Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I’m the luckiest man on earth.

I have an illiterate text-typing juvenile with the hots for me.  And all I have to do is go to her (his?) safe blog that she (he?) made just for me.  Wow, I’m headed there right now.  Or maybe…


…they’re only illiterate in English and it’s really some sort of scam from outside the U.S. to get me to some (probably pornographic, likely virus infested) website that (GASP!) wasn’t really made just for me.  NAH,  I’m going there right now.

As I read “hope this does not come across as desperate”, I felt a little sorrow for the people who really are desperate enough to fall for this scam.  Because the economic fact is that it must work, at least a small fraction of the time, or they wouldn’t continue spending time and money sending these out.

At least they didn’t promise me $4,000,000 of the $87,000,000 they need to sneak out of the country.  That one really hurt.



P.S. – even though safe blog may look like a link, it’s not.  So you can stop trying now.

Monday, June 28, 2010

I almost have them talked into it…

The new Chevron advertising campaign…

sasquatch2 zzz

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sasquatch rides a mint green scooter,

sasquatch buys his (or her) gas at Chevron and even uses a credit card. 

I took this picture at work today and I swear that it is not ‘photoshopped’.  You’re seeing the best view I got of this person, since they never came into the store, so I truly cannot swear that it wasn’t Sasquatch. 

But since a scooter driving urban Sasquatch does not fit into my life paradigm, I am going to assume it’s human.  Which begs the question “What the hell is someone doing driving around on a scooter in 90 degree weather dressed like that?  It’s got to be hot, and think of all the bugs that are going to get caught in that furry outfit. (Click on the picture to get a better view of it.)  Were they going to a costume party, in June?  Is it the 2010 version of the clown for a kids party?  And if it is, do you want a sweaty, smelly mog* (I’m my own best friend!) at your kid’s birthday party?  Since it was too busy for me to walk out there and ask “WTF?”, we just may never know.


*Mog, from the movie “Spaceballs”.  “I'm a mog: half man, half dog. I'm my own best friend!”

I think I’ll do an intersection next.

Yes, I’m having fun with my discovery of time lapse photography.  Hopefully I’m not boring you all too much with it, but anyway, here is another one.  I re do of the Sugarhouse Park pond one I tried earlier.  I did add music to it this time, which should make it a little less boring.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ripped from the headlines..


lineGuv says most ‘illegal people’ are drug mules”, front page of the Salt Lake Trib today.    According to the article, the Governor of Arizona said:

jan-brewer-arizona-governorI believe today, under the circumstances that we’re facing, that the majority of the illegal trespassers that are coming into the state of Arizona are under the direction and control of organized drug cartels and they are bringing drugs in,”

Now, I’m not a big fan of illegal immigration, and I truly believe that something needs to be done to get it under control.  But I also hate stereotypic racist rhetoric.  I’ve worked in schools that had large populations of students of illegal immigrants (we don’t ask, but when students trust you they let things slip.)  From my experiences there, I find this comment hard to believe, and most likely simply intended to bolster support for the new law.

Rebuttal from the  KSL TV online news:

TJ“T.J. Bonner, president of the union that represents border agents, said some illegal border-crossers carry drugs but most don't. People with drugs face much stiffer penalties for entering the U.S. illegally, and very few immigrants looking for work want to risk the consequences, Bonner said.”

Whichever way you look at it, I think that the Governor’s comments were inappropriate at best.

lineD.A. wants all fliers that smeared teen“, front page of the Utah section of the same paper.  Ok, this article creeps me out even more than the Arizona Gov.  A 37 year old woman gets in a fight with a 13 year old girl.  The article never mentioned what it was all about, they just reported the 37 year old’s response to what the 13 year old did.

She took the girl’s yearbook picture and ‘photoshopped’ it onto a pornographic picture of a girl having sex with a dog.  Then she made more than 20 copies of it, went to the girl’s school and hung them up in the bathrooms.  She is now facing 1 count of ‘distributing child pornography‘ for each of the 12 fliers the police retrieved.  The more fliers the prosecutors get, the more charges this 37 year old will face.  Each count carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

I spend a lot of my time arguing with teenagers, it’s a part of the job teaching, especially in the first few weeks where they are trying to see how much they will be able to get away with.  I can’t imagine ever even thinking about that kind of retaliation, and as people who work with me know, I’m big into ‘photoshopping’ as they call it. (Personally, I much prefer Macromedia Fireworks).  Frankly, I’m still in shock at the fact that an adult (and I use that term loosely) would ever do something that degenerate.  But, alas, the human race continues to amaze and shock me.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Killing them with kindness.

03One of those nights. I didn’t get out of there until at least a half hour after I was supposed to.  Cars needing a jump start, diet Pepsi running out and a few other things that are hard to take care of when you are the only one there, and I didn’t want to leave my coworker alone with them.

But taking the cake was Mr. Ballistic.  I have never seen a customer get this irate, and the worst was after he left the store.

He came in, we were a little busy, and he got up to my coworkers till, slammed $15 on the counter, said “15 on 15.”, turned around and walked away.  We’re used to this, no big deal.  Except that he went to the bathroom before going out to pump his gas.  It took enough time that his pump timed-out.  They’re set up to do that so that if someone forgets to pump their gas (and it does happen more often than you’d think) the next person to pull up to that pump won’t get their it.

So, he’s sitting out at the pump and it’s not working.  He doesn’t hit the “help” button.  He doesn’t come in to tell us that his gas won’t pump.  He starts telling other customers, on their way in, to tell us that his gas isn’t pumping.  When another customer tells me he’s out there waiting, I hit the “Authorize” button, which un-times-out the pump.  But, he’s already half way in the store, comes up to my coworker and says that he wants his “f*#$ing 15 dollars worth now.”  I try to tell him that I already reset it, my coworker is offering him his $15 back and all he can say is “make it f*#$ing work!” and walks out.

My coworker says that he is going to follow him out to the pump to make sure it works for him, but he didn’t even make it halfway out before he meets the guy on his way back into the store.  Tries to get the guy’s attention, but the customer is too focused to even notice.

He gets to my till, tells me he wants his “f*#$ing $15 dollars back. I’m in a f*#$ing hurry.  I’ve got s%#t to do and I can’t f*#$ing wait.”  I open the cash register, pull out a $10 and a $5, hand it to him and say “Here you go.”01

As he’s walking away I start ringing up the next guy, a pretty big, buff, guy in shorts and a t-shirt.  Mr. Ballistic says to me, on his way out, “thanks for f*#$ing nothing!”.  I say, not even trying to sound sarcastic, “You’re welcome.”

Ohhh, that did it.  He turns around, starts yelling about how he wants the manager’s phone number, he wants to call corporate, he wants to complain about “them hiring people that can’t speak English and make a (yes, the f-word again) gas pump work.”  (Oh did I mention that my coworker is hispanic, has an accent, but speaks perfect English).  I turn around to get the book with Corporate’s number in it (no, I would never give out the manager’s home number) and he’s heading back to the counter yelling the f-word along with some other stuff.

The big guy in shorts and t-shirt turns around, stands right in his way and sticks out his finger to stop Mr. Ballistic.  I didn’t hear this part because t-shirt guy was speaking softly, but from what Mr. Ballistic yelled back, he must have said something like “I’m an off duty police officer, and you need to calm down.” 

“You (f-word again) assaulted me!  You F-ing touched me before you told me you were a cop, that’s assault.  What’s your name?  What’s your badge number?  Never mind, I’ll just get your license plate number.”  Fortunately the cop was dealing with it from here.  My coworker was back and we returned to ringing up customers. 

Mr. Ballistic followed Off duty cop out into the parking lot as he went to his car, doing a perfect imitation of a 1960’-70’s “you ain’t gonna push me around, you f-ing nazi pig” rebel.

A woman,02 who was on her way into the store heard what was going on.  I’m assuming she was in law enforcement too, because she turned around and got into the fray.  It was pretty busy at this point, because both my coworker and I were ringing up customers, so we didn’t get the whole conversation, but we did get bits and pieces.  Let’s just say that it involved a lot of swearing and, at one point, up to 3 customers other than  Mr. Ballistic.  Next thing I knew they were all gone.  Mr. Ballistic never did get Corporate’s number, not that I was worried.  What was he going to tell them, that the pumps weren’t working right? That I said “you’re welcome”?

Funny thing was, I never felt threatened by this guy, like the worst he would ever do is complain to my boss.

I never did get to thank the police officers, so I’ll do it here.  Thank you.  You were awesome, you handled that guy like a pro.


Monday, June 21, 2010

More time lapsing.

I cut off early with this one because I thought you wouldn’t be able to see much action from so far away.  Once I got it home and made the clip, I noticed that you can see a lot of things going on.  So, maybe this isn’t the last time I’ll try this.


To be or not to be, another Rowan Atkinson skit

As funny as the other one.  Those of you who have watched “Black Adder” may recognize the other actor as the bumbling prince from the series.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


I’m not even going to embed this video, even though it’s one of the funniest ones I’ve seen in a long time.  I found it on a Blog of Note called Common Cents.  It was the second of two tributes to Father’s Day.  The first one was a touching, spiritual video titled “A Father’s Love”.  This second one is the exact opposite, a raunchy yet funny thanks to a father titled “Dad – Thanks for Not Pulling Out.”  The title tells it all.  The visuals are not raunchy at all, with the sound off it wouldn’t offend anyone.  The language is not graphic at all, just suggestive.  If you are not offended by the title, you won’t be offended by the video.  If you don’t understand the title, you just might want to skip this one.

Consider yourself warned.  Proceed at your own risk.

Click here to continue.


Happy Father’s Day


I got my very first Father’s Day card.  No, I’m not a father, but I am a Godfather (yes, I’m Italian, no jokes please).  My godson, who happens to be turning 1 today, sent me a (God)Father’s Day card.  Well, ok, it really was his grandmother who wrote it and sent it for him, but it was totally unexpected, and sweet. 

So to all you fathers out there, and Godfathers too, have a great day.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Stupid: Can’t always be contained by one car.

There’s a reason I need more than one car around the house.  The same reason as why my little brother has keys to all my cars (he lived next door to me when I started this habit).  Because I do stupid things.  I lock my keys in my car.  While it’s running.  With everything on. In the middle of winter.  In the middle of the night (or first thing in the morning).  I also have the habit of putting repairs off until it’s too late.  Well, I’m not so bad with that anymore, but I used to be.

stupidYesterday I decided it was a Subaru kind of day.  I grab the keys, walk out to the car, hit the little unlock button of the key fob and.. nothing.  Not so much as a bzzzzzz.  Already knowing it’s futile, but not being able to keep myself from trying, I unlock the car (the old fashioned way – with the key) open the door and even though not even the clock is working, I try to start the car.  Nothing. Nada. Niente.  Ziltch.  So I pop open the hood, look at the battery that came with the car, noticed it’s a little old and figured that it just went bad.  (Bad battery, bad battery, whatcha gonna do when they come for you.)   I pull it out, hop in one of the other cars I thankfully have and drive down to Pep boys for a new one.  First of all, when did car batteries start costing nearly a hundred bucks?  Last time I remember buying one it was somewhere around 50.

Price aside, I get home, install the new battery, climb into the car to see if it starts and see, well, look over at the picture.  See that someone left the map light on.  Unfortunately I don’t have any 6 to 9 year olds to blame it on.  Duh.  Well, it’s too late to go back and return the new battery and get the old one back, and it was looking a little old anyhow, so now the Subaru has a brand new battery.  Yea!


Friday, June 18, 2010

Yes, I text now.

text2 I have finally entered the era of texting.  Yes, I know.  I never thought I would either.  But I know too many people who do, and have missed a few family functions because they were all set up by text, so I tried it for a little while (at 20 cents a text) and decided it actually was more convenient at times.  So I hit my “new every two” benchmark (where you get a new phone dirt cheap every 2 years if you renew your contract with Verizon for another 2 years) and decided to add texting to my plan.

My new phone is really cool, the exact same one as the Gearheads both have.  It’s a flip phone, but it flips both vertically and horizontally.  Vertically, as in the picture on the left, the keyboard reads text1like a normal cell phone keyboard, with a few extra keys.  Horizontally, as in the picture on the right, the keyboard is (almost) a standard QWERTY typewriter keyboard.  Granted, the keys are tiny and I have to be careful my big fingers hit the right keys, but it’s a hell of a lot easier to text than the old way.  (Click on the picture if you want a better view of what I’m talking about.)

My new plan includes unlimited texts to and from Verizon customers, and 500 for people who aren’t.  As with my 450 minutes of cell phone time that I have never used more than 50% of (again, cell calls to other Verizon customers don’t count), I really don’t expect to ever use even close to that many texts.  But, then again, never say never.  We’ll see. 

Text to ya soon…


Pass it even farther forward…

Got this from a blog I follow (My Greatest Adventure), who got it from a blog he follows, who got it from…  Like he said – it’s just way too good not to continue passing on.

Here you go Paperback Writer, and for those of you who would like to watch this without hearingzzz the “F” word.  Here is the edited version.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Maybe I have been teaching jr. high too long…

beernuts ‘Cause when I was returning a bag of cashews to the shelf, I couldn’t help laughing when I saw this on the bag.

And then one of the other guys who work there sent me this picture of an accident out front that I missed.  The guy in the white car was stopping at the light and, according to him, his brakes just didn’t work, he rammed his car up under the Jeep, turning it sideways before he stopped.  Ironically, he was following the Jeep home because his girlfriend was driving it.accident





Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mr. Bean as the Headmaster.

Got this from Sir Duke, sysop of the late great Motel West.  Rowan Atkinson is brilliant, despite the minimalist set, it is hilarious.


And it’s not even my birthday.

Woke up this morning to a little present my cat had brought me.  Awwww, how sweet, a dead bird on the dining room floor.  Truth is, instinctually it was meant to show me respect.  Although I’ve told her many times before, she just can’t seem to understand that I don’t eat sparrow.

And then I found this in the morning comics and just had to share it.

TV zzz

More time lapse photography

So I got done with ripping the roof off the porch, soaked in a hot bath, cleaned up and decided to go out taking pictures.  I’m really liking this time lapse thing.

I started off trying to get anther nice set of pictures of the sun setting, but the clouds were too thick on the horizon and it didn’t look like things were going to turn out too spectacular.  That and my camera seemed to be possessed at that spot.  When doing time lapse I use my wireless remote to click the pictures.  That keeps me from moving the camera and doesn’t jiggle the camera blurring the picture when it’s dark out.  I’m counting every 15 seconds and hitting the button when the camera starts taking random shots.  Sometimes 2 or 3 in a row, sometimes 6 seconds apart.  Then it would go a minute or two without taking any extraneous pictures, just to start up all over again.   This lasted for about 15 minutes, and then all of a sudden stopped.

But I noticed that the clouds on the south east end of the valley were a lot more interesting than the sunset, so I switched my attention down there.  Here’s the compilation of the time lapse segments:

And here are a few singles of the shots I took:

I’m going to try some other stuff with time lapse, so expect to see more here.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Help, I need somebody, Help, not just anybody,

There is nothing more gratifying than tearing up a project you thought you had done right, but hadn’t.  (Where’s that sarcastic font?)

I spent a few hours today and yesterday ripping up the roof over my back porch.  It’s not that it wasn’t well built – a herd of elephants could have walked across it and it would have survived.  So, why rip it up you might ask.

Well, for three of the wettest springs in the history of Utah, I’ve been fighting leaks.  Bad leaks.  And I closed in the thing just so I could sit out there on my futon and listen to the rain.  And so I could unlock the back door without getting drenched, along with whatever I may be carrying. 

backporchThe whole thing started so that I would have secure access to the swamp cooler and the attic.  I built the first part as a deck, at roof level, so that if I happened to fall while working on the swamp cooler, I wouldn’t land 11 feet down on concrete.  Every time I worked on it, even simple things like winter/summerizing, I’d have one of my brothers come and keep me company, so that I’d have someone to dial 911 after I fell and broke both my arms.  The second part has two levels, to transition from the height of the original part to something low enough that it fits below the attic access.  That makes for a lot of corners that love to collect water.

So here’s the problem.  The roof needs to remain relatively level, I need to be able to walk on it and keep tools and supplies on it while I’m working.  It needs to be made so that walking on it does not deteriorate it.  The hardest part is the connection between the house and the porch, this was where I was getting the majority of the leaks.  The sides of the house are old stucco, the kind that is seriously bumpy and uneven.  It is impossible to get flashing to fit flush against the wall.

So, if you have any ideas I’d like to hear them.  The more input, the more different ideas, the better.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Strange things are afoot…

As I’m sweeping up the lot the other day, I noticed these pink lines drawn on the parking lot and the grass.  Later I was talking to the manager, who also happens to be the owner’s son-in-law, and he told me about plans Westminster College had for the area.

chevbefore It seems that the college is growing out of it’s britches – no more room on campus for dorms and (affordable) local housing at capacity they were losing students who didn’t want to commute from out in Sandy. So they decided they needed a dorm close by.  They bought the building right next to the Chevron for the 4 storey dorm building, and got the Homestead Inn to sell them the east most part of their parking lot for a multi-level parking structure.  Their big problem was that Chevron owns the 50’ strip of land separating the two pieces of property they just bought.

It’s going to work out good for the store, we get rid of a big chunk of property that is essentially useless to the business, and trade it for the same sized piece that will allow us to widen the area in front of the store, where customers will use it.

They were supposed to start breaking ground on the project back in the middle of May, but Westminster started negotiating as if they had the advantage.  Their original offer had Chevron giving up more land that they would be getting, and the owner had to explain to them that, although it will be nice once the front is widened, we are already functioning fine the way things are and Westminster can’t do their project without that little slice of property.  So Westminster came back with a better offer, Chevron said the swap had to be foot-for-foot, Westminster came back with a little bit better offer, Chevron said the swap had to be foot-for-foot, and it’s been going back and forth that way for a month now.

So the latest projection is that groundbreaking will be in August.  Early August I hope, because I want to be out of school when they demolish the building.  And if I’m there when it happens, you’ll see it here.


Classic 1969 LTD Test Drive


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Kindred Spirits

O2I got a call from Paperback Writer the other day.  Her next-door neighbor has a 2 1/2 year old that is already into cars (kind of like me yelling “like daddy’s car” when I was 3).  She asked if it would be Ok for him to come over and see my collection of old LTDs, which I said was ok, of course.  I love any chance to show off my collection, one of the reasons I have them all insured so I can take them to shows.  

So yesterday Writer, mini-me and his mom came over to check out the LTDs.  If you want the story of the whole time, I’ll let you read Writer’s version of it, but let me say I haven’t laughed that hard or that much in a long time.  And his mom loved my house, which I like to show off every bit as much as my cars.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Light years past “enough”

1 Energy Drinks.  It’s not enough that you can now get over 30 types of regular energy drinks (enlarge the photo and count, you’ll see).

2Then they had to go to the supercharged version.  Little bottles (@ $3.29 ea) of 5 Hour Energy Shots, in at least 7 different flavors (including decaffeinated.)  Yeah, decaf.  No problem, I’m going to pump my body full of all sorts of chemicals and so called vitamins, but I’ll be damned if I’m drinking caffeine!

3 Well, that wasn’t enough.  In the last year they came out with Energy gum.  Yup, Rockstar Energy Gum.  And, of course, it’s sugar free, because 4 out of 5 dentists surveyed said that if you’re going to (bleep) up your system with overdoses of caffeine and other chemicals, no sense getting cavities while you do it.

4 But this takes the cake.  I was cleaning the class on the ice cream display when I noticed an ad for, yes, you guessed it. A freakin’ energy ice pop.  WTF?  What’s next? Little energy candies that melt in your mouth and not in your hand? (Shhhhhhhh, let’s not give them any ideas.)

Now, I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that I don’t drink energy drinks.  On Friday nights at the Chevron, after a long day at school, one of those 5 hour shots helps me stay awake for the night.  And I’ve even tried the Rockstar gum (it worked ok, but lost any semblance of good taste in just over 3.5 nanoseconds).  But seriously, energy ice cream?  Is there no common decency in corporate America anymore? (I know, I know, a total “DUH” moment).

Any way, I am dying to see what they come up with next.