Thursday, July 31, 2014

Movin’ on Up.

Drove through Duchesne today and saw something that wasn’t there the last time I was in town.

Duchesne’s got a stop light!

I can’t swear to how long it’s been there, but I don’t remember it being there last summer when I was at good ol’ Al’s Supermarket.

Just thought you’d like to know.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Separation of Me and State.

I was reading the comments on this story when it occurred to me that people really don’t understand the constitution.  Oh, they know the buzz words, like “innocent until proven guilty” and “freedom of speech”, but they really don’t get it.

Several people commented on their belief that Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow are guilty as hell of  unlawful activity during their times as Utah State Attorney General.  They were quickly slapped down with the so called constitutional “presumption of innocence” (according to my sources, those words are not actually in the constitution). 

Here’s the problem: “Presumption of Innocence” is a judicial tenet, not a requirement of the general public.  Courts, judges and juries are required to consider an individual legally innocent until proven guilty.  I, as a individual citizen, am not.  I’m allowed to, in my own mind, convict anyone of anything on any amount of evidence, or lack thereof, I want to.   And I’m even allowed to tell other people that’s what I believe.  So, when I say that I think Shurtleff and Swallow are guilty as hell, that I think they will be found guilty in a court and that I hope they get the maximum sentence allowed, don’t tell me I’m violating their constitutional rights.  Unless I’m on the jury, I’m not.

The other one I see a lot (from both sides of the political spectrum) is “don’t [pick one: tell them to shut up, call them an idiot or boycott their business], they have a constitutional right to free speech.”

Well, ya they do, but that only applies to the government telling you to shut up.  My freedom of speech allows me to let you know I think you’re an idiot and that I think you should just close your mouth before you prove I’m right.  (Oh, and you, too,  have the right to tell me to shut up before I prove that I’m the idiot you’re calling me.)

Furthermore, businesses are able to restrict the speech of their employees, particularly when it has an effect on their business.  Consider the Duck Dynasty debacle.  Many people got on A&E’s case when they cancelled the show because of something that one actor said.  Screams of infringing on his constitutional right to free speech were all over the place.

Let’s make this easy.  If you went to a restaurant and the manager asked “How many are there in your in-bred redneck party tonight?”, would you expect them to keep their job?  Or if the server asked “Do you really need that cheesecake, isn’t your ass fat enough already?”  When the manager came by, heard that and fired the server, would you demand that they be rehired on the grounds that it infringes on their rights?

It’s pretty simple; in general the constitution was written to limit actions in the public sector, not on the individual citizen scale.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Oh, give me a home..

…where the buffalo roam,

and the deer and the antelope play.

Antelope Island, in the Great Salt Lake, although the lake is so low right now that it should be called Antelope Peninsula.

The Great Salt Lake frozen over in the middle of July?

Nope, the lake is way too salty.  Even in the dead of winter here, it wouldn’t even get ice around the edges.  What you see here is just salt left over from evaporating water.

They say the lake is down a full foot from it’s normal level, we’ve been in a drought for a couple years.  All that sand in the above picture is normally covered with water.

I think the maps on my GPS need updating.

More buffalo:

This is how close they get to the road.

The Jeep above the north shore.

The White Rock Beach campgrounds.  Kind of desolate.

A California Gull (the state bird) on a California Prius.

The restaurant at the beach serves Buffalo Burgers.  Had one a few years back, good stuff.

A few shots of some bleached out driftwood I noticed on the side of the causeway.

And finally, something man-made left out there to rust in the salt.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mass* Exodus from LDS Church on Pioneer Day.

* Well, hey, even just a single person has mass.

According to a local news station there was a mass of somewhere between 12 and 20 people that picked today to mail in their membership resignation letters to the LDS Church.  These people are doing this to show their support of Kate Kelly, who was recently excommunicated for refusing to give up her Ordain Women movement.

To be honest, I’m only posting on this subject because I wanted to make that “mass” pun.   And make fun of the news organization (Fox 13) that referred to 20 out of 15,082,028 as “mass”.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Happy Birthday Madison

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Thematic Photographic : Temporary

On the average, we probably get one good snowstorm in May here, sometimes even in June.  Most of the snow hits up in the canyons, I took these up Lambs Canyon.

Every year that I can remember, the snow last about an hour, and as soon as the storm moves out of the area it starts to warm.

If the storm hits in the morning, the snow can be melted and the streets completely dry by sunset.  If the storm hits in the evening, then you may have to wait until noon the next day.

Either way, spring snow in Utah is fleeting.  Usually only one day of having to wear long pants.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Riding the rails.

$6.25 for an all day pass on Trax, Salt Lake’s light rail system.  Considering we brought treats that were purchased at regular prices, they day of entertainment was a deal compared to the price of a movie ticket and theater concessions.

Yeah, two friends and I spent the day riding around on Trax.   Clicking on the first picture below will lead you to stop-by-stop pictures of the trip.

We went all the way out to Daybreak, about as far as you can go, diagonally, in the valley away from Salt Lake City.  15 years ago, it was nothing but farmland.  Here you can see that this is no longer true.

Hey, thanks for letting me know, I could have got hurt walking on the dirt expecting it to be sidewalk.

Each of the stops on Trax has it’s own artwork at the station.  This stop had flying people with wire hair.  The cool thing about them is that they were weather vanes, they turned with the wind.

An abandoned parking structure that made us feel we were traveling through Beirut.

Back in the city we saw this old VW van, complete with solar panels.

I don’t know if you can see it, but the van was packed, kind of like they lived in it.

Lunch at the Hires on 7th East.

This kid came in the train, sat down on the step and proudly proclaimed “This is where I’m going to sit.”

At the airport.  I have no idea what that plane was doing away from the terminals, so close to a parking lot.

Really classy (scary?) motel we passed on North Temple.

The old hand and ox carts are coming out, getting ready for the 24th of July.

Yeah, I wasn’t the only one that was taking pictures.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Pictures from day trips.

One of the things I like to do during the summer is to just hop in one of my vehicles and go exploring.  Since most of the population in Utah is right along the Wasatch Front, from Ogden to Provo, there is a lot of wilderness close to my home.  These pictures were taken on a couple trips to the north-east of Salt Lake City.

A field on the north end of East Canyon.

Dilapidated house near that field.  These kinds of buildings always make me wonder  who used to live there?  Why did they leave it to fall apart like this?

Nice old house in Henefer, Utah.  It looked like it was still lived in, although it really could use a little bit of paint.


Bug-fest 2014.

Up at the top of East Canyon.   Doesn’t look very desert-like, does it. 

University of Utah AirMed helicopter, going to help someone in the Wasatch Back.

So much for the “poor farmer”, this one seems to be doing pretty well.  This is along Jeremy Ranch Road, a long dirt road connecting East Canyon to Parley’s Canyon.

Purple flower.

A field along the Jeremy Ranch Road.

Another abandoned house.

There were horses just walking along the road, minding their own business.  They didn’t seem to be bothered by the cars passing them.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Thematic Photographic–Dirty

So, the theme this week is “dirty” and of course the first thing that came to mind is how much fun it is getting my Jeep dirty.  So, here are a couple pictures of the old Jeep and the new one all dirty.