Monday, May 24, 2010

2 X 4 of Truth

I stopped at Instacare tonight on my way home from work.  I wasn't really mentally prepared for the event.  In the back of my mind I remember thinking that since I was going in for an ear problem, there's no way I'd have to step onto one of these....
Lucky?  Not so. 

I'm not posting tonight to editorialize my feelings regarding my weight.  I prefer not to brag or complain.  Standing on a scale is like a 2X4 of truth.  There is no way that nurse can break the news any easier than just watching the digital numbers rise.  This post is really me just delaying an imminent decision.

I bought a box of graham crackers and a can of frosting while I waited at the pharmacy.  Now I'm trying to decide, based on what I know now (from the **** scale), do I proceed with creating frosting sandwiches?

Good luck to us all.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

half the battle

I've come to a place in my life where white walls are no longer acceptable.  Like Wendy said, it's not really my personality.  I've been thinking about colors off and on for a good 8 months or so but I've finally made a decision!  I'm using these dish towels as my inspiration.  I love the colors!

I have decided to go with the Asparagus green as the main color.  It will be on all of the walls from the kitchen to the upstairs hall.  The accent wall(s) will be the darker green, Moss Landing. Cody gets to pick the accent wall(s). 
(Please ignore the mirror image...I really didn't paint 19 spots.  But I did paint at least nine.  That half bath really came in handy this time.)

My favorite little bookshelf will be getting a little work done as well.  I'm going to paint it Candy Apple red.  The insides of the shelves may or may not become Twilight blue, not the blue shown above, it's a more calm blue.
And last, but not least, the small floating shelves in the hall will become either the Twilight blue or the dark Deep Royal.  I'll need to hear your feedback on that.

Furthermore, I will be buying another set of the dish towels to turn into throw pillows.

My plan is to have all of this done by the end of July.  That sounds about right.

btw: my R.S. president really takes her calling seriously

Friday, May 14, 2010


Once in a while I like to watch C-SPAN.  This morning it is broadcasting the Senate floor business and debates.  They are discussing a new act called the National Infrastructure Bank.  I wasn't sure what that meant so I've gotta study it for a little while.  Initially, I'd say the words "national bank" of any kind scare me.

The stated purpose of creating the National Infrastructure Bank is: Current Federal financing methods do not adequately distribute funding based on an infrastructure project’s size, location, cost, usage, or economic benefit to a region or the entire nation.  I agree that this may be true but my goal is to learn how the funds are distributed now and what other alternatives have been introduced.

Infrastructure projects that come under the Bank’s consideration are publicly-owned mass transit systems, housing properties, roads, bridges, drinking water systems, and wastewater systems.  Apparently, they want to model the new bank after the FDIC where the director and board would be nominated by the president and then approved by the Senate. 

The financing package could include direct subsidies, direct loan guarantees, long-term tax-credit general purpose bonds, and long-term tax-credit infrastructure project specific bonds.  The bonds talk reminds me of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.  I'm pretty sure those government entities sunk the American mortgage economy, but maybe I don't have my facts straight.

I'm pretty sure the government is concerned with keeping all of their business transparent and easy for the public to follow.  The Bank is tasked to report annually to Congress on the projects it reviews and finances.  A public database is created to catalog what projects were funded and what financing packages were provided. The Bank is also tasked to report every three years on the economic efficacy and transparency of all current Federal infrastructure financing methods, and how those methods could be improved. After five years, the Government Accountability Office would be tasked with evaluating the Bank’s operations and efficacy.  Sounds like they have their ducks in a row.

I hope this information was as interesting to you as it was to me.  I'd like to add a light-hearted commentary about the number of times a Senator used Anthony Wiener's (D-N.Y.) last name.  Four times = good times on the Senate floor.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Republican Party Nominating Convention Report

Let me begin by saying that before arriving at the convention I had already selected the candidates who would get my vote.  I'm so happy I did because it is overwhelming to be there, surrounded by thousands of people and lots of campaign material.  Although I had already made my selections, I listened intently to all of the speeches....pretty much.  Here are my notes:

Candidate Speeches for U.S. Senate:
  1. Tim Bridgewater: unflinching commitment to fiscal responsibility; no more telling terrorists they have the right to remain silent; unalienable rights come from God, not the federal government, count on this gun owner to protect our right to bear arms  (honestly it was a toss up for me between him and Mike Lee)
  2. Bob Bennett: I will retire in 6 years (says the 76 year old man); the fire in my belly is burning brighter than ever before; I hear you want to repeal Obamacare...I want to repeal Obama (Mitt Romney spoke for him, it was a Kodak moment)
  3. Jeremy Friedbaum: quoted the hymn "Do What is Right"; used the words "I testify"; When the God of Israel called me to be a Christian and a Latter-Day Saint...; I fasted for 39 1/2 days waiting to be invited to a debate as a candidate for governor
  4. Leonard Fabiano: will not accept pay or retirement; wants to teach everyone in the country about the constitution; apparently knew he didn't have a chance so he tried to organize  the Renaissance of Liberty Foundation on stage
  5. Merrill Cook: no notes other than I couldn't determine whether his hair was a comb over or fake
  6. David Chiu: it is not right to dismiss or demean other candidates (I agree whole-heartily); the rest of his speech didn't make sense to me
  7. Mike Lee: quoted George Washington a lot; wants to focus on today by reversing what has been done; we have proven we can do hard things; I will hold a constitution in one hand and a bill on the other; will fight for bills that can be read before they receive a final vote (I was choosing between him and Bridgewater)
  8. Cherilyn Eager: other than her sharing time story she gave an excellent speech, she's a fireball with tons of energy (I liked her more after hearing her.  I worry that women in politics think they should win just because they are a woman.)
Round One Voting:

Mike Lee with 28.75% - I voted for him
Tim Bridgewater 26.84%
Bob Bennett 25.91%
Cherilyn Eager 15.84
Merrill Cook 1.43%
Leonard Fabiano 0.64%
Jeremy Friedbaum 0.47%
David Chiu 0.12%

Round Two Voting:

Tim Bridgewater 37.42%
Mike Lee 35.99% - I voted for him
Bob Bennett 26.59% with 905 votes

Round Three Voting:

Tim Bridgewater 57.28% gained 580 of Bennett's votes
Mike Lee 42.72% gained 158 of Bennett's votes - I voted for him

There will be a primary election because neither person had 60% of the votes.

Bathroom Break Line Fun Fact: The state delegates are 75% men and 25% women.  I don't have a problem with that. 

Other Fun Facts:  All automatic delegates were dismissed with no discussion on the floor.  They left in angry herds.  From what I've pulled off the www, automatic delegate is synonymous with honorary delegate.  The state delegates had more than 98.6% attendance equaling 3,452.  11 were tardy and we had to vote to let them stay.  The delegates attendance was better than the candidates for governor.

Candidate Speeches for Utah Governor:
  1. Richard Martin: used the word precipitously; Utah has conservative values but liberal spending; self-acclaimed owner of the largest finance company of its kind in the country; authored 33 books; wants Utah to become the richest state; his customers never lost money (I really worried about him and not just because of his hair)
  2. "SuperDell" Schanze: no show; Chuck Smith spoke for him, said he had the hardest job of the day; we'll be governed by imperfect people (like SuperDell) and that's why we should limit government (this was a waste of 7 minutes)
  3. Dan Oaks: he filed for governor because he was inspired to do it; has experienced success in the private sector, will serve, and will return home just like our founding fathers would want it; career politician lose touch with the issues faced in the private sector; will rally with other governors to stand up against the federal government, will lower taxes, will shift powers away from education administrators to the teachers
  4. Gary Herbert: Lt. Governor Greg Bell introduced him; limited government equals limitless opportunities; 3 E's, economic development, energy, and education; "Me Too" politics fail; citizens are not an ATM for the government; you can't have more people in the wagon than pulling the wagon
Round One Voting:

Gary Herbert 70.8%
Dan Oaks 24.63% - I voted for him
Richard Martin 4.18%
"SuperDell" Schanze 0.39% with 13 votes

Candidate Speeches for U.S. Congress District 1:
  1. Rob Bishop: in Washington he feels like he's standing in a pasture holding a rope and thinks did I just find a rope or just lose a horse?; we are not the party of NO but the party of HELL NO; he's a work horse not a show horse because he's a nutritional overachiever; "I can't afford for you to have liked what I said" - obviously an anti-clapper (he wins best speech of the day hands down)
  2. Mike Ridgway: a recovering automatic delegate (see above fun facts); hates tyranny in Utah politics because his family has been in the Church since 1893; quoted President Hinkley; ran against Bishop to speak out against him (I think this was a waste of time but a guy behind me called him courageous)
Round One Voting:

Rob Bishop 93% - I voted for him
Mike Ridgway 7%

Candidate Speeches for U.S. Congress District 2:
  1. Neil Walter: we are the Beehive State and Washington has been shaking our hive long enough; I will take my character and integrity to Washington because I don't expect to find any there; will stop negotiating with the Sierra Club
  2. Morgan Philpot: democrats can't be having more fun than us on the other side of the building because they worry about right wing insurgents who cling to guns and religion; will cut taxes, reduce the size of the federal government, and give us back our land
  3. Ed Eliason: we don't need politicians to fix our problems, we need to fix them; career politicians are representing Washington to us rather than us to Washington
Round One Voting:

Morgan Philpot 56.37%
Neil Walter 42.08%
Ed Eliason 1.55%

Round Two Voting:

Morgan Philpot 60.13%
Neil Walter 39.87%

Candidate Speeches for U.S. Congress District 3:
  1. Jason Chaffetz: fire Pelosi, fire Reid, and make Obama a one-term president
He won the party nomination by acclamation.

And that's that.  I loved it.

Friday, May 07, 2010

State Republican Convention: 8 May 2010

I'll be honest here....until I attended the caucus meeting a few months ago, I didn't know what a caucus or precinct really was.  Furthermore, I had never read the platform of the Republican Party.  In addition to all of this, I went the intention of being elected as a county delegate.  It goes without saying...I didn't know what that meant either.  When I left the brief Caucus meeting I was the new ROY20 precinct chairman, a state delegate, and a volunteer election judge.

We followed an exact agenda for the caucus meeting and I was asked to read the Utah Republican Party State Platform.  I wish I had done this before the meeting, however, I was pleasantly surprised.  For many years, I have leaned towards conservatives in politics but had never studied it and declared a political party for myself.  While I read aloud to two others (our caucus attendance was only 3 people), I decided that I did believe what I was reading because they were principles I already believed in.

fyi: Utah Republican Party Platform

Since the caucus meeting my mailbox, email inbox, and cell phone have been overwhelmed by the volume of the candidates' material.  I can honestly say that I have studied all of it.  I wish I had been able to meet some of the candidates in person but I guess I can tomorrow.  In a short amount of time I have tried to educate myself but still feel a bit unprepared.  I have chosen who I will vote for tomorrow but I'm not sure I understand what some of the other things on the agenda mean.  I'll be in good company with two excellent mentors...hopefully they can help me a little too.  It sort of feels like the first day of high school.  Where do I go?  Who do I sit with?  What if someone laughs at me? 
I'll bring back a full report.