Saturday, December 31, 2011

Oh Deer!

Back in October, Paperback Writer went to a local cemetery to take some pictures.   I’ve lived in this city for over 37 years and I’ve never been there, so today Writer and I chose that cemetery for a photo shoot.

We spent a couple hours, looking at the different grave markers, but  for me the most fascinating thing there was a herd of deer.

Now, I’ve seen deer in the city before.  As a teenager, we lived one street away from the edge of the city, right at the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains.  Few winters went by when I wouldn’t find a deer or two or three  munching the leaves of our bushes.  The harder the winter, the more deer I would see.  So seeing the deer wasn’t completely surprising.

What was different was 1. I had my camera with me and was prepared to take pictures, 2. These deer had to travel at least a mile, probably through the University of Utah to get there, 3.  It was a wet summer and an incredibly mild winter so there should be plenty of food in the mountains and most importantly 4. They let me get within 20 feet of them (about 7m).

I’m posting 26 photos here, so I’ll break the post at this point so you don’t spend all week downloading them, unless you want to see them.  Click on “Read more >>” at the bottom to see the rest.

2011 #5

And finally – the plasma ball.  You can have a lot of fun with this thing, zapping unsuspecting people as they walk by.

Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 #4

‘Twas a cold and windy day, the snow was dry enough that the wind was blowing it right off the mountaintop.

Thursday, December 29, 2011 rocks.

I brought some stuff down to the D.I. to donate to them and found out that they do not take old appliances.  They took everything else, but I came home with my two small refrigerators that don’t work.

I didn’t want to just throw them away, they could probably be fixed, so I put an ad on classifieds. “2 free non-working fridges, just come pick them up and they’re yours.”

I posted the ad right around 1:00.  The first call came in at 1:05, and by 1:19 I had 12 calls, 5 text messages and 5 voice mails.  They were coming in so fast that I had to get back online and mark the ad as “sold” before I could even get around to calling the first person back.

The calls have stopped, the fridges are gone.  Very effective indeed.

2011 #3

“Favorites wouldn’t be complete without a set of pictures of Alan and Denny.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 #2

For today, we get a mixture of McDonald’s drive-thru and an old Ford truck that burst into flames.  Fortunately nobody was hurt, but the building was closed for a couple months.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Golden Grahams®, Frankenberry® and Mueslix®.

Can you spot the mistake in this article from the Salt Lake Tribune yesterday?  You may have to click on it to make it large enough to read.

The article was written by Robert Kirby, a columnist for the paper.  He usually writes pretty funny stuff, so part of me wants to believe that the mistake is on purpose.  But after reading the entire article, that kind of humor just doesn’t seem to belong there.

Let me know what you think, ‘cause I can’t make up my mind whether he meant to make that pun or if it is a case of spellcheck going bezerk. (Click on “Read more” to see the error of their ways.)








Thematic Photographic theme for this week (and more) is “Favorites”, we get to pick our favorite pictures of the year.  I’m going to start with this one, a mix of downtown, inversion and sunset.

Click on the banner below to check out other people’s favorites, add your own to the mix, and come back to see what I come up with every day from now until 2012.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas


Saturday, December 24, 2011


Decided to check my school email yesterday.  Glad that I did.  There was one new message and it was from one of my tech-crew kids.  This is all it contained:

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Slow Mo Guys


Found this while randomly surfing the blogosphere.  They’ve got about 50 videos on their channel, and they do some really stupid stuff.  But, in slow motion it looks pretty cool.  If you like this kind of stuff, spend some time and see the other stupid things they do.

The Slow Mo Guys on YouTube

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Here is a little quiz for people who want to find out which presidential candidate best matches your political views (according to ABC and Yahoo News).

You are given about 10 political questions, each with responses from the candidates, without any indication of which candidate said which.

Here are my results, which weren’t very surprising, although my #3 match is actually my #2 choice.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My filter works fine.

In the lunchroom a student looked into his lunch bag and asked “If I give you something can I pick where I sit when we get back [from the holiday break]?”

I told him that I wouldn’t make that deal and he stuck his hand in his lunch bag and handed me a lemon.  Immediately I thought “share the Tequila too, and it’s a deal.”

Fortunately my “keep your butt out of trouble” filter was working at peak efficiency and I didn’t actually say it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Stranger among us.

People fascinate me.  That’s probably why I minored in psychology and continue to teach.  Half the reason I go to many of the street fairs that we have here in Salt Lake is to watch the people.  And of course I always bring my camera.

I take pictures of them.  I try to be subtle about it ‘cause I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable, and I will not follow anyone to get a picture.  But I read somewhere that with surveillance cameras, traffic cameras and ATM cameras, urban dwellers can expect to be on camera a majority of time they are out in public, so I figure one more shot isn’t going to matter.

Anyhoo, I took this picture as I was walking back to my classroom from up on the 3rd floor.

Theme for this week: “Strangers among us.”  Click on the banner to see more great pictures and/or to join in the fun.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Cat on a hot tin roof.

The radiator on Old Green has been leaking for a while, so yesterday I decided to swap it for the one in the wagon, my now-official “parts car to the stars”.

After I got the new one in and all hooked up I went to start up the car so the coolant would move around.  There, sitting on the seat right in front of the steering wheel was Denny.  All comfortable as can be, he didn’t even move when I started up the car.  Most every cat I’ve known makes a bee line for the hills as soon as the starter motor kicks in.  Nope, Denny just lays there.  And lays there.  (The car was running when I took this picture). 

He was still laying there when I went back after putting in the new coolant in and returning the tools to their rightful places.  To take it around the block I had to lift him out, where he stood on the side of the driveway looking at me like “Where ya goin’?”

I’ve never had cats as fearless as these two.  Later I was vacuuming up the shredded newspaper they keep spreading around.  Both of them looked up when I turned it on, but neither of them moved.  Alan, the more skittish one, got up as if to get ready to leave when I was vacuuming right at the edge of the couch he was sleeping on.  As soon as I moved away he laid down again.  Denny never moved.

Gata, my last cat, was out the door, up a tree the second I hit the power button.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Psycho-Cyberbully: The Saga Continues?

Did you know that “Repetitious, unwanted computer communication” is a criminal offense under Utah Code 769201? 

We had a bullying seminar for the students the other day, and one of the police officers started the discussion with some interesting information about cyberbullying.  It led me to go up to him after the presentation and ask him some questions.  Here is some of the specific information I got from him:

  1. Cyberbullying does not have to be threatening to be criminal.  It can be simply mean, insulting, rude or even “I love you” kind of stuff that is continued after it is made obvious it is unwanted.
  2. Generally the FBI investigates these crimes because the internet crosses state lines.
  3. tends to be very cooperative with law enforcement when it comes to the identification and prosecution of cyberbullies.

On to the main story, though.  The cyberbullying of Free Wheeler Pizza has hit critical mass and is being systematically dismantled.  The fake reviews have become so obviously personal that the people running those review sites are beginning to remove them as fast as they can be posted (I exaggerate, but you get the idea).  Facebook has removed 2/3 of the personal slams by the main culprit, in some instances eliminating the entire discussion.

One faction of this group of 3 hasn’t been heard from for over a month, the other has been MIA for a few days.

Are they regrouping?  Have they realized that their smear campaign backfired on itself?

I’m not sure what it is, but I’m sure enjoying the cybersilence.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Yet one more reason I keep teaching…

In keyboarding a kid asked me if I shave my legs.  I said that I don’t but that some men do, like competition swimmers.

Me:  “They shave their legs, their arms, their chest…”

Student:  “And they’re bald”

(Say the two quotes together fast and stop before you get to the “d” on bald.)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

All alone.

Thematic Photographic for this week is “The One”, some lonely, solitary thing.  I took these photos today, at school.  I did not photoshop them at all, except to crop and frame them.  Do you know what it is?

Does this one help?

If not, ask your favorite neighboring science teacher.

Answer:  It’s called a plasma ball, the science teacher has one on her desk.  The whole thing looks a lot like this:

This is a picture I got off the web – not the actual one I was photographing.

And if you want to see more “The One” pictures, or want to enter your own, click on the banner below.