Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Construction woes in South Davis County

Everywhere you go, there are signs advising you to avoid the construction on Hwy 89 and choose an alternate route. Indeed, construction and lane restrictions have begun in North Salt Lake. So driving from North Salt Lake to Centerville a few evenings ago, I decided to take Orchard Drive. You see, I already knew that Main Street in Bountiful was closed at 1500 South, so the Main Street option would require a detour. Imagine my surprise to find that Orchard Drive was also nearly closed at 500 South, with but one lane open and shared by north/south traffic directed by a flagman. That pretty much takes care of all north/south through-routes in South Davis. It turns out Hwy 89 is, in fact, your best option.

I realize road workers must take care of business when the weather is good, but I wonder if local and UDOT entities couldn't coordinate their road closings a little better so as not to close off every single north/south through route at the same time.

**I know, I know, I could have taken I-15. But it was also rush hour and I didn't wish to creep along at 5 MPH.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

For Earth Day, give Mother Earth something nice

What are you doing for the Earth to make it a nice place to live now and for future generations?

I am sometimes criticized for my tree-hugging attitude, but I still don’t get why some people are so opposed to conserving the Earth’s resources and working towards a cleaner environment. Particularly “conservatives”. It just seems like “conservation” would be a most “conservative” concept. Utah's own Sutherland Institute has plans for a so-called "Earth Week" to promote its anti-green agenda. But the agenda has nothing to do with helping the Earth, and more to do with putting big business profits ahead of the health of our planet. A short-sighted plan, I'd say.

But if you're like me, you believe individuals can do small things that can have a big impact. Here’s an idea; an easy way to save a lot of trees and some money too:

Get Sunday-only delivery of the newspaper and get the new e-Edition free.

Just this week I changed my newspaper subscription to Sundays only (which it was supposed to be all along). Now they have finally stopped delivering the other six days and I get the e-Edition all week plus weeks of archives for no additional cost. I like how the e-Edition looks exactly like the printed newspaper (I don’t particularly like the regular web site as I can’t always find what I’m looking for). Now I can scan headlines, flip through pages, read articles and ads with much greater ease and no inky fingers when I’m finished. The cool thing is, I can grab screen prints of the crossword and other puzzles, paste them all onto one sheet of paper and print it out– a lot less waste than a whole newspaper. And I still get the Sunday ads and coupons. Seriously, I don’t miss those newspapers piling up waiting to be recycled. It’s a small thing but could be significant if enough people would try it. The
Salt Lake Tribune has a free trial of the e-Editon on its web site right now so you can see for yourself if it would work for you.

Today I did a little inventory of the things I've managed to do myself in the last 18 months to save energy, conserve water, pollute less. I'm making personal progress and I'm happy about it. It's my Earth Day gift to Mother Earth.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Flesh Failures / Let the Sunshine In

Tonight's "60 Minutes" included a segment on the resurgence of a restrengthened Taliban in Afghanistan, a more formidable fighting force that can compete with U.S. forces. How did we allow this to happen? Again, we were in Iraq and took our eye off the real target.

a dying nation...listening for the new-told lies. Let the sunshine in.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The kids are not the Bad Guys

Don't misunderstand: I'm not defending the polygamists in Texas. But I'm troubled about what I'm seeing with the removal of children from the FLDS compound in Texas. It's almost as if it's the kids who have broken laws. They've been rounded up and basically put under arrest while the real perps - the men in the community - continue to walk around free.

If Texas really has the evidence it says it has, why haven't they arrested the men? My heart aches for those poor kids who must be so scared at being torn away from their homes and mothers. The kids are not the Bad Guys.

I realize authorities believed it was necessary to remove them from a potentially dangerous situation. But I don't understand why there seems to have been no effort at removing those who are causing the danger and no efforts of restoring a feeling of safety and security to those kids. It smacks of the shameful rounding up of ethnic groups in our own history (Japanese internments), and in Europe( (Nazi concentration camps).

Free the children. Arrest the real perps!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Centerville can, North Salt Lake can't

Driving through Centerville today, I couldn't help noticing the piles of tree limbs along the curbside. Last year, our new mayor did away with the curbside summer trash pickup. The explanation was that it was necessary to comply with some environmental regulations. I still wonder why those regulations don't seem to apply to neighboring communities.

This weekend we have the "privilege" of dragging our trash to dumpsters at the city park -- not an easy thing if you have a small passenger car instead of a truck. How am I going to move those tree limbs? I'm not. And we get an extra garbage can pick up each month May through August. Still doesn't come close to the great benefit we lost.

So if Centerville can do it, what can't North Salt Lake?

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Telling the truth

I heard a guy on TV talking about a slightly intriguing web site, http://www.postsecret.com/. Apparently, people confess their deepest secrets anonymously for the world to read. Some of them are pretty dumb, but some are rather interesting and touching. One they showed on TV said something to this effect: I'm the chaplain at our American Legion, and no-one ever asks me if I believe in God. I don't.

It's an interesting concept to tell some truth about yourself that you don't share with anyone who knows you but with the entire world instead. It got me thinking about what I might confess myself. I don't think I would be so bold though to send such a message to a web site, so my secrets remain fairly safe for now.

We attempt to allow people we know to see just the parts of us that will allow them to form a positive opinion of us. We want to be liked and loved. This week two people I know told me what they thought of me-- two very different viewpoints from two people whom I consider to be good friends. One said I was abrasive and uncivil. The other said I was kind, generous, and good without guile. I wondered how two people could see me so differently.

The truth is I am all of those things. And more. Everyone is. People are complex and cannot be summed up in a few words. Those people who said those things to me share those qualities with me, whether they admit it or not, but they each had a point they wanted to make. None of us is really objective when it comes to judging ourselves. It has been interesting for me to think about what my friends said to me -- and why they said it.

One thing I do know: if someone shares some honesty with you, it's a good idea to pay attention. There is usually something important to be learned therefrom.

So if you are reading this, how about leaving a little secret about yourself in the Comments? Anonymously, of course.

Ok I'll start it, here's one of my secrets: If people tell me they like Neil Diamond's music, I pity them for their lack of good judgment. (It's in my own best interest not to tell you anything more incriminating that that.)

UPDATE: Being conference weekend, I just remembered what I consider one of my life's embarrassing moments: The jazz trio I used to belong to, The Satin Dolls, performed between conference sessions on the old Eugene Jelesnik show. Remember that show? We sang Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy and Lullaby of Birdland. It was so goofy and corny, I can't imagine why we thought that was a good idea.