Thursday, July 31, 2008

Summa semestah is ova.

I am now officially 60% of the way through my Master's program. I've taken classes on instructional design, educational psychology, educational use of the internet and how to rip apart research study reports. Summer sememter was all using computer programs; Flash, Fireworks, Dreamweaver and Photoshop. It was a lot of fun, and a lot of frustration, and I learned a lot of things. Both of the classes had final projects that were a combination of creativity and use of the programs. In the class we learned to use Macromedia Flash I made a Flash introduction for my personal web page. If you got to this page through, then you've already seen it. If you came straight to, then it'll be new for you;

The midterm for the same class was to do an advertisement for anything we wanted to, and I built on a joke website I did years ago - and advertisement for our property up in Duchesne;
My final project for the other class was to develop a curricular based web site. Here is the picture from the front page of the site, just click on it to see the whole site.

Overall, I'm kind of proud of these things I produced. I've been amazed at how much I learned over the last year, and how relatively easy it was; I expected it to be a lot harder. What I am afraid of is that the first year is all the easy(er) stuff, and that it's going to get really hard for the last 2 semesters. Wish me luck, I hope I survive. But at least I get the next 3 weeks off - no college, no school. Yippee!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Fire trucks and sauna baths.

I don't know about all fire trucks, but the one I pulled up next to today had it's exhaust in a really inconvenient place. Lined up perfectly with the driver's door in Old Blue, just below the window line. If Old Blue had air conditioning it would have been different. But since the air doesn't work I was driving with the windows down. The fire truck was in the left turn lane and when the light turned green for it, I was left there at the light sucking his exhaust as he took off. Now, I've driven in my friend Adele's 1974 MGB with the bad exhaust where even with the top down you're tempted to breathe through a Camel Filterless just to get some clean air. It wasn't the toxic fumes that got me, it was the 1000 F air slamming into my arm and up to my face that nearly killed me. Not like it's not hot enough out there as it is, that extra blast just turned my car into a sauna bath for 10 minutes. At least the skin grafts on my arm haven't been too painful....

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Qwest and the one day rule.

Fun hour here folks. I tried to call the company making the welcome mats for the high school and found out my cell phone (and only phone) had been shut off. I was automatically forwarded to their collection department. Now, a few months ago I had renewed with a 2 year contract and was given $150 credit. This month was the first time in a few months that I actually owed something, on the 12th I was notified that I owed $20. I get paid once a month, so I was just going to pay it at the end of the month, like I always have. Not so much this time. Seems that over the months that I've had the credit Qwest found out that since cell phones are luxuries, they are allowed to shut off your service for being one (1) {uno} [a single] day late. And even if it's for a mere $20. I explained all this to the service rep, trying to remain calm since it really wasn't his fault. He was sympathetic, to the point of transferring me to the accounts department so I could have my due date changed to after the 1st. After being on hold for about 5 or 6 minutes I lost the connection and was basically hung up on. So I called back. Got another guy and told him my whole story again, adding in the fact that I've had the same phone number for 15 years and been paying on it faithfully for that long and that I thought it was absurd they would shut off my phone for being one day late. He was sympathetic too, got my phone back on without having to pay the $20 right now (I told him I wouldn't have the money until I got paid at the end of the month). The only problem is that now I have to go down to the Qwest store tomorrow and get them to change my due date to the 3rd, because if I don't I will have to either go through this every month or start paying my bill 26 days in advance. I tell ya, I love big corporations.

Stop the insanity

I'm at the store yesterday, drove the Battlecruiser there. As I was putting my stuff in the car some guy started talking to me about the car. Turns out he has a 1970 Mercury Grand Marquis 2 door that he's selling. $1,500 bucks. No, I didn't buy it. Not that I wouldn't have if I had $1,500 in the bank, but since I had to borrow the last $500 to get the Battlecruiser, there is no way I could have (or even should have) scraped up the money for this one. So I just politely said no thanks and backed away slowly, got into my car and left. I may be an addict, but I'm not going to hock everything for a car fix.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Goin' ta Boston

I didn't think I was going to make it back to Boston for the family reunion this year, but it looks like I am. I haven't been east of Denver in more than 15 years, but this year is a bit special. My great-aunt is turning 100 this year. My little brother and his wife have been planning on going all along, but my older brother and I were not quite sure. We talked about it a little bit over the weekend, found out from our little bro' that it wasn't going to be too expensive so we were debating on going or not. I'll have to use all of my personal days from school, and I hate having a substitute, it's usually more work that it's worth, which is why I still have 88% of my sick days left. But big bro' called dad, told him we were thinking of going and he was quite excited about it, said it would mean a lot to our great-aunt, and fun for him. So we decided damn the torpedos and full speed ahead, we're going. It's not for a while, and as usual you'll have to wait until I'm back to know I've gone, but I'll bring some good pictures, and hopefully a few good stories.

Back of Beyond Ranch

Went up to the property this weekend, 90% of the whole family was up there at one time or another. Had a lot of fun, relaxed a lot too. Didn't do much, and you can get an idea of the whole weekend by looking at the pictures here.
In the pictures you'll see references to Rossi Draw and Lost Draw. Our property starts out on the east side up on a ridge covered with pine trees. As you move west you run into a little valley we call a draw because it's not really big enough to be a valley. Mostly just a runoff area filled with sage brush and a few trees. Then you go up on another tree filled ridge, down into another draw and finally the western side is up on a third ridge. We call the first draw Rossi Draw because it's on the parcel of land we bought first. The second draw, which is on the parcel we bought a year later or so, we call Lost Draw, um, thanks to me. From the name of the draw you can probably guess what happend for it to earn that name. While we were looking at the first parcel of land, thinking about buying it, we walked up to the upill boundry of the property. The two draws converge before the property line, so we were completely in trees. For some reason I headed out to the car early, and ended up in the wrong draw, frantically yelling for muy brothers. I could see the main road, it was summertime and the road was only 3 miles or so away, so it wasn't a life or death, call the Search & Rescue guys kind of situation, but it would have been a long walk down to the road and then back up once I found the right entrance. Anyway, just as I was preparing for the long haul down to Route 40, I heard my brothers looking for me, and they were so happy to see me that right then and there they decided to name it Lost Draw in my honor.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

More 3rd Rock

You have got to be kidding?

Ok, I can understand getting mad when someone cuts you off in traffic, forgets to use their turn signal or drives 55 in the fast lane. I can hardly go to the store these days without getting angry at some bonehead or self-centered maneuver. I can even get my mind around the concept of losing control and doing something, well, illegal and dangerous because of this anger. I can't excuse it, but can conceive it. But this guy in Murray has some serious, and I mean SERIOUS, anger management issues.

Imagine this: You're driving down the road and you pull up to the light. The guy in the car next to you rolls down his window and motions for you to do the same. When you do he asks "Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?" (That's a line from a commercial in the 90's). What do you do? Yeah, that's what you or I would do. Mr. Anger-Management pulls out a gun, cocks it and says to the kid in the car "Here's your Grey Poupon, roll your f*#!&*n windows up!" Personally, I would have just laughed or handed them a quart of motor oil and said "Sorry, this is all I got." But then I would have missed out on the 3rd degree felony charge of aggrivated assault. I hope they take away his concealed weapons permit.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Stay away from power tools.....

Ok, everybody I know is forbidden to work with table saws any more. At least for a little while. Just got a call from one of my old roommates, he needs a ride to pick up his paycheck from work. Why? Oh, because he's on Loritab right now. He works in cabinetry and yesterday tried to take off his index finger. They're hoping he'll be able to keep the whole finger, might lose it down to the first knuckle. Overreacting? Nah, because at the beginning of this month my principal was working on some birdhouses and tried to do the same thing with her middle and ring fingers. She used the word groundbeef when describing it to the school registrar. Last thing I heard, last week, was that she was going to be able to keep the fingers, but there was the possibility of losing them down to the first knuckle also. Too many parallels. So, no table saws folks. At least for the rest of the summer, ok?

Happy Birthday Madison!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It's official

I'm hoping to make it to a couple car shows in the near future, and I've decided that the car I'm going to bring is the Battlecruiser. I have gotten tons of comments on it, and even when put with the convertible, people notice the wagon. My mechanic, who has inspected all 3 cars this month, had more praise for the wagon than for the other 2 LTDs combined. He said, and I quote, "You stole that car for $2,000." So, unless I have a way of getting more than one down there, I bringing the wagon to the car shows.

Lucky 7

Here's a picture of the bird feeder I mentioned in the previous post, it hangs from the SE corner of the house, in the back.

I was going through my old CDs, the ones with my pictures on them, and found some interesting photos. You'll see them show up here and there over the next little while. But the other picture here is one with a good story. For several years, I got to take our students to the Utah State Math Contest, where students from all the secondary schools get to compete with each other. We're allowed up to 4 students per grade, so the most I ever had to deal with was 12 Jr. High kids. This time the contest was up in Logan at the Utah State University. Pretty much it consists of us escorting the students up there, getting them to the testing area, socializing with the other teachers for a couple hours, and then just making sure all the kids get back. Not hard work. Anyway, to the picture. When the test was over and we headed back to the bus, this CSI truck was in the parking lot, so I decided to have a student get a picture of me standing next to it. You can see the kids walking by, and one of them asked what CSI stood for (this was several years ago, before the CSI series were as well known as they are now). So I told them, Crime Scene Investigation. So they asked what crime I was investigating. (Ok, if your immediate reaction is that I corrected them and let them know I was a teacher, you get no blog karma points. Go away, or I shall have to taunt you a second time...) Yeah, I told them there was a murder on campus, and when they asked me what happened I simply told them that I couldn't say anything about it because it's an open investigation. I heard them walking away mumbling 'murder' and 'cool'. Yeah, I'm bad.
Lucky 7. I just got the Battlecruiser registered and as I was sticking the 7 (for July) on the plate it occurred to me that all 3 of my LTD's registrations are now due in July. Good think it's in the summer when I have the time to get them all inspected, and to get a part time job to raise the money to pay for them all......

Messy birds and impatient drivers

Messy, messy birds. They're spilling seeds out of the bird feeder, leaving a mess right under it. Bad, bad birds. The good thing is that the seeds attract squirrels, who do a little bit of cleaning up for me. they also startle me when I come out the check on the water and they scurry right past me like a bat out of hell. Of course I'm sure I startled him (or her), and at least I wasn't in the middle of eating. Probably gave the thing indigestion. He stuck around in the trees long enough for me to go get the camera and have a photo shoot. I'll have to go to the pet store and see if I can get some Purina Squirrel Chow.
I've started walking down at Liberty Park on a regular basis. I don't know why I like Liberty better than Sugarhouse. It could be that Liberty is level and Sugarhouse is all up and down hilly. Or, since I'm going to be teaching geometry next year, my mind is more in tuned with the symmetrical layout of Liberty as opposed to the wanderings of the road in Sugarhouse. Or maybe it's because of the police presence in Liberty which means that people don't try to take the short way out of the park and drive the wrong direction down the walking lane to get out. Who knows. But I did laugh at this moron who was so impatient that he tailgated and honked at the person in front of them because they weren't going fast enough, in the park. Yeah, kids playing, people riding bikes, rollerblading, running and walking, and 15 MPH isn't fast enough. Even funnier when I saw them parked in the handicapped spot. Something ironic about giving yourself so much stress on the way to an activity, or place, that is supposed to be relaxing. Reminded me of an incident which profoundly affected the way I vacation. We were out camping and had to run in to the store to grab some stuff. This store was immediately outside Canyonlands National Park, out in the middle of nowhere, catering solely to park visitors. As we were scurrying around the store trying to find, and remember, everything we needed, the clerk looks at us and says "Yeah, better hurry up. You're on vacation." Not the least bit offensively, just in an out in the middle of nowhere folksy wisdom kind of way. He's obviously said it so many times that he'd perfected his delivery. I take it a lot easier when I'm on vacation now, and that should include recreational events in the park also.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Gata shares dinner with me....

It's 4:00, I have to head out to school and what does my cat bring to me as a present. A live bird. Now, this happened once before and nearly wrecked my home. That time the bird flew up onto the curtain rod on the front windows, and the cat proceeded to leap onto the curtains to get to the bird. The bird then flew across the living room over to the other side of the dining room and up on top of the hutch. The cat ran across the coffee table, up onto the dining room table and leaped at the bird, who flew across to the curtains again. This went on for 20 minutes as the stuff on my tables went flying everywhere and the curtains got shredded. Finally, the bird noticed the open door and flew out.

This time it was a little different, because the curtains were open and the bird tried to fly out the window. SPLAT! It's amazing how resilient these little birds are, hit the window full force and, although a little stunned, it survived. I picked it up in a towel, took it outside and when I let it go it flew off like nothing was wrong. Now, it probably had a bad concussion, maybe even internal bleeding, but I'm just going to believe that it survived.

Don't know how to put a picture in a comment, so..

This is in response to a comment made on the last postOr, I could just strap it on the roof rack of the Country Squire (see picture above). Only problem would be that if the wagon was full, it would take me 17.437 trips to get everyone and everything home with the spare. But, I’d probably just drive the flat somewhere to get it repaired.
I'm glad you could hear the accent, one of the drawbacks with electronic communication is that you loose a lot of the nuances of voice tone, body language. Several times I've had things that were meant to be jokes taken seriously, or simply taken the wrong way. Glad you know me well enough to know the way I mean things.....

Front seat on wheels and other scenery around SLC

Just click on the picture to go to the gallery. And if you want to see a bunch of old pictures of mine (some from way back in the 70's) click HERE.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Conversations with myselves

or MPS* meets Nikon with a remote shutter. Click HERE for the rest of my 2am insomnia pictures.....

(*Multiple Personality Syndrome aka Split Personality)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

YouTube Uber Alles....

Coming up with a middle name.

This comment was posted to "46 random things." but I decided to answer it here, right on the front page.

A Paperback Writer said...
I meant to ask earlier: how did you come to give yourself a middle name?
July 12, 2008 3:59 PM
Post a Comment
My parents didn't give any of the 4 of us middle names, as my mom put it "it was hard enough coming up with first names." I was young at the time or I would probably have asked "what's so damn hard about Alex, Steve, Lisa and Danny?", but, alas, I never asked. Fast forward to when I was 12, looking to get my first paper route. At the time you didn't get a Social Security number at birth, you got it when you first started looking for work. I was filling out the form to apply for it and it asked for my full name. Well, my full name is just first and last, so I filled them in. Directly under the section for full name and current address, was a section titled Working Name, which according to the directions did not have to be the same as your legal name. I was old enough to want to assert my individuality, but still young enough that I worried about changing it completely, so I just added a middle name, and I had always liked Michael. (I named the stuffed dog I got for my 6th birthday Mikey.) Now, if I'd been able to hold off getting a job until I was hanging around Ed in high school, you just might know me as George Washington Hayduke or Ivan Rosski.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Woke up this morning with a wine glass in my hand. Who's wine, what wine, where the hell did I dine?

Ok, so the song doesn't really fit, I didn't consume huge amounts of alcohol last night, although I will admit to the 2 beers I had. I also don't have any of the other symptoms that are generally associated with over drinking. What I did wake up with is an unhappy gastro-intestinal tract. Been laying in bed all morning feeling just shy of having to run to the bathroom. And that's the worst place to be. If you just get it over with, the body feels better and you can start to recuperate. Or you can just get over it. But laying, completely uncomfortable because every time you move your stomach goes into spasms, well, even 3rd Rock from the Sun can't make that fun. This is why I never use any of my sick days - I always get sick in the summer, or over Christmas break. I wonder if they'll accept "I taking a sick day to make up for the day I was sick in July and couldn't use a sick day"?
I think I'll go lay down some more....

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Welcome Back from Russia

At some point today, or this evening, Alex & Marijke are coming, or already got, back from a couple weeks in Russia. Now, some of you may think that's an interesting choice for vacation, but alas, it's no vacation. They were on a church mission working with orphans out in some small village somewhere in Siberia, I think. I know that wherever they went, they brought those small air matresses because they were probably going to be sleeping on the floor. Anyway, hopefully they've made it back safe and sound and are tucked in their bed catching up on some sleep from the trip home. And hopefully, Alex will send some pictures my way so we can get an idea of what they were doing over there....

Good try, sorry it's a no go....

I'm standing out at the bust stop waiting for the bus when this old, beat up 90's Dodge Dynasty drives by and the teen in the passenger seat yells out at me "Get a car!" I immediately yell back "Get a life", because I figured he'd home having dinner by the time I got out "Hey dumb ass, you shouldn't make quick assumptions about people you know nothing about. I happen to own several cars, all of which are in much better shape than that piece of crap you are driving. Next time keep your mouth shut so you make an ass of yourself." Yeah, I think I made the right choice of responses.

46 random things.

46 ODD Things about me.
Frankly I hate those chain eMails every bit as much as I hated chain letters. I refuse to continue them regardless of whether or not my house will get dry rot or the economy will fall. My biggest argument about those chain eMails is that they are chock full of propaganda and bullshit, made to make you feel guilty for not sending them on to people who really don't want them in the first place.

Now that that's out of the way - chain letters like this one are completely different. First of all, there is no threat, no guilt trip, for not forwarding them on. No gloom & doom, support your troops, help find this kid or fight tyranny in the Mid-West crap, just a simple "let's learn about each other" concept. So on that note, here are my answers for this one, read them if you are interested, ignore it if you're not. Hey, you can even copy, paste, insert your own answers and then send it to me in a comment and I'll post it. If you want to.

1. Do you like blue cheese Yes, my favorite salad dressing.

2. Have you ever smoked heroin? No.

3. Do you own a gun? Just a couple paintball guns.

4. What flavor do you add to your drink at sonic? Don’t go there enough to have a favorite

5. Do you get nervous before doctor's appointments? Not usually.

6. What do you think of hot dogs? Love them, but try to avoid them.

7. Favorite Christmas movie(s)? Don’t have one.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Coffee.

9. Can you do pushups? One on a good day, but why bother?

10. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? Don’t wear any.

11. Favorite hobby? Buying cars.

12. Do you have A.D.D.? Absolutely n, uh what was the question again?

13. What's one trait you hate about yourself? My weight.

14. Middle name? Michael, but I gave it to myself

15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment.
A. I love summer.
B. How much longer ‘till I have to change what I'm watering.
C. I should probably get off my ass, go into school and get started on setting up that computer lab.

16. Name 3 things you bought yesterday:
A. Nothing
B. More nothing
C. and even more nothing

17. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink?
A. Diet coke with lime
B. Gatorade
C. Coffee

18. Current worry? Can I make it until fall on the money I have

19. Current hate right now? Stupid, inconsiderate, self-centered people

20. Favorite place to be? Pretty much anywhere, as long as it is with friends. <-yeah, I’d have to agree with that.

21. Where would you like to go? Mexico <- that too

22. Name three people who will complete this? Ahh, I’m just sending it to Rae and Danny. I’ll put it on the blog, but I don’t expect to get much response.

23. What happened to number 23? Someone deleted the question. If you didn’t want to answer the question, put “No Comment,” don’t delete the #$*& question!

24. What shirt are you wearing? None

25. What year would you go back in time to? None permanently, but I’d love to visit the 1920’s.

26. Can you whistle? Yup.

27. Favorite color? Green

28. Would you be a pirate? Na, except for on Halloween

29. Favorite girl's name? Nicole

30. Sorry folks, this question was missing

31. Favorite boy's name? Zack

32. What's in your pocket right now? Nothing, I’m in my skivvies

33. Last thing that made you laugh? Leilani talking about the people she works with

34. Best Halloween costume? Dunno

35. Worst injury you've ever had? Getting backhanded in the face by an ice skate at the age of 9. 13 stitches and I ended up in the hospital because it got infected.

36. Do you like where you live? Yes, very much.

37. How many TVs do you have in your house? Three

38. Who is your loudest friend? Other than myself? I’d have to go with my brother Danny, followed by Gibb, a teacher friend of mine. She doesn’t rank first only because it’s been a couple years since we taught across the hall from each other, and she’s pretty good at moderating it outside of the classroom.

39. How many dogs do you have? None, more work than I’m willing to put in.

40. Does someone have a crush on you? Not as far as I know.

41. What is your favorite book(s)? Monkey Wrench Gang, Edward Abbey

42. What is your favorite candy? Almond Joy

43. Favorite Sports Team? Uh, yeah. None, really.

44. Your favorite meal? Pretty much anything grilled out on the BBQ.

45. What were you doing 12 AM last night? Working on my website.

46. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? Turn on the DVD and lay in bed for another hour.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

It's the end of the world as we know it.....

He's the conservative Representative candidate in the reddest county in the reddest state in the United States. And if I lived in his district, I think I'd vote for him. (Are you still with me, need a minute to absorb that?). Jason Chaffetz beat out Rep. Chris Cannon in the Republican primaries this year. I've already read several articles that mention this put a scare throughout the incumbents in Washington, political analysts believe that it signals the American public is tired of the same-old, same-old. Anyway, here are the quotes in the Salt Lake Tribune today that make me wish I could vote for this guy:
  • "The establishment it broken...My complaint about Republicans in general is that what they say and what they do is often two different things."
  • He says they claim to be the party of fiscal responsibility, but are responsible for the explosion of pork-barrel spending and the rising deficit
  • He also criticizes the Republican party for supporting No Child Left Behind, failing to create a coherent energy policy and failing to do anything about illegal immigration.

Of course he is a politician, but then again, to what political advantage could he be looking for by slamming the Republicans when running in Utah county? Something to think about, anyway.

Monday, July 07, 2008

If I were a paranoid-schizophrenic I'd think they were all after me....

At the risk of beating this issue to death, I had yet another incident while driving today. I'm trying to leave out the mundane, run of the mill stupid, arrogant maneuvers. But this one was a fresh new look on brain dead. Coming out of the Smith's on 9th & 9th, there is clearly an in and an out, and both of them are wide enough for 2 cars, one turning left, the other turning right. As I'm leaving, wanting to turn right, there are two cars as far left as possible, exactly where they should be to turn left. Virginia Subaru up front isn't signaling, the Camry (or whatever) behind is signaling right, but in Utah that doesn't mean anything, so I pull to the right of them positioning myself to turn right. I was driving the LTD Convertible, and didn't even have to hop the curb to get around them, that's how far to the left they were. Camry honks as I go by, like I was supposed to sit back there until I was 100% sure which of the conflicting cues was correct. I ignore it. Just as I'm about to pull out into traffic, dumbass Virginia Subaru blares his horn at me and cuts me off, taking a right turn from the left lane, right in front of me, all the while talking on his cell phone. So I honk back and, as I pass him as he pulls into a parking space, yell something about hanging up the phone and driving. He honks again and flips me the bird. I verbalize the finger back at him and head off home. 2 fer 1 deal on boneheads @ Smith's today.

New look, maybe.

If you've been accessing this page through my homepage (I've got the blog imbedded in my homepage;, then you will notice that I've actually been learning stuff in my Web Design class this year. If you access the blog directly,, then you may not notice any change. One warning though, for those of you on dial-up, you may want to continue, or start, accessing the blog directly, my homepage has a lot of graphics on it. I's check it out to see how bad it is before giving up on it.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Just some stuff I found....

this was in the Tribune today. It wouldn't be funny if it weren't so true......
And this one I found while cleaning out my garage, something a student from a couple years ago drew.

When did tailgating become a right?

I don't remember the Constitutional Amendment process, but it must have happened. I ran into another person, and I use that word lightly, that seems to believe he has a right to drive within inches of my back bumper. I was on 7th East about 80th South or so and this fairly new black Mustang gets whips into the lane behind me and thinks that driving close to my bumper will make the person in front of me go faster. So I do the usual, slow down in hopes it really annoys him and he'll change lanes, flash the brakes and at the next stoplight hit the back-up lights. To be honest, I don't know if he saw the brake lights flash or the back up lights, he was really close. It could have been that I stopped a full car lenght from the car in front of me, or maybe he did see the back up lights, but at the stop light he flipped me off. I didn't even flip the bird back at him, I just yelled "Then don't ride my ass". The light turned green, and I went on my merry way, the guy in the other lane was even slower that I was, so Mr. Mustang got around me, but he doesn't just gun it and get away from me. He has to swerve towards me as he passes. I don't even flinch because I'm sure he's a hell of a lot more concerned about wrecking his Mustang than I am of him wrecking my Subaru. But the question in my mind still remains "where do these people get the feeling they have the right to invade my vehicular personal space?"

Saturday, July 05, 2008

And a couple pictures Danny sent me.

My yard and I survived another 4th!

I live 2 blocks away for the park that holds one of the biggest fireworks displays in Salt Lake. With the Sugarhouse Arts Festival ans other things going on, people are showing up all day for the event, but almost everybody leaves about the same time. Being on a main street, a lot of them pass my house, and too many of them have no respect for the plants I have in my parking strip (that little piece of ground between the sidewalk and the road.) But this year doesn't seem to have been too bad. The little plant I put in earlier this season was obviously stepped on, but looks like it will survive. A bunch of the rocks holding down the drip lines were kicked all over the place, but nothing was broken and it only took 5 minutes to put everything back. I found one straw and a light sabre as the only trash in my yard, much better than previous years.

I don't go down to the park for the fireworks anymore, too many people and all the gang assholes have to come out and flex their muscles. Annoying. So, I just watch them through the top of my pine trees, from the comfort of my own back yard. They don't look too bad, all the colors coming through the green tree. The best part of the evening, though, was sitting in the neighbor's front yard, with a few other neighbors, watching the people trying to get home.

Earlier in the afternoon, I did go down to the Arts Festival, which they had closed off 11th East for. It was ok. I did get a look at the development for that corner, what it's going to look like and have. Residential, commercial and retail spaces, with pedestrian open spaces. Not bad. It's kind of sad to have lost the old historic buildings in that area, but the good thing about where I live is that they try to discourage the strip-mall look, with huge parking lots in front of the buildings. Sugarhouse likes the buildings out front to hide the parking lots behind them. Much more inviting, if you ask me. There was a big group of religious fanatics in the park for the event (see picture of sign). They had a half dozen police officers hanging around to make sure it remained a peaceful demonstration. All I'm going to say about them is, looking at their sign, they sure hate a lot of people. Must take a shitload of energy. I also was surprised at how many people either stopped or ducked so they wouldn't get in the way of my pictures. Well, if you want to see the rest of the pictures I took, then just clock HERE. Hope you had a great 4th!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy 4th of July.

Do they have a 4th of July in other countries?
Of course, they just don't celebrate it.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Here are a few more picturs of my LTDs 3.

Car 54, where are you?

As soon as you saw that title, did you think "Good Lord, he bought another car!"? If you did, count yourself in for 7 new blog kharma points.

I first saw this car about 3 years ago in the Shopko parking lot. I fell in love with it then, but it wasn't for sale. so what could I do. Nothing, except admire it from afar. Six months ago little bro' sees it in the K-Mart parking lot and gets to talking with the owner. Tells him about my LTD addiction and gives him my cell number in case he ever wants to sell it. Well, the guy held onto the phone number for the six months, because 3 days ago he calls me and tells me that some guy gave him my number and said I like old LTDs. We talk, I go look at it, we settle on a price and I get the money. $2,000. It's a 1972 Ford LTD Country Squire with a 429 CID Police Interceptor engine in it. The guy babied it, oil changes every 2,500 miles, ran only premium in it, and it looks and runs like he was telling the truth, plus according to the title he's owned the car since October of 1979. Dual exaust, the interior is excellent, not a single tear in the cloth apolstery and the carpet is even clean, like that could be it's original color clean. The original AM/FM radio still works, although I don't have any 8-Track tapes to see if the player works. Looks like I'm going to have to take a trip to the D.I. It's beginning to show some rust in a few places, but just surface. He already told me that I'm going to need to replace the ball joints, which are relatively easy on these older cars. The only other problem I can see is getting the back door to work properly, the one that swings out and folds down too. Well, it used to swing out, but the window didn't go down, so Danny and I tear into it, get the window to go down and then try to fold it down tailgate-wise. Big mistake, it kinds got stuck between swing out and fold down. It's closed, so I can drive the car, but the tailgate won't open either way. Overall, though, another good deal....

Pictures from Day 5, 6 & 7.

Finally got all the pictures from the second leg of my ghost town hunting trip. Click here to see them.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Impose a "Stupid Tax" & retire the national debt.

I'm not a slow driver. I've gotten a ticket doing 100 in Montana, 85 in California (recently) and even going 85 in a loaded U-Haul in Wyoming (downhill with a tailwind). So, if I'm not exceeding the speed limit, there's a reason; cop nearby, too much traffic, I'm in a school zone, the road is covered with ice. Something like that. So, if someone is tailgating me, it's not because I should be going faster, usually I couldn't go faster even if I wanted to. So, I don't like being tailgated, there's no reason for it except to get personally involved with me when our vehicles collide because the moron behind me couldn't stop in time. One of the tricks I do to hint that maybe your car is a little too close (at stoplights when I'm stopped) is to put the car into reverse and flash my backup lights at them. I have never (before) had a response that wasn't one of two things 1-oblivious and continue to drive like they are oblivious or 2-they back off. Not the guy driving the Grand Wagoneer on 21st south tonight. He's driving with a coffee in one hand, cigarette in the other spending more time looking at what's going on on the sidewalks rather than in front of him and following me close all the way down 21st, almost touching my bumper when we come to stop lights. I try the old flash the back up lights a few times, and the first couple he's oblivious. At the intersection of State Street he finally notices and, no he doesn't back off, he starts waving his hands around yelling at me. So I roll down the window and start yelling "then back off buddy" back at him. The light turns green and, still screaming, he does the old jump the car at my back end trick, revs it up comes shooting towards me and then slams on the brakes before hitting me. Yeah. Nice. Well, I continued my yelling back, but it was no longer "buddy", and slow down to somewhere between snail and sloth. Yeah, I'm a little nervous, and I am planning out escape routes, but I refuse to let assholes intimidate me. We get to the light at Main Street (one block for those of you unfamiliar with Salt Lake) and he guns it, pulls into the left turn lane and starts to pass me. So, I figure, fine, let him, and I slam on my brakes to let him pass. Now here's the funny part. He was turning left there. He couldn't just back off for one block. I tell ya, I'm beginning to appreciate my UofU Transit pass more and more every day.

Happy Birthday Raffi!