Monday, November 14, 2011

The Law at DC Auto in Clearfield Utah Noon 11-14-2011

November 14, 2011 12:10pm

I just saw four law enforcement vehicles at D C Auto in Clearfield, Utah.  I think they were David County Sheriffs.  At least one of the vehicles had their emergency lights on.  They were behind the building and appeared to be doing something with a black pickup truck and a man and a woman.  I saw something on the ground behind they truck.  It could have been a car seat, but it appeared to be bigger with blankets or something on or around it.

There was a tow truck next to the black pickup truck, but I could not determine if it was part of the situation or if it was just one that was at D C Auto, because they do towing.

I do not have any information on if there was an arrest being made or something else.  It just caught my eye that there were four law enforcement vehicles there with emergency lights on.

I would be interested if anyone knows what was happening.

Below are some pictures of the scene.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Amish Shunning

My wife mentioned some movie on Amish and their practice of shunning, that she wanted to watch.  It made me remember back to when I was a kid and my parents rented a house on this farm property surrounded by other farm properties.

There was a couple of sisters that lived up at the top of the hill from us.  They had chosen to have electricity installed in their house, due to the fact that one of the sisters had a medical condition that required some sort of electric machinery in order to survive.  I had been told that the Amish community had shunned them.  From what I was told that meant that they weren’t supposed to talk to them or give them support of any kind.

I don't know if all the facts are accurate, but that is how I remember it from when I was very young.

I also remember being told about an Amish guy that would go borrow his neighbor's telephone. We were on a party line, which meant that everyone shared on line, even though we had different numbers. If someone was on the phone no one else could use the phone.

This Amish guy would pick up the phone and someone would be on it. He would bang the phone and make a bunch of noise until you got off.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Glass on the Ipod/Iphone

I am listening to the commentary on Steve Jobs and Apple after his death.  One point they keep beating on is that Steve Job could not live with plastic on the IPod/IPhone.  Steve Job wanted glass.  They are saying they would not want an IPhone at this point without the glass.

I, on the other hand, find this to be a failing of my IPod.  I see a big market for companies that replace the glass as it gets smashed as it gets bumped or dropped.  I recently got a replacement for a broken IPod.  The problem was with the power or the battery or something, not the glass, but it had little fractures in and scratch on the glass.

I also have seen many people walking around with smashed screen glass.  I don't know if plastic is what I want, but there needs to be something more durable for the screens on these devices.  They are carried in our pockets.  They are used in our hands.  They are carried in our hands, while we are holding other things.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cutting in Line

In American society, it is unacceptable to cut in front of people who got there before you and have been waiting in line for things like the grocery store or the theater.  How is it that we find it acceptable to cut in front of people waiting in line at a traffic light?

The Gambling Lane
There are many places where there are two lanes at a light and one is clearly ending within a few car lengths past the light.  In these situations I often find cars lined up in the lane that is not ending and a car or two with slide ahead of that line into the lane that is ending.  Then at the light cut in front of those in line.  Many times just to go slowly in front of them due to traffic, thus making those who have waited in line wait even longer.

If there is someone in the lane that is ending and they can't get out in front of everyone they try to slide to the second or third spot.  When the person in the second or third spot refuses to let them in, the person trying to cut will often get angry with them, as if they have the right of way.  Let me repeat this, the person who is trying to cut in line; a behavior, if done in a store, would likely result in an altercation; is upset because someone is saying no they will not tolerate their rude behavior.  This sounds very much like when a smoker gets mad at a no smoking sign.  The person that wants to be rude is mad that the people around them have said no to the rude behavior.

I admit, I have fallen tot he temptation to use that lane to get ahead of traffic I assessed that would be slow to get moving, but it is a gamble.  When I use that lane and I get cut off by the people I am cutting ahead of that is the price I have to pay.  I gambled and lost.

Two Single Opposite Lanes to Two Lane Running Together
Another situation I have noticed with cutting in line is where you have a single lane on one side of an intersection that has a left turn arrow and a single right hand turn lane with a red light on the other.  This is in a state where you may turn right on red after coming to a stop.  These two single lanes converge into two lanes going in the same direction.  If I understand traffic law correctly, when you make a turn you are to stay in the lane closest to you and then if you need the other lane, signal and change lanes, once you have completed the turn.

What I have noticed at one particular intersection is that the left turn arrow people mostly swing to the right hand lane, thus cutting off the right turners from the other direction.  They do this because they want to get on the interstate which entrance is on the right.  The right turners just sit there and wait for the light to change, as if the left turners have the right of way in the right hand lane.  Some of this is fear of collision and some of it is because most of them want to get on the interstate via the entrance on the left.  Neither of them seem interested in getting out there and negotiating a lane change after they turn.  They both want to change lanes while they are turning, which I am almost certain is illegal.  I don't believe you are allowed to change lanes in an intersection.

When I have been the right hand turner I have nudged my nose out there showing my intent to go and the left turners stay over and I proceed.  So long as they see the behavior that everyone is going to yield to them, they are going to keep cutting in front of the right turners.

There is much behavior that comes about when driving that would never be tolerated and no one would ever consider doing if they were secluded inside a vehicle.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Royal Wedding

The wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton was today.  In America it was the wee hours of the morning and still I saw several people got up to watch it on their televisions here.  To what end?  What is the allure?  We don't know these people.  We probably even know them less well than we know our own leaders or celebrities.

Are people so unhappy with their own lives that they have to live through a royal family.

There is a movement to continually give to the American Indians because of the wrongs done to them by certain people in this country many many years ago.  The entire nation is called to pay for those things.  The British Empire also did vile things to the American people many many years ago.  They sent troops over here to kill our nation in its infancy.  Yet, we hold the family of the man that did it to us up to such high respect and esteem?

I do not feel the British Empire or the royal family owes us anything, but I am using this as an illustration to give some perspective.

Now let's set that soapbox behind us and look at the people involved.  Put the pomp and circumstance aside.  This is two people trying to start their life together.  They want to celebrate their love.  This goes beyond a celebration and is well into a spectacle.  Do we not remember what this young man's mother went through with being in the spot light.

When you get married you should be able to invite YOUR friends and YOUR family and not have to invite whoever is needed to to make a statement.  Nor should your guest list make anyone think that you are making a statement by not inviting them.

Let's leave the fairy tales and carriages and big dresses in the story books.  Let's let Prince William and Kate Middleton have their own life and let us have ours.

Be happy with who you are.  Live your own life to the fullest possibly can and set the distractions and unimportant things aside.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Facebook Shared Accounts

I was involved in a discussion with some friends on Facebook.  One friend posted that they wanted to add their spouse's name to their Facebook account.  I had seen one or two doing this previously and I didn't like it.  I now see the trend of people changing their name to something like Myrtle AndOscar Jenkins.  This is slightly better than a husband opening a Facebook account with his name and then the wife taking over the account and doing most, if not all the posting.

Reasons they do it

  • My friend was expressing that their spouse wasn't on Facebook and had no desire to have anything to do with computers, so they wanted to have their friends have a way to see stuff about them.
  • My friend also said that their high school reunion was coming up and they thought it would be easier to contact them both that way.
  • Another friend expressed that if someone says something to one of them that they can say it to both.

Reasons I don't like it

  • I don't want to see all of the junk from people my wife wants to have as friends.
  • You can not search for Oscar Jenkins, because Facebook sees AndOscar, not Oscar.  So if I am searching for old friends I have to search for them and parse through all of the Oscar Jenkins and then all of the AndOscar Jenkins.  It is hard enough to determine if it is your old friend since people put profile pictures of everything except themselves, but when you have to search crazy names it is even harder.  This means that the point of making it easier for high school friends to find them for a high school reunion actually makes it harder.
  • A better use of the name field is to use maiden and married names.  So if I search for Myrtle Jenkins or Myrtle Yoder, which was her maiden name and the name I knew her by, I will still find her.
  • When I see someone online in chat I don't know if I am getting Myrtle or Oscar?
  • If I want to plan a surprise for Myrtle with Oscar, then that makes it hard since Myrtle can see everything.
  • Update 7-28-2011 - Today I had a friend pop up as having a birthday.  They have a shared account.  Whose birthday is it?  How will I know when it is the other persons birthday?


I have seen several TV shows that revolve around time travel or alternate Earths or alternate realities where they show Zeppelins being widely used.  If it were not for the Hindenburg and the evils the Germans did with the Zeppelins, would they have ever been a viable form of transportation?

To me Zeppelins seem unstable, bulky, and costly.  The majority of the space in them is filled with gas and appears to be unusable for anything else.


Thursday, March 31, 2011

Buy American

This is a difficult subject for me to address, because I want American to be strong.  Unfortunately I seem to be arriving at the opinion that buying American because a product says "Made in America" on it is not the way.  I will detail some of the reason I feel that way below and I welcome respectful and thoughtfully worded discussion in the comments.

Just because a product says "Made in America" does not mean that all of the money paid for that product stays in America.  It could have been made by a foreign company, which has a manufacturing plant in America..  It could have been made by an American company that outsources much of it work to foreign countries, but manufactured the item in America.

Just because a product says "Made in China" or whatever other non-American country it might be does not mean there aren't American jobs that rely on that product.  I think we often just look at the manufacturing jobs that are gained or lost and forget that a company has other jobs that they pay for.  Those jobs might be being performed by Americans.

Sometimes I hear people complain about how little people in other countries make to produce our cheap clothing.  If we take the position that we don't buy those products to show that we don't want them paying low wages to people then those people make the equivalent to $0 instead of just what ever they were making before that was more than $0.  Saying to only buy things made in America has the same effect.  I do believe that we have to take care of those closest to us first, but still something to think about.

What about vacations?  Should we only vacation in The United States.  Tourism is a big industry and if we vacation outside The United States we are giving tourism jobs to other countries and taking work away from Americans.

As said at the beginning of this post, I want a strong America.  I think that taking the position that people must buy "American" just because it is American or says "Made in America" on it does not make us stronger.  American is stronger when we compete.  If we do it better then we will be strong.  If American companies only can make sales by virtue of being an American company and not from innovating, then America is weaker.  The Declaration of Independence tells us that we have the right to the pursuit of happiness.  It does not say we have the right to happiness.  We have to pursue and catch it ourselves.

One area where I do think we need to "Buy American" is in private charitable contributions.  I think we as individuals spend too much money on causes overseas rather than establishing private programs to educate our own people.  We spend a ton on building schools in far off places.  How about privatize the school system and then the American people donate money to support it?

If our population is well educated, then we will be competitive in the market place.

Stop Moving My Keys

Anybody else irritated that every keyboard is configured slightly and sometimes considerably different. Delete, ins, home, end, pg up, pg down, and such just thrown on willy nilly where ever they can fit them.

Some of them have even removed the Pause/Break key entirely.  When doing software development every so often I have to use Pause/Break to more precisely break into the code than just pausing the IDE.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

If I Can't See Your Face I Can't Tell It Is You

People are locking down their profiles on Facebook, which I think is mostly a good thing, it helps against identity theft and deters creeps from finding them.  Unfortunately it also keeps long lost friends from finding them.  If I search for Steve Jones (names has been changed to protect the innocent) I am going to get a long list of Facebook users, likely.  If the Steve Jones I am looking for has hidden all of his information, I can't tell he is the one I am looking for.  Many times this isn't an issue, since there is a profile picture and even though it has been years I can still see that it is good ol' Steve Jones.  So long as old Steve hasn't had major plastic surgery or something.

Unfortunately people seem to be using their profile picture for anything bu their face.  We get cute pictures of their kids or pets or even their spouse.  Many times they are in the photo, but because it is a thumbnail on Facebook, it is hard to make out their face since they are not the focus of the picture, but the couple or group is.

Please Steve, change your profile picture to your face.  We miss you so much and we can't find you.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Utahans and Turn Signals

Almost everywhere I have lived, there is a small, frustrating percentage of people that don't use their turn signals to indicate what they are doing, so as to keep traffic flowing well and prevent accidents.

Here is Weber County, Utah there is an epidemic of folks that don't use their turn signals. No signal for lane change, merging, or turning.

This morning was the ultimate example. Two cars were at a stop light in the straight/left turn lane. Neither of them were signaling. The light turns green and they both sit there for twenty seconds looking at each other. Then both of their left turn signals come on and they proceed with their left turns.

It would've been a little humorous, if I was not stuck behind one of them, waiting to make a left turn myself.  I shook my head in disbelief of what I had just witnessed.

Usually the people I see not using their signal are people whose lane is ending and they are merging into traffic.  They appear to either be oblivious to the fact that it is their lane that is ending and not the lane they are merging into or they assume that people are so courteous here that they will just back away and let them in.

There may be some validity to their assumption, if they are indeed counting on the courtesy of others, but it is a dangerous assumption to make.  Many around here do extend "courtesy" to those that are in front of them, regardless of how rude they are being to those behind them or what the law is.  One should still signal and look before merging, in spite of this.

I saw a similar phenomenon is Indiana.  People generally wanted to be courteous and would stop and let people into the flow of traffic.  That is great except for in the case where one stops where they have no stop sign to let a person with a stop sign go, because the one at the stop sign is not getting a break to come out.  This confuses everyone.  The person stopped know they have a stop sign and yet are being motioned to move out into traffic.  The people behind the "courteous" person are confused because they may not see what charitable act they are trying to perform, thus they might trying to go around them and then crash into the person that was let out when it was not their right of way.

It also isn't great when a "courteous" person let's multiple people merge out in front of them, while the line of cars that has been patiently waiting for a very long time get delayed longer and longer.  If everyone let's in one car, traffic in both lanes with flow.

Another traffic thing I see here, which is either courtesy or the fear of being hit is letting a left turner with a green arrow turn into the far right lane, while a line of right turners coming from the other way sits and waits on them.  The person at the front of the line generally just sits there and waits for the green arrow from the other way to go away, even though there are two lanes and the left turners should stay in the left and the right turner in the right.  If they need the other lane once they turn, they should signal and keep the traffic flowing.

Instead what happens is that a line of right turners back up and it takes forever to clear them out, because there are too many of them to make it through the next light after they turn.  In the meantime all of the left turners that drifted in to the right lane have cleared out because they are making a subsequent right turn.

If both would stay in their own lane, then the left turners want to make a subsequent right would still move out and the right turners making a subsequent left turn would be able to trickle through the next light and not back up.

Even though folks around here generally don't use their turn signals, they do make turns.  Left turners often cut their turn short, drifting into the left lane of on coming traffic after the turn.  If there are two turn lanes the right most lane will drift into the left lane and further encourage the left lane to head into oncoming traffic.