Thursday, October 31, 2013


This is what one of my Tech Crew kids came up with for the intro to our school announcements on Halloween.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


I know tomorrow is Halloween, so you’re either going to have to hurry, or wait another year.

A student came up to me at lunch today, said “Look, an appllantern” and handed me this.

Not bad, considering lunch is only 30 minutes long, and he had to take some of that time to get his lunch and eat it.

So I handed my camera and the appllantern to one of my tech crew kids and asked him to get some good pictures of it.  I really like the last one, with the water dripping off it.  Kind of looks like it’s drooling.

And it’s going to be on the set for the announcements tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

That Golden Glow

I’ve spent many an hour waiting for the sun to either rise or set.  Looking toward it or away from it, the light skimming almost tangent to the earth can be amazing.

I caught these morning photos a couple of weekends ago when I was down in Arches National Park.  When camping, I’m usually up at the first sign of daylight, before the sun has a chance to break over the horizon.  I had the campfire burning, second cup of coffee in hand, when I took these pictures right from the Devil’s Garden Campground.

See more Golden Glow shots at:

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Arches and Alta

I got these shots this morning before the first session of the day.

And here’s the modern-day technology shots of Arches from last weekend.

Friday, October 25, 2013

There's snow in them thar hills.

Whee, I'm at a math conference up in Alta this weekend, and much to my surprise I saw snow right out in front on my room.
it's actually not too cold right now, late afternoon and I can go outside without a coat on, although it is a little chilly.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Some Facebook stuff.

This one’s just for you Lisa:

And this one’s for fans of old cars like me:

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Thematic Photographic

So the theme for this week is “Let’s get Dirty.”  His introductory photo is of the tread of a tire, packed with mud.  I don’t think he had this in mind, but here is a picture of a rock formation in Arches National Park we hiked by last weekend.

We now call it “Peanut Rock” because we used our original, for adults only, name for it in front of some of the younger members of the family, and thanks to the quick thinking of one of the fathers in the group he “clarified” the name for younger audiences.

My apologies to anyone who may be offended by this, but I didn’t Photoshop it at all.  I may have photographed it, and I may be the one posting it, but nature made it.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Turn-of-the-millennium Technology.

I found my very first digital camera recently, and not only does it still work, but my roommate has a computer old enough that it has a card reader that fits the camera’s memory card.

The Kodak DC50 came out in 1996, I’m not sure what year I bought mine, but it wasn’t long after.  I looked for data to compare it with my newest (2yr old) camera, and there wasn’t much to compare.  Technology has changed so much since it came out that the terminology is completely different.  I did find two things that could be directly compared:

  1. The best picture for the DC50 is 756x504 pixels, on my Nikon D3100 camera I get 4608x3072 pixels.
  2. The DC50 can shoot at a maximum rate of 1 picture every 5 seconds, the Nikon takes 3 per second.

The DC50 boasts 24-bit color, the Nikon doesn’t even mention how many bit color it has.   The Nikon boasts a 14.2 megapixel sensor, the DC50 doesn’t even mention megapixels.  [ I think that’s because it’s sensor size is the 756x504 the pictures comes out.  If I’m right, that means it has a 381,024 pixel sensor compared to the 14,200,000 Nikon sensor. ]

So, here is some pictures of my trip to Arches National Park this weekend, through the eyes of a camera from the last millennium.

I’ll get the Nikon pictures on here in the next couple of days.  I have a lot more of those to go through, the DC50’s memory card only held 80 pictures.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

For Sale

Maybe, just maybe, whatever developer gets this property will retain some of these buildings. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Utah Headline.

Lawmaker drafts bill to help Utahns keep and eat roadkill

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Ox carts and streets.

#265: The theme for this week is Streetscapes.

Driving in Salt Lake City has some advantages, despite some of the worst drivers in the US.

The roads are quite wide.  Most of the downtown streets have (or had) 3 lanes in each direction.  The story goes that Brigham Young required the streets to be wide enough to turn around an ox drawn cart without having to back up.

I worked in the pizza delivery business for 15 years before becoming a teacher.   Delivering to homes here, especially in Salt Lake City proper, is a breeze.  Almost all the streets run directly east-west and north-south; it’s a perfect grid.  The streets are named by the number of blocks they are away from Temple Square (the official center of the city).  In the picture above is the intersection at Fourth South and Second East (also called 400 South and 200 East) and is exactly 2 blocks east and 4 blocks south of the SW corner of Temple Square.

Even streets with actual names have both a name and a coordinate (ie: Vista View Drive, 2950 East).  Houses are numbered to match the grid.  992 So would be between 9th South and 10th South, close to the latter.

I love teaching about the coordinate plane here because I can ask a student their address and, if they know their street’s numbers, I can point, say “You live about 5 blocks in that direction” and amaze them.  Until I teach them the trick.

Monday, October 14, 2013

#@%& *(&^%$ @#%&^%

According to my Discover Card, I was at the Bayside Hotel somewhere in South Carolina sometime around 8:00 this morning.  Yup, and I charged almost $700.

Fortunately their fraud division was on the ball and declined the $650 charge, although they approved the $10 purchase at the gift shop.  They called me and emailed me to call them back to verify whether the charges were valid or not.

So, I won’t be held responsible for the fraudulent charges, but I had to cancel my card so they could issue a new one to me.  Now, normally that wouldn’t be a problem, even with the 7 days I would have to wait for the new one to show up.

Except that I had just authorized about $500 in repairs on my Jeep and I didn’t know how I was going to get it out of hock.  I told the guy at Discover my situation, and he said he could “emergency” send me a new card that would show up in about 2 days.  Phew!

Round 2 of #@%& *(&^%$ @#%&^%

Except, the repair shop called and told me that they think the computer to my Jeep was fried, and that I would have to bring it down to the dealership.  Oh, and I owed them $150 for the stuff they did do.  They were willing to hold on to my Jeep until the card showed up, except that would mean it wouldn’t make it to the dealership until Wednesday and probably wouldn’t be done until Friday.

Oh, did I mention I plan to go down to Moab, in the Jeep to 4-wheel,  for the long UEA weekend?

Yeah. #@%& *(&^%$ @#%&^%!

Well, I had $60 to spare in the checking account, and a student loan that doesn’t get pulled out until the 20th, so I just borrowed from myself and got the Jeep out of hock and brought it down to the dealership.  I just have to remember to get a $100 cash advance when the Discover card comes in and get it into my checking so I don’t default on the student loan.

What a Monday.  

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Pedal Hopping.

Last night I went out with some teachers from the first school I worked at.  The counselor in the group hooked us up on this thing called the Pedal Hopper.

It’s kind of like a San Francisco streetcar, but powered by people.  You have to have at least 10 guests to power it, we had exactly 10 though it holds up to 16.  We decided that 10 was perfect since there are only 10 seats with pedals and any extras would just be extra weight to pedal around.

For $180 you get a 2 hour trip, stopping at 3 pubs.  You even get to pick the places to stop, keeping in mind you only have 2 hours and you have to pedal wherever you choose to go.  Which isn’t easy even though there are 10 of you, my legs are still mad at me.  At our first stop we decided to change our route, cutting out 4 blocks out of our trip.

There is, of course, no alcohol allowed on the Hopper itself, but you do get the driver, music (your choice or their party mix) and it even has a disco ball.

The driver had a bell that he would ring twice for “pedal”, and continuously for “pedal your butts off or we’re gonna get killed” when we turned left through intersections.   Since we drove right in traffic, we got a lot of stares, waves and horns honking, most of which were not the “move out of my way you morons going 5MPH in traffic” kind of honk.   Pedaling it, even up hill, wasn’t really hard work, it’s geared well, just tiring.  My legs would give out just about the time we got to the next stop.  Except for the last leg, which was all level or slightly downhill.  It was a blast.

At the beginning of the trip.
In the middle of the trip.
After dark, close to the end of the adventure.

Sorry about the video quality, all I had with me was my phone.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Dude, leave a little room between your front bumper and my back one.

At least once a month there is an accident on the road that is in front of my house.  There is a lot of traffic during rush hour, they pack themselves in bumper-to-bumper, and inevitably someone who isn’t paying attention slams into the car in front of them.

Today it ended up right in front of my driveway.   I don’t think the sedan was the one not paying attention, I just think that they were way too close to the back end of the SUV.

The Honda was behind the other two, so my guess is that they slammed into the sedan, pushing it into the SUV with enough force to slide it right under the SUV.

Now I could have the facts wrong, but this is still why I hate it when the car behind me is right on my bumper, even when at a complete stop at a red light.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Nerd Pet Wars 2013

Found this on Facebook.

And this was in one of the comments.


Friday, October 04, 2013

Comments of the week.

Two 8th graders walking in the hall. One says to the other “It feels like I’m getting old.

When I told 6th period that I would be there after school if they wanted to retake the test, one said “You sound like one of those motivational speakers: ‘And I’ll be here all evening.

A kid with a sprained ankle came in with this boot on. I asked him why he wore a ski boot to school today. “I’m just really psyched for the season to start.

Me: “Why are your shoes off?
Him: “They’re Jesus sandals, they just slide off.

I was doing lunch duty and snagged a kid’s crackers while he was turned away.  When he turned back and saw them missing, he immediately turned to me to get them back.  While he was looking my way, the kid across the table, who had the exact same type of crackers, slid his to the same spot the ones I took were in.  He told the kid “They’re right here”, pointing at them.  The kid looked back, saw them, looked back at me and then back at the crackers.  The look on his face was priceless, but I still gave his back.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Get Mikey, he’ll take the blame for anything.

For anyone desperately seeking to blame the President and the Democrats for the government shut down, I have a few things for you to consider.

  1. The ACA (Obamacare) was passed into law by legitimate legislative process.
  2. It survived 40 attempts at legitimate legislative repeal.
  3. It survived a legitimate judicial review all the way to  the U.S. Supreme Court.

Whether or not you agree with the Affordable Care Act, it is law and the Federal Government is legally and morally bound to follow it, including it’s funding provisions, regardless of what whiney-ass morons like our own Mike Lee claim.

The entire responsibility for this shutdown falls squarely on the shoulders of Teabaggers  Lee and Cruz and the Republican House.  The only thing Obama and the Democrats are guilty of (in this fiasco) is demanding that the Government live up to it’s responsibilities.  Period.

So, go ahead.  Hail Lee as a protector of liberty.  Condemn the President and Democrats as the bad guys.  But the truth is that the Republicans are simply having a big temper tantrum because their legitimate attempts to derail the ACA all failed, so they step out into the realm of illegitimate acts to get their way.

And hurt a lot of people in the wake.

Time to dump the tea in the bay.