Tuesday, February 09, 2016

911 is for emergencies? Hmm. I'm not sure I like the way it worked last night

The night was dark and I was returning from a trip to the grocery store. I had stopped in a parking lot on the way home to put some things away, and when I went to pull onto the street again, I noticed the traffic was really congested. I had a hard time getting back on the street. As a gap appeared in the line of cars, I saw an accident had occurred. A rollover and the wheels were still spinning. One or two people had already made it over the the vehicle and I pulled over to the side. I pulled out my phone to report the accident that apparently, I had just barely missed witnessing first hand. I dialed 9-1-1. You have reached 911 a masculine recorded voice said, please do not hang up and the next available operator will assist you. I waited and waited, perhaps 4-5 minutes before a different voice came on and said, the person you are trying to reach is not available. Please try again later. I'm not sure if those were the exact words, but that's pretty close.
I redialed 9-1-1, and began getting the same please do not hang up recording I had gotten the first time. I finally heard sirens. Apparently someone had been able to get through, thankfully. By now a large group of people were over there trying to help. While I had been on the phone trying to report the accident, I had seen a guy rush over there with rubber gloves--apparently he had some kind of medical know-how. I'm not sure if any of them had been able to do anything. One guy came back past me and said, "it's bad", and walked on to his vehicle.
I don't know what the outcome was. I do know that if I had been under attack in my home, or my house was on fire, and I had to depend upon the 911 system at that time, I would have been in serious trouble. At least, if someone was intruding at my house I'd know how to defend myself, but other kinds of incidents, such as accidents and fires, require a swift response time. When people's lives are at stake, as in an accident of that magnitude, the system should work better.

Longer--a great Dan Fogelberg Classic

Dan Fogelberg's Longer. I don't think anything else needs to be said.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Tax time--do it early this year

I think I'll figure out my taxes tomorrow. It's my day off, and it needs to be done. Of course, I hate doing it. I had planned on doing it on my last day off and ended up postponing it. There are several reasons why doing taxes is a pain the butt, and that's why I abhor doing them. Chief among the reasons is the paperwork involved. I have to have that document, and this document just to get started. I have to sort through stacks of stuff to find what I need. I could take it to a professional, but I'd still have to sort through my own pile at home before I took it.
My taxes aren't that complicated. I don't need an accountant to do them. Generally, I use an online free tax program and that works just fine.
Still it gives me a headache.
There's a good reason though for me to get on it and get it done tomorrow though. Thieves are using identity theft to steal people's refunds, so the sooner you can file your own taxes, the less chance that you will be a victim of fraud. Not that I'm expecting much of a refund, if any. I do adjustments to try and break even. I may even have to pay a little. But that's another good reason to get my taxes done early, so that I know if I owe anything prior to the deadline.
I sure wish we could adopt an easier system. I like paper. It's great for writing, gift wrapping, books, and making airplanes. What I don't like is the headache of taxes each year. I really support the Fair Tax. But if that doesn't fly, I want some kind of flat tax.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

More in the classic love song series. Put your head on my shoulder.

Lest we forget one of the all-time great love songs. Put Your Head on My Shoulder.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

You are everything. I'll never forget this song.

What a fantastic group The Stylistics were. And this is one of a number of great songs they did. You Are Everything.


Friday, January 29, 2016

The state of the nation...and the Republican debates

The more I watch the debates, the more I realize that in many ways the same old promises to lower taxes, protect and defend America, and move away from the politics of the current administration are being made.
They are being made, but will they be kept? I haven't seen evidence that any of those on the GOP stage will actually be able to do what they promise. And if they can't, or don't intend to at all, our nation will be in a free fall.
The popularity of Trump proves not that there are a lot of stupid people out there, but that there are a lot of people who are very, very angry with the way Washington has handled things. I am one of them. Though I don't support Trump, my anger over the lies and corruption in our national leadership, is nearing the boiling point.
Where are the statesmen of yesteryear? Where are those who can lay out a strong vision for the future success of America? Where are those who have the will and ability to convey the need for moving the country back to sound, constitutional principles? Where are those who can turn the tide away from a nation floundering under the heavy burden of massive debt and the crushing demolition of unbridled political correctness? I'm sorry to say that I did not see that leader any where last night. And of course, the democratic side is a complete joke--an aging madman and an non-convicted potential felon. Clearly, anyone who would vote for Sanders or Clinton doesn't have the remotest ability to use reason.
I don't like to scream gloom and doom. I personally believe that we will find our way out of this morass in which we currently find ourselves. But if we don't do all in our power to hold those in high office accountable to us, the American people, then we are to blame for the disintegration of the finest and greatest nation to have ever existed.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Two great days of winter sports!

Part of my "stay-cation" involved actually getting out and doing something fun. One of the great things about living in Utah is how close I am to great things I can do in the outdoors. On Friday, I went skiing up at Solitude with my friend, Boyd Lythgoe, and his dad and brother. But before I left, I looked outside and saw this:
Gorgeous sunrise from my front porch.


Once skiing, the snow was great and we had a good time. I took one good spill, one in which I kind of spun around out of control, lost both skis, and banged my head on the snowy slope. I sat there for a minute afterward, making sure I knew what day it was. I thought at first that the only injury I got from that was a pulled muscle in my upper thigh, but later on, when I got back from snowshoeing on Saturday, my neck muscles on both sides of my windpipe, and my lower abdominal muscles were in a great deal of pain. I didn't do anything snowshoeing to hurt them, so it had to have been from the crash skiing the day before.
Sometimes the effects of injuries don't show up right away.
I was skiing on some used skis that I picked up at the thrift store last year, along with boots and poles. I was into the entire set for less than twenty bucks. I'd tried to get a ski shop to adjust the bindings properly for me, but the said that they were too old and there were liability issues on older bindings so they wouldn't do it. I found a video on youtube that showed me the basics. Apparently, I adjusted them properly because the skis came off when they needed to and didn't come off when they didn't have to. I had also tested them prior to hitting the slopes a couple of weeks ago (I never took a bad enough tumble that week for them to be tested).
Anyway, we did over twenty runs (I actually lost count at about five), and I didn't have any falls until the afternoon, which were products of tiring legs and waning light.
Two of the original four of us stayed until the lifts closed. Here are a few more pics:
My friend, Boyd Lythgoe (far right) and his dad and brother who went with us.

That's me coming down the slope.




On Saturday, I went snowshoeing up Big Cottonwood Canyon. We started at the Mill D Trailhead. It was fairly well packed down and we could've hiked it in our boots. We went in about 1.7 miles to where the trail forks. One side goes to Dog Lake, which is another .6 miles, and the other fork goes to Lake Desolation, another 1.9 miles. We decided to go off trail at this point to get some actual snowshoeing in, so we headed over to a powdery patch and ate lunch, then snowshoed through the powder for maybe 100 yards, and joined the packed trail headed back down. After a while we took off the snowshoes and just hiked. It was a great day to be out having a mountain adventure. Of course, it's rare that it's a bad day to be having such an adventure. It beats staying in doors nearly any time.

Yours truly cutting back to the trail.

From L to R: Boyd Lythgoe, Steve Nye, Darren Nye


The nearby peaks were beautiful

Boyd and the others checking out the view across the canyon