Monday, November 30, 2009

New Camera - New Photos- Yee-ha!




I'm happy with my new camera that I have received for Christmas (early). Not wanting to sound like a broken record, or same-same video, I have a picture of guess what------the moon, plus a night shot of a bridge close to my son and family. Thanks for watching.


Airport Etiquette 101 - Mens' Restroom

Over the past few years of weekly travel, I've learned a few things about airport etiquette. This particular piece of wisdom just happens to concern the mens' restroom.

The lesson goes like this:

1. When entering a restroom, neverlook another person in the eye. You can still find your way around by looking at the wall or the floor. Looking into someone's eyes is good on a date, but not the restroom.

2. Never take a urinal next to someone. It is better to be separated by at least two urinals. (see below)

3. Take note and take aim. Account for any mis-guided angle. (the men know what I am saying)
If the angle is not accounted for, you could taint your shoe, or worst yet, the shoe of the person next to you.

Enough said.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Milky Way from Strawberry Pinnacles


My son's friend let me borrow his camera, and that allowed me to take a few pictures of the Milky Way from the clear skies above Strawberry Pinnacles. Thank you, Steve......


Time 8:30 PM, 10 Oct 09, settings: 60 sec exposure, f/stop=3.5, 18 mm lens, 1600 ASA, Noise reduction ON. (temperature 38 deg, brrrrrrr)
Also, notice the streak going across the left center. That was a satellite, and I hoped it would be captured in the picture.


Thanks for watching...






Friday, October 9, 2009

Shooting the Moon - Before and After the Bombing




Looks like they not only found water on the moon, but also caused a quick growth of foilage, probably Rain Forest by now. Must have shook an underground spring loose. Note "Before" to the left and "After" to the right.
Enjoy






Monday, October 5, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Aliens have landed------in our driveway


Normally cornfields are the favorite alien landing spot with "out-of-this-world" designs being tamped down. However, this "alien" missed the cornfield and composed a truly "out-of-this-world" design right in the middle of our driveway. Our daughter wouldn't have had anything to do with this artistic piece of work, now would she?



Add Image

Friday, September 4, 2009

Geese and Sunset


Lucked out and got this picture of geese heading west. They came from nowhere.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

What is this animal?


I thought it was a Coyote. But, notice the different colors and designs of fur. Notice the stripped fur on the buttocks, and that patch of gray outlined in black on the back. Got me. Any ideas? Ran in front of us near Newspaper Rock Rec Area in Southwestern Utah. And, hung around in the bushes for a picture.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Thoughts from the 1950's

I ran into a fellow from Texas the other day. We were waiting for a Starbucks Coffee Shop to open around 10 til 7 in the morning. He told me a couple of things hid dad taught him, as he was growing up in Texas in the 1950s. His dad owned a gas station.

About having Customers wait:

1. Nothing is better than having people lined up to get into your store, and there is nothing worse than making them wait. (his dad opened 10 minutes earlier than the posted time, to avoid the wait to get gas at his station)

This gentleman pumped gas for his dad, which always included a top off of air in the tires, plus a windshield washing for free. His dad always was on him about leaving some streaking and a few spots on the windshields. This he could not understand, so he asked his dad what was wrong with a few spots left on the windshield.

2. His dad said, "The customer cannot see the gas I put in their tank, or the air I put in their tires, but they can see the windshild, and will judge my station by the way it looks."

Nice thoughts. If he had written a book, I would hope to have been lucky enought to buy it.

New "Lip Plumping" Technology


I saw this ad in an airplane shopper magazine. Think it would go over as a Christmas gift?


Moon (again)


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hummingbirds are Special

video

Rock Art #1



Nine-Mile Canyon is out in the middle of no where (I know this, and my daughter has confirmed this). Anyway, it has some old Indian Petroglyphs that date back to about 1000 AD from the Fremont Indians. We went there this weekend and found this for one example...



We also saw "Pig Head Rock". All-in-all, a nice weekend.




Bark Art #1


When I looked at this tree, I saw something other than a tree. What about you? (Please disregard the white "Snuff Can" that someone stuffed in the tree years ago). I mean shape-wise, I see something different.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Child in Tears

Lack of sleep had seared his brain to the point of madness as he yelled to me "I'll kill you if you drive by my house again".

Having been no where near for a year, I wondered, and approached the car to see what was yelling at me.

There I found a tired, working man, covered in cotton and grime and a child in a yellow dress, face soaked with tears.

A shotgun waits for you, he told me again.

Looking at him, I said, you have the wrong man.

As he drove his old Chevrolet away from the near-crime scene, he looked straight ahead, and the child looked back at me, still in tears.

(true story. I was in the military, and had not been around for about a year. My brother had been driving my car; "flirting" with his two daughters; and probably keeping him from sleeping (as he worked the midnight shift). I told my brother not to drive by the house again.)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Thanks for the Great "Birthweek"

For the past 59 years, I've been lucky enough to have a "birthday" every year. This year was number 60, and thanks to my family (wife, son, daughter, son-in-law, daugher-in-law, our four grand kids, and a multitude of visiting friends), I had what one would have to call a "Birthweek". It was almost non-stop fun and adventure. Everytime I turned around, someone had a surprise for me. It was very, very nice. Thank you everyone.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

But, the Eagle shared the A&W with his little friends


What Happened to "Big John's" Rootbeer


"Big John" visited us, but left his A&W rootbeer at our house. He was wondering who took it. The picture is proof. hahahahah

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Barb Wire Fence Reflection, Mountains of Salt, and Rusty Car








Taken near Delle, Utah, during a spur of the moment trip on Fathers' Day.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Quotes I Appreciate (1)

Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Pictures - Landing at Salt Lake Airport




Saturday, June 13, 2009

Coke Jail - Female and Male Cans Beware!




If you are a coke can, and you do wrong in Utah, this is what can happen to you. You will be encarcerated in the Salt Lake Desert until someone pays your bail.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Looking to the West after today's storm


For those used to the climate in northern Utah, we are not used to rain such as we had today. Anyway, here's looking west towards the Oquirrh Mountains. Cheers.

What you get when you buy "Bird Food for Finches"


This is the first Finch I've seen in Utah. I hope to get more and better pictures since we put "Bird Food for Finches" in our feeder. Sometimes you just get what you ask for....

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sunsets are my Favorite


Just a nice sunset, heading west on I-70, near Richfield, UT.

Friday, April 17, 2009

How long is your extender?

There have been several Internet news articles recently about a United Airlines policy that would require some obese passengers to pay for two seats. (Since one-third of Americans are considered medically obese, this could help the airlines economic situation.) United Airlines is, according to the articles, the fifth such airline to enact such a policy. (I wonder why we never heard about the first four)

Not wanting to sound mean or offensive, but really, something has to be done. Think about it, just because there are airplanes, doesn't mean that everyone fits into one, and for that matter be allowed to be a passenger. There are, after all, real physical limits.

But, the criteria and procedure for requiring a passenger to purchase two seats needs to be thought about at least a nano-second. From what I can gather, here will be the procedure.

1. The passenger boards the plane, and if it's observed by the flight attendant that the said passenger cannot either 1) buckle in with one extender belt or lower the arm rest, then it is time to go to step 2.

2. If an empty seat is available on the same airplane, then allow the passenger to move so that they spill over into the empty seat, harming no one else. If this is not the case, then go to step 3.

3. Allow the passenger to purchase a "Business Class" or "First Class" seat. (they are usually bigger). (man, I'd really enjoy adding a few extra comments here, but that would only confuse this issue) If this "Business Class/First Class" option doesn't work, then go to step 4.

4. Require that the passenger leave the plane and catch a later flight after purchasing tickets for two seats. (airport police would be called to escort the money-strapped, irate passenger from the plane, then the checked bags would have to be removed). Problem solved, right? Not hardly.

Here is what I see happening.

Passenger: "Well, the extender belt on "such and such airlines" worked just fine, it must be the extender belt, I'm not going any where until you get me the standard extender belt."

So, that raises an interesting thought. Just what is the length of a "standard extender belt". Well, ask eBay. Several are offered that measure twenty-four inches. You can actually buy your own.
So, in some government database somewhere, there will be a definition regarding the "standard extender belt size." (If there isn't already)

What will happen in these situations? People will get a custom-made extender belt (a cloned standard look-alike), with a full thirty extra inches, and when the flight attendant questions them about the size of their extender belt, the case will go straight to the Supreme Court, and we would be mired down in court costs and delays for who knows how long.

This will happen, there is no doubt in my military mind.

So, there has to be a better way. (this is where I get mean)

All airlines have a "luggage-sizer" thing where you place your carry-on in the compartment, and if it fits, then wah-la, you are good to go. Imagine a "Girth Sizer Unit" (GSU) whereby the suspect passenger sits in a mock economy-sized seat and has to strap in with a "standard-sized seat belt extender", or purchase two seats while at the counter. Would there be a line? Probably.

One has to chuckle at the situation we have gotten ourselves into. How in the world did this become a problem? As thinking Americans, something hasn't been clicking for a while. And please, don't claim it is a DNA issue, or it is something we just couldn't help.

A side note: On the Lewis and Clark Expedition, I don't think any of the participating soldiers were turned away because they wouldn't fit in a canoe. They were turned away because they couldn't shoot or track or hunt, but not because they wouldn't fit inside the means of travel.

So, how long is your extender?

PS: Here is one article..
http://money.cnn.com/2009/04/15/news/companies/united_airlines_obese.reut/index.htm?section=money_latest

One black coffee with NO sugar, please.

Good night.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Are you glued to your "Gadget"?

Nice catchy title don't you think? Ramble, ramble, but it does relate to what follows...

USA Today had an article today entitled "Relationships in a twist over Twitter"; "Glued to your gadget? You may be losing human link." (The daily newspaper has been reading this blog, because I noticed that phenomena a few months ago, but I don't have followers in the millions, yet)

The article goes on to quote a lady who is a proclaimed expert on the "over-stressed" and "over-connected". Now, there's a job for you. I am not sure the econ-oh-me is as bad as we are led to believe if there are "Connectivity experts" who can offer advice and get paid for it. But, she goes on to quote Thich Nhat Hanh, a Zen Buddhist master and poet--"The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence." Maybe, maybe not. I've met some people I'd rather not be "present with". But, that is another digital story.

In any case, we have done it to ourselves. If you are "too-connected", then fix it. Turn off the silly pod, and yawn with the rest of us.


PS I'm currently working on my Doctorate in Sarcasm and Cynicism from U-Nameit-U (U in U)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tumbleweed Man


Well, winter is about over, spring is here, and with it new duties. In addition to being "Adjuster-Man", I am now "Tumbleweed Man". It seems our yard is a magnet for those pesky "tumbleweeds" that blow as they wish from the west side of the Salt Lake Valley right smack into our yard. My wife has an eagle eye and can spot them with no mercy. Having been up in the morning all of 3 seconds, she tells me there is a new one in the yard, and I must capture it before it blows away--all of this before coffee, mind you. So, I go about my duties, cornering the weeds before they tumble into someone else's yard, and back into our's eventually. So, no complaints, just would like to have my coffee first.


One benefit, I do get to look at scenery as shown here. Not too bad of a life.


Thank you again.


Photoshop Fun








Thanks to Evelyn, I am not getting much sleep at night. I'm having too much fun with Photoshop Elements 7. I'm by no means an expert, but I do believe these pictures show nice "blends". Thank you Evelyn.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Wanted: Two Rabbits - One with No....

Being close to Easter and all, my wife and I thought it would be a good idea to take our two oldest granddaughters to see the baby rabbits at a local farm outlet store. We got there and Kylie and Melia feel in love with the twenty or so bunnies. In love enough to want one, each. Not wanting to be the grand parents who spoil the granddaughters' development, we said, "Sure, just ask your moms. "

Kylie called her mom first (actually I called for her. hehehe), but in a few nano seconds one could tell the conversation wasn't going too well. As it turns out, Kylie can have a rabbit if she finds one that doesn't poop.

Melia was next. Ring, Ring, happy days until mom started justifying to Melia why she should not have a rabbit. Something about allergies. As it turns out, Melia can have a rabbit only if she finds one without any hair.

So, being good grandparents, we are in the market for two rabbits -- one with out hair and one that doesn't poop.

Thanks.

Monday, April 6, 2009

I think something is wrong with my TV

(thanks to my two or three followers for hanging in there with me) But, I really do think something is wrong with my TV. Almost everything has a green tinge to it. On TV, people are wearing green shirts, green hats, cars are green, oil has a greenish look, water, too. The next time you see a car commercial on TV (Saturn is a good example) notice how much green you see. Even the logo for General Electric is now green. (was black at one time, I thought)

Once upon a time in a land far away, green was just one of many colors. Growing up, the only thing I really remember being green on TV besides the grass and trees was a 7-Up bottle, then along came Sprite, and then the symbol for decaffeinated coffee and onward we march, thinking if we make it look green, it probably will be "Green".

Contribute to my "Green" fund at InventGreenFuel.com. I'll invest it wisely for you, trust me.
(no, just kidding)

If coffee turns green, I'm quitting.

Good night to my two followers.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Two jobs on my chopping block

(I travel to Los Angeles, California often, and have noticed this phenomenon)

There are two jobs in the Los Angeles area that are totally recession proof, and would be on my chopping block, if I was in charge.

The first job on my chopping block--Pick any morning, go to any local television station and listen as the "TV Traffic Condition Person" tells you in a grandiose fashion how traffic on the LA freeways is either "crowded" or "very crowded". Since rush-hour doesn't apply anymore, (this presumes people are actually going to work) why do we need a detailed account on "crowded" versus "very crowded". Let's save several hundred thousand a year, and hire a computer voice.

The second job on my chopping block--This job is also on the local TV stations. This person tells you the weather, and how the temperature in and around LA will fluctuate 5 degrees all day. There will also be some clouds, some smog, and a little sunshine. I'd take that six-figure salary, and buy a $200 dollar scanner with weather from the computerized voice of the National Weather Service and call it good.

Two shots of espresso please.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Power of Three

Three is a significant number when it comes to power and balance. Think about the "Three Wise Men", the "Holy Trinity", or the significance of the the Judicial, Executive and Legislative branches of the US Government, not to mention the strength of the three-sided triangle. But, in today's world, I am thinking of the strength of these three words: "Collect all Three". Mac D's, BK's and Carl J's have all come up with a seemingly unlimited number of plastic "collectibles" that keep the young one's and, in turn their parents coming back for more. Thirty years ago, I'd never thought any one could come up with so many "collectibles". But never under estimate the power of three. Marketing hasn't.

Friday, March 20, 2009

AIG Brings to You "Doddge Ball"

When I was in grade school, one of the favorite games we played during recess was "dodge ball". Throw a "not-so-hard" ball at someone and see if they are fast enough to get out of the way.
It seems the same game is going on in Washington with the AIG bonus snafu. One of the main players of this game of Doddge Ball is none other than Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn) who is also the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. He has shown some fancy footwork trying to avoid the "smoker" from the sidelines. He and the new Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner, are in a heated one-on-one throwing contest, fancy footwork coming mainly from Dodd.
I have only one thought on this and it goes back to when I was 18. One of the first things the military teaches you is to be honorable. If you've made a mistake, admit it, and do your best not to do it again. The lives of your buddies may depend on it.
Dodd needs to learn that lesson. Stop trying to Doddge what you obviously did. The American people don't want a lesson on the "convoluted process of how things don't get done", and "who-done-what-to-whom-when" If you are in charge, admit to yourself and to the American people your mistakes and do what you can to fix the problem. Fancy footwork and lawyer-ese/double-speak only make you look worse.

Friday, March 13, 2009

"Smart and Wealthy" and the Econ-oh-me

At 6:00 AM this morning CNN had another of the Bernie Madoff "smart and wealthy" victims on the TV crying that they had lost some of their millions of dollars. This particular fiftyish couple (from the North East part of the country) were now having to live out of their RV in Arizona, something they had planned to do after their retirement. Now they campout for real, on a daily basis.

Guess what they wanted out of all the mess? They wanted their money back! hahahahaha Good one. (Day-time dreamers, and some drugs in the 70's probably caused that thought)

Then I got to thinking what caused all of this. It is the "econ-oh-me". Oh-me, oh-my, it's all about me. The econ-oh-me is in such a shambles that I can't keep my millions and sit on my a.. for the rest of my life.

Oh, the econ-oh-me. What a shame that I was such a "smart and wealthy" human, blessed with a spirit to live, and blessed with "squatters rights" on a planet in a universe that is so huge we can't measure it.

To the victims: get over it, get over the econ-oh-me, look at yourself, plant a new reason to live, and stop whining. Believe it or not, it's not about you, oh-me, oh-my.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Smart and Wealthy

(I have to confess, I don't really appreciate what's referred to as "Talking Heads", just thought I'd get that out up front) But, they are everywhere on TV. This morning, I heard the "Talking Heads" on a TV program (take your pick - CNN, CNCB, ABC, whatever) who said that those who had invested money with Mr Bernie Madoff were "smart and wealthy" people, who, as it turns out, lost 64 billion dollars investing with him. Wealthy, obviously; smart, not hardly; greedy, probably.
Did the "unsmart textile worker", or the "unsmart school teacher", or the "unsmart truck driver" lose money with Mr Madoff? Odds are, NOT!
The people who lost money took their chances, and deserve the returns, be it positive or negative.
Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Laptop Magazine

While in the Salt Lake City Airport today, I was pretending to be book shopping, and I noticed a headline on the cover of "Laptop" magazine (Mar 2009) that read: "Is tech tearing your family apart?" The essence of the article is just as my blog entries hinted at a month or so back (American Family of the Future, and Community in a Paragraph or Two), ie connected with humans, but NOT really connected. I promise I did not know they were coming out with this article. It is good to be validated by "Laptop" Magazine. (actually I'd never heard of "Laptop" magazine before today).

have a good week.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Swiss Army Knife

I love Swiss Army Knives. I used to have three, but TSA absconded with two of my small 3-inchers. The knives never made it to the bin of "absconded stuff", just to the TSA officers pocket. Probably safer there.

I ran across an ad in a magazine yesterday showing the World's Only Complete Swiss Army Knife. It is 8.75 inches wide and weighs 2.75 pounds. Take a look to the left.

It sports 87 tools, spanning 112 functions. It even has cigar-cutting scissors and a 12/20-gauge shotgun choke tube tool. Man, gotta get one of these. See the full description to the left.

But, as the little girl asked her mom at the Ontario Airport last week (referring to the gas truck re-fueling the plane); "What's it for, mommy?

Well, good question. What is it for?

It has become so "functional" that it is now "dis-functional". We could say the same for large businesses and the federal government. Oh, they all look good on paper, and have good marketing to back them up, good story line, etc. But, I want to see that 12/20-gauge shotgun choke tube tool in action, and we'll then decide if it's worth anything but a laugh.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Memory Foam

A few days ago, my wife and I bought a mattress cover made of "memory foam". You press on the foam and it keeps the shape for a time. Paid about $150 dollars for the thing. That night we plopped it on the bed and gave it a test sleep. I finally dozed off at 6AM after tossing and turning most of the night. If it hadn't been for my wife waking me at 8AM, I'd missed my work appointment.

"How was your sleep?", I asked my wife.
"Oh, I slept good. How about you?, she replied.
(I didn't have the heart to say I'd only slept for 2 hours, so I just agreed-- maybe I'll get used to it)

But, then I got to thinking about "memory foam". I guess you could say the brain is a blob of "memory foam". You press it and it retains it's habits, I mean shape for a while. My daughter-in-law says their "memory foam" mattress cover has lost's it's original shape, and is stuck in a depression, towards the center of the bed. So, if we keep pressing on the same spots in our brain, we, too, could get into a depression. Old habits die hard, we've heard.

Maybe I'll press a few different brain spots, just enough to keep the "Memory foam" alive and well.
Enjoy your Sunday.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Yes, every day is Valentine's Day and ......

My thoughts seem to go haywire while flying. Must be the altitude and the energy drinks Southwest now serves. Anyway, my daughter asked me if the post "See! Red...." meant that every day was Valentine's Day. Of, course every day is Valentine's day. It's just that Hallmark doesn't tell us so.

But, I got to thinking. Maybe it would be more realistic to say that every day life fits a range---say from Valentine's Day to Halloween. You have have a hug one minute and get the "you-know-what" scared out of you the next. Or, the hug itself could be scary. The possibilities are endless.


Many places and people have Valentine's Day themes, but really, if you look behind the scenes, it's all Halloween.


That's why I now sleep with one eye open.


PS: Euromoka, a coffee kiosk at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Los Angeles serves a mean "Red-Eye" coffee. Try it, if you are there. Cheers.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

American Number System

It seems that numbers have come to mean a lot to most Americans. We evaluate ourselves and the quality of our lives with various numbers. Television and the internet pound it into us. Here are some examples:


1. Finance: What is your "credit score"?

2. Health: What is your "good" cholesterol number?

3. Health: What is your "bad" cholesterol number?

4. Happiness: What is your "sleep number"?

5. Business: What is your NPS (Net Promotor Score)?

6. Health and Happiness: How many calories is in that piece of chocolate cake? (worry, worry)

7. Happiness: How many milligrams of caffeine are in that super-charged, energy-zonking drink? (can I have two?)

8. Health: What is your "blood pressure"?

In response to question 8 (note the reference to the number), a lot higher that it should be after considering all these numbers.

Even a trip to the doctor today requires that you describe your pain with a number. As the medical technician asks you, "What is your level of pain on a scale of 1 to 10?" (Oh heck, I am a 10 today, that sleep number bed with a sleep number of 40 is killing my back.)

Let's go back a few years and imagine a time when you you either felt good or you didn't; you either paid your bills or you didn't, or you either slept good or you didn't. Too simple? Maybe not, for I think this number thing has gotten out of control.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Airport Etiquette

I learn something every time I set foot in an airport. Today, at the Salt Lake City and Las Vegas Airports, I learned the following bits of etiquette:

1. Take a seat, and then place each of your carry-on bags in their on seat. Wouldn't want the carry-on luggage to sit on the floor, now would we. Besides, the older ladies don't mind standing.

2. Take a seat, and place your feet/shoes on the seat next to you. Got to spread that bathroom "skunge" around. Now, what is that on the seat of your pants, again?


3. Spread out, sleep in 5 seats. (Get my point?)

4. Eat a cheeseburger, drop the ketchup on the floor, and then smash it with your foot, to make it invisible in the carpet. Maybe you and the dude who puts his feet in seats, should get together. Then we will know what is on the seat of your pants.


Happy travels.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I have a better explanation.....

From Yahoo.com, 15 Feb 09

"Crude oil prices have fallen to new lows for this year. So you'd think gas prices would sink right along with them.
Not so.

On Thursday, for example, crude oil closed just under $34 a barrel, its lowest point for 2009. But the national average price of a gallon of gas rose to $1.95 on the same day, its peak for the year. On Friday gas went a penny higher.
To drivers once again grimacing as they tank up, it sounds like a conspiracy. But it has more to do with an energy market turned upside-down that has left gas cut off from its usual economic moorings.
The price of gas is indeed tied to oil. It's just a matter of which oil.
The benchmark for crude oil prices is West Texas Intermediate, drilled exactly where you would imagine. That's the price, set at the New York Mercantile Exchange, that you see quoted on business channels and in the morning paper.
Right now, in an unusual market trend, West Texas crude is selling for much less than inferior grades of crude from other places around the world. A severe economic downturn has left U.S. storage facilities brimming with it, sending prices for the premium crude to five-year lows.
But it is the overseas crude that goes into most of the gas made in the United States.
So prices at the pump will probably keep going up no matter what happens to the benchmark price of crude oil."

My explanation: Why don't we say, the price of gas is up because "someone sneezed in China."

See! Red..........

I have to be honest, Valentine's Day ("V" day) is not my favorite holiday. But, I'm not what you would call "romantic" either. Guess that explains some of it.

My son and I went into a fast food restaurant on "V" day, to grab something "to go". This restaurant was all over the "V". The booth seats and counters were red. They even put out "Red and White" salt and pepper shakers. Man, they sure are getting the place for that "romantic" burger.

Roll forward one day. I went back. Wait, the salt and pepper shakers are still red and white. And, the booth seats are still red. How can that be?

On the "V" day, look for red, and find it. On the "V" day, look for the sparkle from the someone special and find it.

But, what about the day after? Well, it will just have to wait until next year.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Community - in a paragraph or two

I am only good for a paragraph or two. After that, I ramble. So, I hope I can make a point in a "paragraph or two".

(Definition of community: Human communities hinge on a degree of cohesiveness. Being part of a group, and feeling connected)

I believe that technology is advancing to the point whereby we are losing our sense of "community". We are losing courtesy, our ability to share feelings, and ideas. We are becoming distant and un-feeling. Airports are a good example. (flight attendants could probably verify what I am saying)

Example: In an airport today, I made the mistake of thinking someone was talking to me. He was looking right into my eyes, and speaking at me. I even said, "Excuse me, what did you say?" But, actually, he was talking to someone, hundreds, maybe thousands of miles away, through a device in his ear, commonly referred to as a "blue tooth device".

Years ago, there was a sense of common purpose between people. People in airports shared a "common experience". There were people talking to people, and maybe a book thrown in for good measure. Today, there is no "common experience". We all have our "blue tooth device" and "individual experiences". Consequently, we tend to tolerate each other less.

Before I've exceeded my paragraph limit, let's think about how the devices we use, make us feel like we need no one, only ourselves-who are less connected than we can imagine.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Born on......Best before.....

One thing about travelling alone, you can talk to yourself a lot. Today I had a conversation with myself about the "Born on" dates seen on food products and drinks, including beer. In addition to the "Born" date, some products even have a "Best before" date, for a guage of freshness, I guess.

I had a dentist tell me once that I'd never again have the gums of an 18 year old. (and are you going to charge me for that explanation?) So, in this case, the "Best before" date is, well: 18 years old.

If you listen to or read the Holly-Drama, the "Best Before" dates can really be slippery. Best before: Too Old, is probably in the ball park. But, even that changes depending on how much botox, and other facial stretchings have been done.

For me, I think I'll keep it simple. How about Born on: Today, and Best Before: Tomorrow. Living one day at a time, just one day at a time.

Time for another freshly-brewed cup.

Friday, February 6, 2009

But, papa it's not da.....

Amber is 3 years old. Like the other grand daughters, she can tell you that in a blink of an eye. She also likes mints. We were at a restaurant a couple of days ago, and while Amber and I were alone (no mom around), she asked me for some "candy". OK, let's see what I can do. I happened to have my handy packet of WrenchMints TM. (the same mints that Kylie said "tasted like the sun".

I slide open the container and whispered to Amber, "Kylie said these tasted like the sun."

She looked up at me, her lips moving a little before any sound, and said, "But, papa it's not da sun."

Ah ha! Three years old and a realist. We have a five-year old poet, and a three-year old realist.

Oh boy, it's going to be fun watching these two.

Time for another drink, er cup of something. Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Powerful Mint

Kylie is now five years old. Ask her, and she'll tell you. She is also the young lady who saw the egg in the sky, (which is an earlier blog entry).

I don't usually carry breath mints (probably should, but don't) But, in this case, I'd just bought a package of "Wrench Mints" TM, cinnamon flavor. They are actually shaped like little wrenches, and come in a wrench-shaped tin container. (Marketing by-line: When your breath is broke---fix it")

After eating some Mexican food with my son, his wife, and Kylie, I decided to pass out the "Wrench Mints". I'd had one or two--a very nice flavor.

But, then a five-year old brain started to work. She looked at the little wrench, popped it in her mouth, and as we started to leave told her mom, "It tastes like the sun!"

Wow, another quote for her yearbook. Dad and mom, write these down, and tell her the stories down the road.

So far, there's an egg in the sky, and a mint that tastes like the sun. Keep'um coming Kylie.

Visit: http://www.wrenchmints.com/

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Loyalty Cards

I must have a dozen or so "Loyalty Cards" in my wallet. You know what I mean--those cards that award points/miles for frequent visits, purchases, flights, meals, etc. Wow, I have "Platinum" status with this airline, "Diamond" status with a hotel chain, "Gold" with yet another one, and working on "Silver" for a new chain. My wallet is nothing but a huge bulge. (also, I am convinced these programs do a lot keep the Post Office in business, just judging by the mail and offers I get)

Anyway, I feel really privileged that these cards allow me to have all the status. A free bottle of water really comes in handy the first night in a hotel. Not to mention, those free peanut butter crackers. Mmm, man, life's good!

But, how much loyalty can you give? I mean, if all of your loyalty goes into one "pot", doesn't that mean the other "pots" get less loyalty. Thus "Diamond" status in one, but only "Silver" in another. Something or someone comes up short.

What if we were all issued a "Loyalty Card" when we were born. That way, as we go through life, we'd get points for working, visiting friends, being with family, shopping--all of life would be validated with "Loyalty Cards". That way, when your wife says to you "You're working too much, and not spending enough time with me", all you'd have to do is look at your point balance, and either confirm it, or otherwise. It would make the argument a lot less, well, subjective; if you know what I mean.

As for me, I think my point balance is way-out-of-whack. My work "Loyalty Card" is "Diamond", no doubt about it. For the rest of my time, I'd be stretching it to have a "Bronze" status anywhere else. As I approach age 60, it's time to reverse that.

What about your "Loyalty Card" situation? Are those points worth it?

Time for a third cup. Good night!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Total Shitzu Laser Level FUN!

Oh my goodness gracious, do you want to have some fun? Do you want a million gut-bustin' laughs? Get yourself a "laser level" and a Shitzu dog. Point the "laser level" at the floor, move it around, up and down, around the room, on the wall, up a pant's leg and watch your Shitzu dog go absolutely nuts chasing the red dot.

You can get a a good "laser level" at my web site: "LaserLevels.com". (no just kidding!). Or go to "Home-you know what" or Lowz and get one of these things. Shitzu dog, well you are on your own there, but am thinking a cat or any other dog will do the trick. My son and family have a Shitzu, and this dog will not give up. It wants to eat the dot. (They also have a Boxer dog that isn't terribly interested, maybe old or something, but never mind, the Shitzu is rabid after the red dot.) For those of you who don't have a laser light yet, get a flash light. The fun here is about 1/100 of what you are going to have with a "laser light". Let me know what you think. I loved it.

Cheers, and thanks Dan (my son) and Sid (the Shitzu)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Chicken Joints

I took a philosophy course years ago, so I could beome "smart". The one thing I remember about the course was when the professor said a purpose of philosophy was to allow you to "divide life by the joints"-- separate life's pieces and then put them back together again, so to understand. His example was the joints of a chicken. A drumstick, thigh, wing, breast, and so on. They are all identifable, basically the same, right? I mean, a thigh doesn't become a breast, or a wing become a neck, does it? This is just something you can count on.

Now, let's rotate the planet 180 degrees, and plant you or me in Asia. Aah, now something is different here. One thing you notice is there are no-- absolutely zero "chicken joints". They just "chop-chop" the chicken, until you have no idea which "piece" is which. If you are looking for a "drumstick", you're out of luck. How in the world can this be? How do they live? Is life divided by the joints in Asia?

I guess one could say, in Asia, it's all good. We, in the West, miss something by limiting ourselves to just "drumsticks", "thighs", "wings", and so on.

Latte time!

Copper Mind

Take hold of my hand and tell me your story, twice or three times if need be, and let me take the pain away, and like a lightening rod, send the feelings into the everlasting darkness—never to return.

Frequency #1

Frequency. The physical properties of frequency have always interested me. It seems almost every object has a natural frequency, or natural vibration. Thick guitar strings have a different natural frequency than do thin guitar strings--with a totally different sound. Rainbow colors are distinct frequencies. Red, yellow, green--all "vibrate" at different intervals, and produce different sounds (if we could hear them)

Water has a natural frequency, depending on temperature. And, since humans are composed of about 60-70% water, it stands to reason that we also have a "natural frequency". For example, have you ever been listening to a song, and it struck a chord that went beyond your ears? Have you every walked into a room, and got "bad vibes"?

Or, heard someone say, "She is very "high strung", or "His personality is totally "flat". Or, "felt it" when someone walks into a room?

Have you every said about another person, "we cannot get along--we aren't in sync." Or, on the opposite side of that, have you ever looked into the face of someone, and new what they were thinking?

Where does this "frequency" come from? An interesting concept is given by Dr Morris Massey, in which he believes that "What you are is Where you Were When". So, your "frequency" becomes part of you as you grow, and is influenced by your home, your family, and your physical surroundings. Dr Massey goes on to say that by the age of ten, the boy or girl has pretty much figured out the way to live life, and by 20 it's pretty much locked in.

I can only speak for myself. But, at the age of 10, I spent time in a Poplar tree in my parent's yard looking toward the west (Asia), thinking about how the world was connected, and how people could go anywhere, and do anything. Ten short years later, at the age of 20, I knew that to be a fact, as the Vietnam War cranked on.

Dr Massey's web site is: http://www.carltonstraining.com/catalog/What-You-Are-Is-Where-You-Were-When-AGAIN.html

The intro video is in the upper right corner.

Time for a second cup. Black, with no sugar. Cheers.

Post Script: Today (31 Jan 09) I saw a book actually entitled "frequency" by Penney Peirce. The book is about "vibrations" from humans. Strange coincidence. Cheers

Monday, January 19, 2009

Adjuster-Man.........Ta-Dah!

Around our home, I am the "Adjuster-Man". I get to use my talents on at least a weekly basis. For background, we used to have a Heater Thermostat with which you could adjust the temperature + or - 10 degrees by moving the slider a nanometer. Not really precise, but I was able to master the changes to the point where my wife (bless her heart) was content most of the time.

Advance in time 30 years. We now have a Heater Thermostat with which you can control the temperature to the degree, if not the lower side or higher side of a degree. Now, if my wife is cold, I can adjust it to almost 68.2 degrees, and get her feedback. I am pretty good at this adjustment. Lot's of practice.

Don't go away, there's more. We also have several lamp timers that allow me to adjust when the lamps come on and go off. There are several, one or two in various rooms. I have gotten explicit instructions from my wife as to when each lamp should come on, and go off, within 5 minutes. The idea is to have one lamp come on, stay on for say 10 minutes, then go off. Then, about the same time, the another lamp in another room should come on, and so on. This gives the appearance that someone is in the house, and moving about, so to speak. I'm working on this one. Because, my wife wants to keep "burglers-to-be" on their toes, the times have to change. It's not a bad hobby, if you're into timers. (I just pretend I'am an electrical engineer, and I feel better.)

Now, a month ago, we found out that the water heater was continuously spilling water into an overflow. It turned out to be too much pressure. A plumber call and $145.00 later told me that. The plumber added a pressure equalizing tank above the water heater, and "ADJUSTED" the outside water pressure. (see where I'm going with this?)

After all this, my wife (bless her heart, again) asked me what he did. "Ugh, he adjusted the outside water pressure." (Darn it, should never have said that!)

Anyway, a few days ago, she said "Can you adjust the water pressure, it's a little too low, hard to take a shower".

I played "Adjuster Man".

Yesterday, she said, "Can you adjust the water pressure, it's too high, splashes all over my sink."

Adjuster-Man to the rescue...........Ta Dah!

I even have a special screw driver for the nano-twist adjustments.

(Think, I'll have another drink, er I mean cup. Have a good day)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Water, Trees, and People

I was browsing around the book store the other day, and picked up a book titled "Hidden Messages in Water" by Masaru Emoto. Dr. Emoto has been able to obtain pictures of frozen water crystals after the water has been exposed to different songs, sounds, spoken words, colors, etc. It seems the crystals take on different shapes depending on what it has been exposed to. It also seems that the crystals often do not form, or form in grotesque fashion, some even a brown color if exposed to something harsh or demeaning. The word "demon", for example, produces a very different crystal than the words "thank you."

Now, variances are noted between individuals, but the human body contains roughly 60%-70% water. This brings up some interesting thoughts. If crystals can be shaped by events, good and bad, how about us "water-logged" humans?

Can this "water thing" be the center of how we feel? Is it possible, then, to affect your attitude, disposition, feelings, and even health by surrounding yourself (as much as working people can) with the types of music, sounds (and even other people) that have shown to create beautiful crystals?

One other point, and I'll leave this for another day. I read in another book (I think by Robert Fulghum) that some earlier peoples believed you could kill trees by yelling at them. After weeks of yelling, the tree simply died and fell over. So, what is the percentage of water in a tree?

Getting back to the water. What does a "yelled-at" crystal look like? And, from that, how does a "yelled-at" person feel?

Almost as bad as the tree.

Dr Emoto's web site is http://www.masaru-emoto.net/english/ephoto.html

Coffee Review - Millcreek Coffee Roasters

If you are interested in a unique, relaxing environment and a very nice cup of coffee, try Millcreek Coffee Roasters in Salt Lake City. I had the coffee of the day - Bolivian, with an extra shot of espresso. Wow, very nice flavor, and even served with a smile. The walls are decorated with empty burlap coffee bags from all over the world.

Free wifi for those of you that can't get enough of the "connection".

One other note: They actually do roast their own coffee. There are several large roasters in the back, which probably add to the atmosphere and "flavor" when in use.

Millcreek Coffee Roasters is located at 657 South Main Street, Salt Lake City, Utah. Phone: 801 595 8646. Tell them the CoffeeBuddha sent you.

Friday, January 16, 2009

It's an egg in the sky!

"It's an egg in the Sky!", Kylie screamed as she pointed to the east.....

These were the words our grandaughter shared with my wife and I a year or so ago. We were in our backyard, which was lit by the most beautiful full moon you can imagine. It was one of those that was still orange, not quite white, yet. She was four at the time.

I think I'll be four again.

These are the things I'll see and do:

I'll also see the "egg in the sky", and wonder why it's being eaten, and by whom.

I'll see sugar crystals as the milky way, and wonder why they don't fall into our opened-mouths.

I'll dress myself with stripes, plaid, and polka dots, all at the same time, and not worry what people think.

I'll watch my favorite cartoons, over and over again, laughing just like the first time.

I'll count to ten, and be proud of myself.

I'll tell my grandma that I like her rice soup, and watch grandma smile.

I'll eat candy until I can eat no more, and not worry about the consequences.

I'll have my favorite blanket, and keep it close to me when I sleep.

I'll draw and color, showing my grandma what I've done, all with a smile on my face.

(these should keep me busy for a day or so)

So, Kylie, if you read this, can you make papa a picture of the "egg in the sky"? I'll hang it in my "CoffeeBuddha" office. Thanks, Kylie!

Papa

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My Best Cup of Coffee

I had my best cup of coffee ever after completing basic aircrew survival training near Fairchild AFB, Washington. It was incredible. The coffee was brewed in a 55 gallon drum, over an open fire, no filters, nothing fancy. I forget the exact number, but we opened many 3 pound cans, poured the grounds in, and they just settled to the bottom. You just scooped all you wanted with your tin cup. Simple and good for the soul.

What was your best experience with your drink? (coffee, tea, or whatever you like).

Cheers, time for another cup!

"Maybe We can Share a Room?"

When you travel, you can run into strange people and events. This happened to me as I was staying (at a Hampton Inn) in San Diego on business.

I arrived late, and while looking for a parking spot, I noticed a pickup truck following me. After parking, and while getting my suitcase from the trunk, a fellow gets out of the truck and said: "Man, these rooms are expensive." I agreed, saying something to the effect that this was San Diego.

He said, "Are you getting a room here?"
I said: "Yes."
He said" Maybe we can share a room?"

I said, as I drug my suitcase past him, "No, a couple of agents and I are sharing a room-- the FBI is having us cut back on expenses."

Silence.

He got in his pickup and drove off.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Things I've Heard in Airports #1

I fly every week somewhere. Done it for a while. Here are some things I've heard people say.

1. Loudspeaker: "Will the person who left their wedding ring at gate B11 , please return to claim it?"

2. Man on cell phone: "Tell him he's fired" I don't care if he'll cry."

3. Woman to Man: (while waiting in line to board): "I want a divorce."
Man to Woman: "What?"
Woman to Man: "You heard me, now get it taken care of"
(they had to sit together on the flight, not speaking for a while, but believe it or not, before we landed (several glasses of wine later) they were kissing like newly weds.

4. Man to me: "Do you want to swap seats-- my window seat for your aisle seat"?
Me to man: "No, that's fine, I think I'll keep this seat".
Man to me: What's the matter, are you scared (afraid) to sit by the window?
Me to Man: No, but statistically, you do stand a greater chance of falling out of the plane sitting by the window"
Man to me: Silence

5. Jan 2009. As we arrived at the gate in Phoenix, Flight Attendant to some kids on the plane who flew without parents or adults: "OK, you UM's (Un-escorted Minors), stay in your seats, don't move until I tell you to move." Nice, SouthWest Airlines does a good job of training boot-camp instructors.

Merge - It's an Action Word!

Many years ago, when I was in grade school, we learned that a verb was "an action word" However, we learned a verb could also be used to describe a "state of being". Advance forward in time to say 50 years, and I've finally realized how important the differences in these uses--"action" or "being".

For example, driving north or south on I15, and you get the feeling very quickly that most drivers believe that Merge is a "state of being". Most believe that they can take their sweet time and saunter onto the interestate, without any effort to reach the traffic flow speed. They seem to feel that the primary job of "merging" belongs to the driver(s) already established in the traffic flow.

Attention "state of being" drivers: Merge is an action word, it requires you do something besides lolly gag at 45 mph while the flow traffic brakes to "let you in". Get with it!. Merge, for goodness sake!