Thursday, December 13, 2012

Adam and Eve, Not Adam and Steve

I saw a flow chart posted by an old friend yesterday.  It starts at the top with "So you still think homosexuality is sinful?  And therefore Gay shouldn't be allowed to marry?"  The graphic goes outlines why the author thinks it is not sinful based on disputing claims people make about what the Bible says.

The graphic goes from their initial statement to a yes or no.  If you choose know they give you a "congratulations on being part of civilized society!"  The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender movement is an example of civilized society.  LGBT is about gathering together as many deviant lifestyles together to gain power.  This was confirmed this morning as I Googled to try to remember the acronym and found that it is being expanded to LGBTQIA to include "Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual".

If you choose to go down the yes side of the initial statement you come to "WHY?"

One of the options under there is "God made Adam and Eve, Not Adam and Steve!"  Their answer to this is "The earth wasn't populated.  There are now 6.79 billion people.  Breeding clearly isn't an issue any more!"

First of all the earth can sustain another 6.79 billion people, God made it to sustain people.  The problem is that people don't use the resources intelligently or responsibly.  They pack themselves into large cities and let the refuse pile up there.  There are plenty of places for people to live and plenty of places to grow food.

Secondly, pairing a man and a woman wasn't simply a procreation issue.  It was also because men and women are very different.  When they become a family they complete each other.  Yes Adam and Steve have their differences and can grow by overcoming them, but it is very different than the struggles and compliments that the two genders bring together.

As I stated, the author states that the need for Adam and Eve was a temporary situation due to procreation.  They then condemn plural marriage, polygamy, or whatever you want to call it, that is mentioned in the Bible.

I would argue that Adam and Eve were not a temporary necessity, but that plural marriage was.  I believe that God opened that up to a few people for a short period of time or a few different occasions.

Plural marriage allowed for an isolated people to grow in numbers quickly.  This provided security for them in having a work force and an army if it became necessary to defend itself from animals or hostile humans.

I saw someone else post a response to all the points in the graphic that I thought was quite good, so I will repost it here:

Begin quoted material
1. Jesus said: Mark 10:6-9 "But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."
This is Jesus describing what a man does when he gets married and why. Only a man and a woman does God make one flesh. This is what marriage is.

2. OT: Deuteronomy 4:44 "And this is the law which Moses set before the children of Israel"
The OT says the law was not for everyone, but only for the children of Israel.
Act 15:19-20 "Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and fornication, and things strangled, and blood."
I.e. for the non-Jew that turns to God the only OT laws to retain include sexual sin, listed in Leviticus 20.

3. NT: Romans 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet."
Not a word about prostitution or promiscuity only, in that.

4. God made Adam and Eve: is still true.

5. The Bible does not clearly define marriage as one-man, one-woman. It defines marriage as between a man and ideally one woman.
Exodus 21:10 "If he take him another [wife]; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish."

But the entire starting premise is wrong. It is not that homosexuality is sinful and therefore excluded from marriage. It is that marriage is a man and a woman becoming one flesh by God. Just as Oxygen and Hydrogen become water, while O2 or H2 remain gas. Even if you redefine H2 or O2 as water, it is still a gas. You only lose the meaning of the word water.
End of quoted material

Born That Way
I hear many using the argument that homosexuality is ok because they were born that way and it is part of who they are.  They site the example of being born blind.

Doesn't a person born with poor eyesight get glasses?  Don't the blind hope that someone develops a cure for blindness?  They do what they can to live with the condition that is holding them back, but they also attempt to find way to make it not so.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Big Bird and PBS

PBS has become more of a business than a public service.  People talk of how they have no commercials.  That is simply not true.  They just put the commercials at the beginning and then end of the show.  Then they beg for donations and have the government fund them.  It is very much like paying for cable TV and then having to watch commercials too.  Except in the case of PBS, they want you to pay for it three times.

I loved shows like Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers when I was a kid.  I believe that if PBS moved to being a self sustaining network it would still do just fine, because many of the things they do are good and the programs are loved by many.

These days they could even cut costs by putting the programming as on demand on the internet.  Kids watch things over and over and over again.  They could get revenue every time a kids watches the show.  Each kid would probably watch each episode 10 or more times.  This instead of having them only watch it when it is on TV.

If PBS does end up failing, then it shows that there weren't as many people who wanted it as we think and the government is for the people and if the people don't want it, then it shouldn't be funded anyway.

Eat the Rich?

This concept of living off the rich by making them pay and pay and pay is ridiculousness.  This country was founded on everyone having the opportunity to make their own way in the world, not have the government mandate that others have to give it to us.  This is true for individuals as well as businesses.

Government needs to get out of the way and let businesses innovate.  Lots of regulation and taxes slows that down.  Initiatives to encourage people to buy American also discourages that.  Business need to be encouraged to do it better and more efficiently than the other guy to survive.  If a business fails, then it should be allowed to fail and someone else will step up and get it done.

As far as making the rich give up what they have, I say leave the rich alone.  I want to be rich when I grow up and I don't want people dictating how I spend my money.

What is crippling families?  High prices and lack of employment.  The more that government drives down on businesses in order to fund welfare programs, the more welfare programs will be necessary, because business will do what they need to to survive and guard profits, which means prices will go up and employees will not be hired and some may even be cut.  To guard profits they will choose to grow at a slower pace and charge more to maintain.

If you want lower unemployment and lower prices then get out of businesses way and let them grow and make money, which will force them to hire more people to sustain that growth.

If you tax the businesses more and put more regulations on them that make it expensive for them to do business they will defend their profits and pass on the cost to the consumers through higher costs of the product or through laying or and not hiring more employees.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Serious Car Crash at Jackson and Chatelain Road, Ogden Utah

Friday October 5, 2012
This afternoon, witnesses say, a car was speeding over and down the hill northbound on Jackson Avenue in the Sullivan Hollow.  At the bottom of the hill car driven by a pregnant woman and containing her small children pulled out westbound on Chatelain and was struck by the speeding northbound vehicle.

Witnesses said that if you didn't know what happened, looking at the position of the cars when they finished moving would be very confusing.  The vehicles had been push and spun around in various directions.

The pregnant woman's vehicle was pushed over some large bushes in a yard on the southeast corner of Jackson and Chatelain.  The bushes were always precisely manicured by the home owner and now they are smashed down in the middle and will probably take several seasons to grow back.

The light pole at that location was an old tall wooden pole.  It was knocked down and under the pregnant woman's car.  Many of the poles in the neighborhood are very old and in poor condition.  One of the neighbors has a utility pole in their backyard that is rotting and splintering.  Rocky Mountain Power, the own of the pole and provider of electrical service for the area has stated that there is nothing wrong with the pole and has declined to replace it.

In a related issue with Rocky Mountain Power, in a nearby neighborhood there is a power line that goes through a home's back yard and is at slightly lower than the height of a single story roof.  It would be very tempting for children to throw stuff on it or try to climb up to it.  The home owner has stated that Rocky Mountain Power will not adjust the height of the line without significant cost to the home owner.

It is the hope of those in the neighborhood that the light post at Chatelain Road and Jackson Avenue will be replaced.  There has been several break ins in nearby areas in the last few years as well as automobile accidents and a police shoot out.  There are several streets near that area where there are no streetlights and those areas are very dangerous areas after dark.  At this time of year there is a lot more dark and it would a great safety feature to have a street light at that corner as well as other dark streets in the area.

This is not the first traffic incident on a hill leading into the Sullivan Hollow.  Recently another speeding car ran a spot sign at Jackson and Sullivan speeding down the other hill that leads into the Sullivan Hollow southbound on Jackson avenue.  The vehicle was a blue sports car.  The car crested the hill, ran the stop sign, and t-boned a grey sedan that was slowly heading Westbound on Sullivan.

After today's incident the neighborhood is left with a large stain in the street from the materials used to extinguish the fire and to clean up fluids.  There is much anyone can do about that and it is not a safety issue. On the other hand, there is a lot of glass and debris in the road and gutter just outside of the immediate strike zone.  Those that reside in this area are concerned about the safety issues this situation could create.  There are many children that play in this area and ride their bikes on that street and in those gutters.

The neighbors are working to clean it up, but are disappointed that those responsible for cleaning up the street after the crash and making the road safe for travel left this safety hazard in the neighborhood.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


I was thinking about some things while I was getting up and around this morning.  These are just my thoughts and observations.  I welcome any feedback to help mold or hone my opinions.

I think many of us struggle with holding grudges. They end up being detrimental to ourselves and generally have no impact on the person we are upset with.

I have heard not forgiving people is like drinking a vile of poison every time we think of and hold resentment for what someone has done to us.

Imagine you invite someone over for dinner. You sit down at the table and your guest kicks your spouse under the table as hard as they can.

The meal continues and your guest excuses themselves from the table to use the restroom. When they return the push your young child's chair over with the child in it.

Things like this continue all night.  They pull your little girl's hair.  They yell and curse at your son.

How long would you let this person stay in your home?  When would you invite them into your home again?

This is how it is with not forgiving someone and constantly focusing on the wrong that has been done to us.  We become bitter or depressed.  The person who has wronged us gets no punishment from this, but our families do.

If we let the bitterness continue to work in us, often we fall into depression and can't get out.  This puts a lot of extra work on our spouses and families.  We become less functional and they have to pick up the slack.  It is also emotionally trying on them because they don't know how to help us.

Bringing a grudge into our home and not applying forgiveness to it is much like inviting in an abusive dinner guest.  A dinner guess that turns into a house guest and moves in to stay.

We would never allow anyone in our home that treats us and our family like our grudges do and yet we treat them like cherished friends.

Forgiving does not mean we are not cautious around those that have wronged us, nor does it mean that we are saying what they did is OK.  Forgiveness simply prevents us from allowing them to do further emotional harm to us without them even being present or ever being aware of it.

Being Offended Additionally, sometimes we take offense when someone says or does something and let it derail our lives.  I was reading in a magazine an article about a family stopped going to their church for a long time because someone said something the wrong way about their son's behavior.  Their son has autism.

Here are some parts of the article, Find Our Way Back by Christine Bryant in Ensign from Sept 2012, that I found interesting.

"A few years ago, my husband and I let our feelings be hurt by a few comments made by fellow [congregation] members about our 12-year-old son with autism, and we decided to stop attending church.

"Time passed, and before long, it had been almost two years since we had attended church as a family."

At one point a couple of men from their congregation "began calling us almost weekly to set up a time to visit. We made excuse after excuse of why we couldn’t meet with them."

The article talks about how the men stopped by unannounced one day and were finally able to get in to see them.

"The spirit that filled our home that day was strong. The men spoke from their hearts, bearing testimony of the importance of returning to church. One spoke of his own experience with inactivity and his journey back to the fold. His story of faith and obedience was exactly what we needed to hear. When they invited us to return to the Church, we accepted their invitation and told them we would be at church the following week.

"Even though we knew we had made the right choice to return to church, we worried that our son would act out and that we would receive the same kinds of negative comments we had in the past."

They ended up finding that several men in the congregation volunteered to sit with their son during meetings and made a special effort to be his friend.

"Looking back, we realize that the comments made about our son were not meant to hurt him or us but instead reflected a misunderstanding of our son’s disability and how difficult it was to control his behavior, especially in large groups like our expanding [congregation]."

Don't Focus on the Problem, Focus on the Solution
Another article I read in the same issue of the same magazine talked of being so consumed by our problems of who has wronged us or how bad everything is, that we fail to look to the solution.

The article was "Overcoming Addiction through the Atonement" by Benjamin R Erwin in the September 2012 Ensign magazine.

"Many of us are familiar with the story in Numbers 21 in which the fiery serpents come among the children of Israel. To save the people, at the instruction of the Lord, 'Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived' (verse 9)."

Alma 33:19-22 also talks of the story from Numbers.

 19 Behold, he was spoken of by Moses; yea, and behold a type was raised up in the wilderness, that whosoever would look upon it might live. And many did look and live.
 20 But few understood the meaning of those things, and this because of the hardness of their hearts. But there were many who were so hardened that they would not look, therefore they perished. Now the reason they would not look is because they did not believe that it would heal them.
 21 O my brethren, if ye could be healed by merely casting about your eyes that ye might be healed, would ye not behold quickly, or would ye rather harden your hearts in unbelief, and be slothful, that ye would not cast about your eyes, that ye might perish?
 22 If so, wo shall come upon you; but if not so, then cast about your eyes and begin to believe in the Son of God, that he will come to redeem his people, and that he shall suffer and die to atone for their sins; and that he shall rise again from the dead, which shall bring to pass the resurrection, that all men shall stand before him, to be judged at the last and judgment day, according to their works.
"...focusing too much on the negative can lead to fear, loss of hope, and diminishing self-worth"
The article encouraged, "Don't focus on the serpents" and "Hang onto hope".
When we are so caught up in what has been done to us we whither.  We begin to fear that we will not recover from what we are going through or what has been done to us.  We lose hope.  We begin to feel bad about ourselves and who we are.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Golden Coral and Other Buffets and Tipping

I took my wife and sons to Golden Coral for lunch.  They collected payment when we came in.  At that time they asked if I wanted any cash back for a tip.  At first it was just the usual question about cash back, like they ask at Walmart to have some cash.  As we walked to the table I processed what she had said, "cash back for a tip".

Are they really advertising that they are expecting a tip at a buffet?  All they really have to do is clear the plates.  At Golden Coral they additionally refill drinks.  They wouldn't have to do that if they didn't lock the drinks in places that are only accessible to employees.

It is a buffet.  I expect that I will be serving myself.  Having a waitress is unnecessary.

On the issue of removing the plates, if they had a place for me to drop the dirty dishes I would put them there.  If not, then what is needed is a busser, not a waiter.  At least that is how it looks from my humble perspective.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Debt is Bondage

I keep seeing commercial where companies looking to entice you to borrow money for vacations and stuff keep talking about, "Why wait?"  Seriously, why wait?  Maybe wait, because you don't have the money for it.  Maybe wait, because you are not entitled to it just by breathing.  Maybe wait, because if you refinance your house and take your equity to pay for a vacation, it will take you years longer to pay off your house.  Maybe wait, because financing your vacation will make it cost hundreds of dollars more.  Maybe wait, because debt is bondage.

Any time you owe someone else money you are in some degree of bondage to them.  You work to pay them.  Some would have you believe that having the tax write off for you mortgage and being able to invest your money at a higher rate than you are paying is a good plan.  I propose that it is gambling.

First, a tax write off is not giving you back all of the interest you paid.  It reduces your income by a certain amount and you don't have to pay tax on that amount of money.  If you pay 10% income tax and pay $2000 in interest on your mortgage you save $200 in taxes by being able to write off your mortgage interest.  You do not save $2,000.  You have a net loss of $1,800.  That is still better than a net loss of $2,000, but a net loss of 0 is better if you can pay that mortgage off.

Second, if you have a 5% mortgage and you think you can invest in something else and earn a better rate of return you are gambling.  Investments that pay over 5% are generally long term and risk based.  If it is stocks or mutual funds they go up and down with the stock market.  If the stock market crashes, so does your investment, thus you could lose money in addition to the 5% you are losing on the mortgage.  Investing in your home by paying off is a guaranteed return of 5%.  It is hard to find a guaranteed return of 5%.

Additionally, if you home is paid off and you lost your job or some other unforeseen financial disaster happens in your life you will not have to worry about losing your home.  What is the value of security?

If you pay your mortgage down as fast as you can, you can invest that house payment in other investments at that time.

Financial institutions are supposedly educated in finances and are experts in this area.  This practice of enticing people with financing luxuries is flat out irresponsible and attacks the less knowledgeable consumer.

Historically people have known banks are not out for our interests but for their own and yet we allow them to trick us into financially unsound practices.

Banks would have us believe debt brings us freedom.  The truth is that debt is bondage.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sam's Club Chatty Gas Pump Attendants

I am wondering if there has been a policy shift at Sam's Club at their gas pumps.  There is an attendant that observes the area.  Over the last year frequently the attendants seek out patrons when they arrive and start making small talk.  Occasionally it is to advertise some service or to ask us to donate to the Children's Miracle Network.

I will admit that I am a less social person that many, so maybe my perspective is not representative of the entire population.  I just like to get in and out.  When they come over, especially when they are persistent, it makes me uncomfortable.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

VANESSA CARLTON - "A Thousand Miles"

I was on the way to work and happened to hear "A Thousand Miles" by Vanessa Carlton.  At least I think that is what the song is called.

As I listen it occurred to me that what she is saying is not humanly possible.  There is no way you could leave the same day, walk a thousand miles, and finish the thousand mile journey by evening.  It is just not physically possible.  At a very fast walking pace of 5 miles per hour it is going to take you 200 hours to go 1000 miles.  Even if you could run and get it up to 20 miles per hour that is still 50 hours.  It is not humanly possible to keep a pace of 5 miles per hour for 200 hours, nor 20 for 50.

Even in a car a thousand miles is pretty much an all day journey.

So let's say you did attempt the 1000 mile journey at top speed of walking 5 miles per hour.  Let's just envision how appealing you are going to be to this person who you are obsessed with.  You are going to be sweaty and exhausted.  You are going to be blistered on your feet from walking and on your face from being in the elements (sun, wind, rain, and so forth).  You are going to be covered in your own waste, since in order to get there as fast as you can and not dip below the five mile per hour rate you will not have opportunity to stop and take care of personal needs.  You are going to be hunched over from carrying a water pack containing the ten gallons of water you are going to need to sustain yourself and prevent dehydration.  As well as several pounds of food.  Again you will have to carry it, because there is no time to stop and get a drink or a meal on the way.

In addition to the physical wreck you will be, you will also be emotionally and mentally destroyed.  We will set aside the fact that to be so obsessed to begin this journey in the first place you were likely already a fairly unstable person from the start.  The exposure to the elements, the physical pain, and the seemingly never ending stretch of road will crush your spirit and you mind will start to check out.

While on the surface this is a sweet display that someone would express that they would do anything for someone they love, but this level of obsession is not healthy to the person or the relationship.  Not only is it unhealthy, but it is dishonest.  Clearly you are not going to walk a thousand miles in a day and you are lying to them and yourself if you say that you will.

How about this instead?  I will be with you for better and worse, in sickness and in health, for time and all eternity.

Monday, May 21, 2012

IPod Previous, Pause, and Next Buttons

I have a 2nd generation IPod Touch.  There is a feature that is constantly giving me trouble.  When I play music the Previous, Pause, and Next icons are so close together. I am often trying to pause a long podcast or audio book or speech and I hit Next or Previous because they are all right on top of each other.

Many times what is happening is that I have it laying on the table hooked to some speakers and I try to quickly pause because someone has come in to talk to me or I need to answer the phone or the door.  When I hit previous or next I end up having to navigate back to the track I was on and then fiddle around trying to find where I left off.  Some of the difficulty in this is the slider bar is hard to be accurate with using fingers and some of it is that I did not pay attention to the time index, since I was just listening and not watching the time.

I realize I have a really old IPod.  I am just hoping this is a better experience in newer versions of the IPod if I buy one.

On a related topic, I would like to see more Android devices that are IPod equivalents.  I'm looking for something less expensive than a phone that has PDA functionality, a camera, the ability to install the apps that I use, and optionally GPS functionality.  If it had everything else I don't really care about the GPS, but it would allow me to have GPS functionality always in my pocket and not have to buy a GPS device separately.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Shouting Match In Ogden Utah Neighborhood 25 April 2012

25 April 2012 7:30am
Before work this morning my son and I went to go for a jog.  When we went out the front door we heard a woman screaming profanity at someone.  We look across the street down the block and saw a woman yelling at a man, saying she wanted her stuff out of his truck.  It looked like she had pulled up next to him and blocked his driver's side door with her car in the road, so he couldn't get in and drive away.  She also stood in front of the truck.

I'm so sick of people standing outside in front of their houses yelling at each other.  One time I saw a couple specifically walk out side to do the yelling instead of staying inside.  I debated just ignoring it and going for our walk.  I want the police to continue working in this neighborhood to get the bad elements out of here, so I called 911.

I described as best I could from what I could see from down the block.  After he drove off with her on his hood I walked over to her car and tried to get her license plate number and make and model of the car.

At one point he walked up to her and shoved her out of the way of the truck.  He went to get in and she jumped back in front of it.  He then picked her up and moved her to the grass.  Again he tried to get in the truck, but she was back in front of it.

At one point the hood came open.  I think she opened it to try to disable it, but I have no idea how she got it open without getting in the cab.

He finally slid into the driver's seat from the window or from banging the door into her car.  He started the truck and she jumped up on the hood.  She started kicking the windshield.  They sat there a while longer and then he drove a few feet with her on the hood.  He stopped to give her a chance to get off.  Then he drove around the corner a little further.  He then stopped to have her get off.  Finally he drove up the street and turned on a different street out of sight.

I heard from another neighbor that perhaps they had driven over by a school and the police picked them up there.

Shortly after they went around the corner a police office pulled up.  He talked to another lady in a car there.  At first I thought she was a friend of the woman and was waiting for her, but she was just a person going by.  She had also called 911.  After he finished talking to her he came and talked to me.  He told me to hang out for a moment and then drove off to try to find them.  Twenty minutes or so went by and I was about to go take my jog and then come back, but as I was leaving the police officer came back.  I gave him my information and then went on our way.

My son and I took a short jog and then came back.  We then walked my daughter to work.  I got showered and got ready for work.  When I went to leave for work the yelling woman's car was gone.  My wife said they had towed it.

I have several things I question about situations like this.  Why would you want your private argument out on the lawn.  Many times when one is mad they say something they regret and are sometimes wrong in some way.  Why would you want your neighbors to see you like that?  Was the stuff in the purse or whatever worth a hundred dollar ticket?  The cost is probably way higher after she has to pay the tow truck and impound lot.  Additionally disturbing the peace, assault, reckless endangerment or whatever other charges are going to get thrown at her.  It is all worth what is in the truck or attempting to get emotional satisfaction out of him?

Friday, March 23, 2012

The World is Watching

A while ago there was a conversation on Facebook that was started by one of my friends.  Somehow the conversation turned to funny passwords.  As the conversation went on one of her other friends, who is not one of my Facebook "friends" poster the key to her home wifi, since she thought it was a funny password.  I was able to see her wifi key because she commented on my friend's post, even though I am not her "friend".  Every person that was my friends "friend" also could see it, even if they were not the wifi owners "friend".  Once they see it they can do anything with that key they want to.

I assume that she is thinking she trusts her friend and her friend would not have friends that were "that kind of person".  I know many of my friend's "friends" and some of them may be idiots.  Are they dangerous idiots?  I don't know and neither does the person throwing around her wifi key, which is dangerous in and of itself, but the post then could get someone interested enough to seek out more information on her and her family, which was quickly obtainable.

Within a few clicks I was able to get this person's home address.  I did this by looking at her friend list and found her teen aged daughter in the list.  I then did a Google search for her and her daughter sticking in the name of the high school or town or something like that which I gathered from their Facebook pages.  It turned out that the daughter had had several newspaper articles printed about her, due to her high school activities.

As I quickly gathered information from these various sources out popped the address.  I was able to zoom in on it on Google maps and see exactly where the house was, the layout of the yard and neighborhood.  If I am nearby and need internet access I know where to go.

More recently I was contacted by a job recruiter.  For ease of reference let's call her Jane Smith.  She rang my phone and then sent an email.  The email asked for a five minute phone conversation.  The job was in a town near by, but not near enough that I would take the job.  I ignored the email.

Three days later she rings and then emails again.  This time the email opens with "I wanted to reach out once again regarding..."  This time I responded.  I thought it was the professional thing to do and I thought I should take a swing, just in case they were open to telecommuting.

On the brief pass I gave it the company looked like it was an interesting opportunity.  I thanked her for contacting me and expressed my interest in the company.  I told her that at this time I was not considering opportunities in that town for jobs, unless there was an option for telecommuting.  She responded, "At this time telecommuting is not an option but we will keep your information on file for future roles that would be of more interest to you."  She then proceeded to ask me about friends I had that would be available for the job and again stated she just needed a quick five minute conversation with them.

The next day I get another email from her.  "I'm being persistent about this opportunity because I think you would be a valuable asset to the [company name] team.   As you know, recruiting is a lot like sales. You have to get through the 'no's' and 'not right now's' to get a yes. I'm willing to do that."  My "Not right now" was just yesterday.  I responded and asked if they had changed their mind and the telecommute option was now on the table.  She replied with, "I followed up with my Project Lead and at this time [company name] is not offering the option of telecommuting. We will keep your information on file in case anything changes."

This all prompted me to find out who I was dealing with.  I found her on LinkedIn.  It said that she has worked at the company for 10 months.  LinkedIn also had a page on the company she works for and I found the state and city it was in.  I then found two people with her name on Facebook.  One in England and one in a town just outside of the city the company she works for is located.

I Googled her name and that town.  I found an article from years ago when she was in high school.  It gave the name of the high school.  The article was about two girls that had been killed in a car accident after drinking at a party.  There was a quote by someone named [Jane Smith] that went to the high school in the town where I am deducing the recruiter lives.  The article said, "classmate [Jane Smith] says matter-of-factly, ''I don't know anyone who doesn't lie to their parents [about drinking],' "  While one of her classmates stood next to her nodding vehemently.  One could mistake this as painting her as a drunk and a liar.

As a point of information, the recruiter's names appears to be fairly unique, unlike Jane and Smith, so I am pretty confident I found the right person.

I found another fairly recent news article from the same town Jane Smith lives in about a Jane Smith that had a run in with the law.  It gave her age and her home address, which I would assume is her address still based on the date of the article.

The headline was "OUI Liquor, Drug Distribution Charges Filed", even though her offense had nothing to do with that.  The article was just a list of people who had been arrested or summonsed on a wide variety of charges.  With regard to her incident the article stated, "[Jane Smith], [age], [address], [town], was summonsed to [another town] District Court after  [another town]  police filled out a complaint on Nov. 7, charging [Smith] with unregistered operation of a motor vehicle and uninsured motor vehicle. Judge [name] dismissed the case."

I did the math subtracting the year of the article from the year of the article that stated she was a senior in high school.  I then subtracted that number of years from the age they gave in the recent article.  I ended up with the age of a senior in high school, so I am figure it is the same person.

Additionally, the Facebook page that I think is hers has a profile picture of a women in a bar with bottles of alcohol behind her and a couple of drinks on the table in front of her.

If an employer, or in my case someone considering whether to do business with her, looks at this and makes the wrong conclusions it could look very bad.  It could appear that she was a drunk and a liar, who very recently couldn't register and insure her car, possibly because her license has been revoked for drunk driving and she is uninsurable for the same reason.

The true answer to why she couldn't register and get insurance could be that she was unemployed.  Having been employed at the place she is working now for only 10 months might support that.  Someone looking at this may not have seen the length of employment and may not make the effort to look at the possible logical, non negative reason.  Although one looking for possible negatives might say that she was unemployed because of a drinking problem.

The point I am trying to make is that we have to be careful what information we post online and that youth should less often give the excuse that they are young for their actions and simply make better choices.  Those choices can follow us for a long time and some are documented and not difficult for people we are trying to forge relationships with to find.

Of course young people are young and maybe haven't been taught to make good choices.  The additional lesson, then is to parents.  Give you kids boundaries.  Teach them standards.  Have standards yourself.  Know their friends.  Check up on where they are going and who they are with.  Yeah it is time consuming and difficult.  It is called being a parent.

Privacy is an important issue and it is taking people a while to get their heads around what things compromise their privacy that were not an issue years ago.  Unfortunately people are more and acting in irresponsible ways.  A decrease in privacy combined with an increase in irresponsible behavior is a recipe for disaster.

I think there is value in having open availability to information.  I think there is more value in people knowing how to behave and not being proud that they are still young and can still make bad choices in the name of having fun.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Leaving Memorials When a Tragedy Happens.

After the shootings of the police officers across from my church on Jackson Avenue in Ogden there was a bunch of stuff left by people  as a memorial or something.  It was left on the steps on the church property that lead down the hill to the road.  It was candles and plants and so forth.  The candles burned down to a bunch of wax.  Some of the glass containers broke and broken glass was all over.  The plants died and they were just pots of ugly dead plants left behind.  The stuffed animals got wet and dirty and frozen.  They didn't belong to anyone, so no one took them home.

It is winter time.  The stuff got frozen to the ground and made a hazard for those who use those stairs.

I am not sure who left this stuff, but I am guessing it was people that are not from our neighborhood.  I know they wanted to do something because they felt bad, but they came into our neighborhood and left stuff for us to clean up.

The candles and plants did not make me feel better, but the trash that was left that our neighborhood had to clean up made me feel worse.

The stuff was left on private property and the owners of the stuff took no responsibility for them.

I can appreciate that people wanted to do something nice, but I don't understand littering as a gift.  If you want to leave something nice, then come back in a few days and clean up the mess.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Police Shot on Jackson Avenue, Ogden, Utah January 4, 2012

We are almost into the fifth week of CSI being up at the house at the top of the hill from us where a police officer was shot and killed and several other injured Wednesday January 4, 2012.

My entire family had been downstairs in our basement hanging out.  Our two youngest children decided to go upstairs to play.  They immediately came back down and said there were police cars in front of the house.  We slowly went up to see what the deal was.  People get traffic tickets every so often in front of the neighbors house and people fly down the hill to the stop sign near our house, so we figure it was something related to that.  Although, there have been several break ins in the neighborhood over the last three years we have lived here.

We even had a guy run through our back yard after stealing a car stereo one year.  A police detective came by after that to talk to us about what we had seen.  We were in bed at the time.  I think my eight year old son had said that he had seen someone moving in the back yard.  We have cats and dogs roaming all over the place, so I told him to go back to bed, since he said they were gone.  I installed security lights shortly after that.

On the night of the shootings when we got upstairs we could see the police cars and it appeared there were more at the top of the hill to the south of us.  A moment later we heard what I thought could've been firecrackers.  I don't deal with firearms much, so the sounds are foreign to me and fireworks are the only frame of reference I have.  We have people in our neighborhood being loud with fireworks on occasion, but it is generally localize to around Pioneer Day and the 4th of July, since if it starts a little early and goes a little long.  With as many police cars as there were I figured it was probably gun fire, but I couldn't get my head around it, since I have never been around something like this.

A few minutes later what sounded like more firecrackers, but with a steady pattern.  I was pretty sure that was definitely gun fire.

I texted people in my church congregation who live on nearby streets to let them know what I was seeing and hearing.  They said they were seeing stuff being reported on TV.  One of the people in my congregation gave me the address.  It appeared that it was the house right next to another member of our congregation.  I called the father in the family to see if they were ok.

He said they were hunkered down in the basement, staying away from windows, but wasn't sure what was happening.  I asked him if he had ever had trouble with the neighbor, whose house the action seemed to be coming from.  He said that they had not.  I figured they would be being flooded with calls, so I quickly got off the phone with him.

A guy from church stopped by after work to check on us and watch the excitement.

The police had blocked off Jackson Avenue just south of Chatelain.  But they did not block off Goddard, which is the next street to the south and right at the crime scene.  Cars were coming into the area and the police had to turn their back on the crime scene where gun fire was happening to get the cars safely out of there.  It seems like they should've blocked all of the streets around our church, which was right next to the action.  The police were using the church's parking lot as a base of operations, so not sure why they didn't block the streets.  We had tons of police spectating from in front of our house.  It seems like they could've been mobilized to block those streets.

A friend from church a day or so later said that he worked for KSL and his colegues were looking for neighbors to interview.  I told him to have them give a call as to when they wanted to do it and I would be willing.  They called while we were hiking in the mountain and said they were at my door.  I told them I would be home in a couple of hours, but wasn't sure that would make their deadline.  She said that it would not meet their deadline and they had talked to several people.  She asked me a few quick questions on the phone to assess if there was anything different that I witnessed.

Update 25 Apr 2012
This morning the CSI was up there again this morning.  At least two vehicles for twenty minutes or so.

I have heard that the family of Matthew Stewart, the shooter, have tried to go maintain the house and have gotten hassle, since it is still a crime scene.  How long are they allowed to lock down a property as a crime scene?

Update 15 Jun 2012
I went for a bike ride with my son tonight and we say several police cars and a couple of CSI vehicles in front of the house where the shooting took place again.

It appears that someone broke into the house.  It seems less than bright to break into a high profile house like that.

Someone commented to me recently that there has been people walking the streets around that way that appear to be part of gangs at five in the morning.  I'm not sure what to think of that.