him on the ADHD drug, and he goes wacko with the tin foil and garbage can lid, trying to prevent professional baseball from reading his mind. Beautiful paranoid schizophrenic behaviors, and we also got to discuss the difference between real schizophrenia and the same behaviors caused by drug use and/or withdrawal. One of the most satisfying half hours of my teaching career. Now, if only some of them remember "3rd Rock from the Sun" for when we discuss Narcissism. Hmmm, maybe we'll have to watch a few episodes........

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Predictions 101

Have you ever thought "man, that guy is headed for an accident" while driving down the freeway? Yeah, me too. I'm going a good 70+ MPH along I-215 headed home, and right where it turns north at the 6200 So exit the road suddenly got all snow packed. I slow down to 55 or so, figuring that it's going to be getting worse as we head up the hill. On the way up this grey car goes screaming past me like I'm standing still. Immediately I thought "what a moron, he's gonna cause an accident". Lo and behold, I get to the top, right before the 45/39th south exit, and there he is, facing the wrong way among a few other cars, parts of his car dangling and thrown about. Now, I really don't know for sure that he caused the accident. But I know for sure that going 70+ on top of packed, albeit patchy, snow certainly did not help.

By the time I got off the freeway at Foothill, turned around and got on Wasatch Blvd where I could get my pictures, the cops were already there directing, or trying to direct traffic. It never ceases to amaze me when people decide they don't need to follow traffic directions and try to head where the cop is specifically telling them not to go. I could hear the cop screaming at this guy from where I was taking the other pictures, loud enough that it caught my attention in time to get this picture of the cop yelling at the driver.

Couple of dumbasses I tell ya.

When I was done there I ended up at my old school, Churchill, and caught this sequence of a kid snowboarding down the hill there. I don't know if you can see it well, but somebody built a ramp out of snow and he was getting some good air off it. (And no comments from you, Gibb!)

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Foxworthy on Wisconsin.

  • If you consider it a sport to gather your food by drilling through 38 inches of ice and sitting there all day hoping that the food will swim by, you might live in Wisconsin.

  • If you're proud that your region makes the national news 96 nights each year because Park Falls is the coldest spot in the nation, you might live in Wisconsin.

  • If your local Dairy Queen is closed from November through March, you might live in Wisconsin .

  • If you instinctively walk like a penguin for five months out of the year, you might live in Wisconsin

  • If someone in a store offers you assistance, and they don't work there, you might live in Wisconsin .

  • If your dad's suntan stops at a line curving around the middle of his forehead, you might live in Wisconsin .

  • If you have worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you might live in Wisconsin.

  • If you have either a pet or a child named 'Brett,' you might live in Wisconsin .

  • If your town has an equal number of bars and churches, you might live in Wisconsin .

  • If you have had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number, you might live in Wisconsin .

  • If you know how to say Oconomowoc, Waukesha , Menomonie & Manitowoc, you might live in Wisconsin.

  • If you think that ketchup is a little too spicy, you might live in


  • 1. Your idea of a traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a tractor on the highway.

  • 2 'Vacation' means going up north past Hwy 8 for the weekend.

  • 3. You measure distance in hours.

  • 4. You know several people who have hit deer more than once.

  • 5. You often switch from 'heat' to 'A/C' in the same day and back again.

  • 6. Your whole family wears Packer Green to church on Sunday.

  • 7. You can drive 65 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard, without flinching.

  • 8. You see people wearing camouflage at social events (including weddings and funerals ).

  • 9. You install security lights on your house and garage and leave both unlocked.

  • 10. You think of the major food groups as beer, fish, and venison.

  • 11. You carry jumper cables in your car and your wife or girlfriend knows how to use them.

  • 12. There are 7 empty cars running in the parking lot at Mill's Fleet Farm at any given time

  • 13. You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.

  • 14. Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow.

  • 15. You refer to the Packers as 'we.'

  • 16. You know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction.

  • 17. You can identify a southern or eastern accent.

  • 18. You have no problem pronouncing Lac Du Flambeau.

  • 19. You consider Minneapolis exotic.

  • 20. You know how to polka.

  • 21. Your idea of creative landscaping is a statue of a deer next to your blue spruce.

  • 22. You were unaware that there is a legal drinking age.

  • 23. Down South to you means Illinois .

  • 24. A brat is something you eat.

  • 25. Your neighbor throws a party to celebrate his new pole shed.

  • 26. You go out to fish fry every Friday

  • 27. Your 4th of July picnic was moved indoors due to frost.

  • 28. You have more miles on your snow blower than your car.

  • 29. You find minus twenty degrees 'a little chilly.'

  • 30. You actually understand these jokes, and you forward them to all your
    Wisconsin friends.

Thank you Lisa (the sister) for that list. I was laughing my butt off. Especially the first one. I'm not a big fan of either the cold or fishing. One time on the way up to our property, passing by Strawberry Reservoir, there were a bunch of people out on the ice fishing. I look over at my brothers and say "It's cold, it's wet and it's fishing. Just my kind of sport."

One of the things I love about living in Utah.

Went to sleep after a midnight drive in the convertible. Woke up to 2" of snow outside. We have a pretty standard weather pattern here that makes winters much more enjoyable than I remember them being in Boston. Right before most storms hit we get a high pressure over the area that sucks up a lot of hot air from the south as it moves out (at least that's what I think causes it, I'm no meteriologist). So, what we tend to get is warm southerly breezes and then hit by a storm. The warmer the air, the stronger the breezes, the more slammed we get by the storm. Usually. So last night, at midnight, it was above freezing. I'm not sure how far, but I'd guess somewhere in the 40's. The jet stream pushed out the high, moves in a low and -boom- we get hit. Not a whole lot going on in the city right now, but they say by the end of the weekend we'll have 5 feet of new snow on the mountains. You know, that real dry, fluffy powder that allows us to put "Greatest Snow on Earth" on our license plates.

Friday, January 04, 2008

First week of 2008

Not sure how warm it is out there, but just got back from taking the convertible for a cruise. Would still be out there if it hadn't started raining. I wonder what goes through people's minds when they see me there, top down, wipers going, waiting for the left turn light to go green? Me, I'm thinking "boy, I must look like an idiot". Then I think "so, who gives a crap. I'm still havin' fun." At least that's what I say until it starts pouring. Which has happened to me a couple of times, but never too far from home.
Anyway, the first week of school went fine. It was only a 3 day week, so it couldn't have been too bad. Oh, wait, it could have. But it didn't. Watched all but the last 15 minutes of "A Beautiful Mind". Good movie. Weird movie. Weird thoughts, like once he realized he was schizophrenic, he'd have to wonder, of every new person he met, whether or not they were real. Like when the student comes up to him when he's writing on the window in the library. How would he know whether he was real or not? Good thing about a 3 day week, is you get fewer opportunities to stick your foot in your mouth. I was in the Journalism teacher's room, working on her computer. It was something that took only 5 minutes to fix, and as I was leaving the room I said to her "I like it when they're fast." Nobody made anything of it then, but I did think that it was a good thing I didn't say I like them fast and easy. Well, it didn't go by unnoticed, because two periods later, between classes, as I was walking up to my other room, I heard one kid say to another (loud enough for me to hear) "I heard Rossi likes them fast!" I just kept walking, didn't even look over at them. Ahhhh, 15 years of teaching has trained me well.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

On the last day of Christmas

that my district gave to me
  1. I rested. Some may say recuperated. Either way, I spent the day watching SG-1. And did some laundry. Want to be clean for school tomorrow......

At least I don't have to keep up with this insidious 12 days of Christmas crap anymore.

Happy New Year!