Friday, November 20, 2009

Last Day with the VA

Wow.......15 months has passed since I started. Glad it is over, maybe I will have less chest pain and shortness of breath in a couple of days. I do know the shortness of breath episodes have decreased and no more burning sensation below my larynx with exertion. Love ya all.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

$42.00 per month

Not much money. With that you get a doctor who comes to your work. Specialists who you can get same day appointments with. Massage Therapists on duty most of your work day in case a little tension builds up as you argue against common sense solutions to issues. A months worth of prescription medications at costs less than Wal Marts $4.00 for generics. And things that $42.00 a month shouldn't cover. Welcome to the United States Congress.
Then with Health Care "Reformation" they will exempt themselves from the legislation and the President will sign it as if he just does not know, who can read let alone understand a Senate bill that is over 1300 pages. 1300 pages that refer to things like USC 49 para 32 sub pare (3) of the 1949 Hardly a whisper will come from the media and we will all get what we deserve. A government that does not follow the majority of its constituents opinions. And it does not matter the political affiliation.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I UN-Quit

Last Thursday I gave my two week notice. Friday morning the primary employee travel person found out she was selected for a secretary position and pay increase. So this morning I went to my boss and asked if I could stay on, "unquit", and apply for her job. He, my boss, was thinking of asking me the same thing. More than likely I will not have to apply for the job, since we are both the same pay grade and 60% of my job is employee travel. So I will stay and continue to work and should be busy most of my work day.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I Quit

Mom and I have been married 38 years as of today. Thanks Love for all you have and continue to do.
After a few days of discussion with Mom and a few months of hating work, I gave my notice and quit today. October 9th will be my last day with the VA. Don't know what I will do though I have a couple of ideas.
I don't know how people can sit at a desk or job and do nothing for hours on end. It just wasn't my thing. My supervisor apologized and stated it had come up several times about finding more I could do. Just wasn't able to even when I asked. Some of it he blamed on AFGE and others on the job description. When the job was first conceived the transportation assistant (s) would create the travel plans for most employees. But when the director stated that all employees would complete their own travel plans via 60% of the reason I was hired almost disappeared. The other 40% of my job is not enough to keep me busy for 40 hours a week. Many a day I wanted to just walk out and never return. Guess I did it the correct way this time.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Been a while since I posted

Utes: 2 & 0 though if you compared them to a V8 engine they would only be running on 6 cylinders. The home opener was great, I did not feel like going all day but once Matthew and I got to the stadium it was great. The concession food owned by the U is a bit less tasty than MacDonald's. How can you ruin a Brat. We will have to checkout some that are not on the concourse.
Go Colts!
Our current representatives in the US Congress are truly amazing me at how stupid they think the general electorate is. Bennett and Hatch voted to confirm Cass Sunstein? They both need to go. I am on the fence about Matheson.
Will the Yankees make it to the World Series? Only time will tell but with that payroll the should end the season with 150 W's and 12 L's and go through the playoffs 12 & 0.
Work is work and I dislike it more each day. Don't know how much dislike I can really have for such a thing. Been looking but must not have the best resume to make the Army, Air Force, DHS, and the Defense Logistics Agency happy.
Mom and I are going to Disneyland on October 15th. Thanks Jet Blue. We will make our hotel/motel reservations on Saturday. The best deals I have found is on Can't wait for the days to pass. Haven't been on a real vacation since Ride "n" the Rockies.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


George E. Whalen passed away on June 5th. The VA Salt Lake City Medical Center is named after this WWII Medal Of Honor recipient. Congress passed a special one time approval for the med center to be named after a living person. Mr. Whalen received his MOH as a Navy corpsman (medic) on Iwo Jima. One article stated he saved countless lives during which he was wounded three times. He always said he did it because he did not want to let any Marines down for not doing his job. Later Mr. Whalen joined the Army and served in Korea and Vietnam and retired from the Army at the rank of Major.
I knew one other Navy corpsman, JB Thorton. JB was Ron and Steve's age. He was killed in Vietnam while on patrol with Marines. The Marine Corps does not have its own medics, they all come from the Navy. Ron was wounded twice in Vietnam and received the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf (each oak leaf means an additional award of a medal).
As you all know, I get real emotional about things military. Even now there are tears welling up as I type. I have often wondered as in Matthew's last post, where is God? I know where He is, there is just more I don't know, so much more. We often ask ourselves why things do or don't happen. Perhaps asking the question causes more problems than not asking or pondering.
It is like this job. I needed to work so each day didn't seem to last as much as two days. But as time has progessed I wonder each day why I come to work. It is like right this very minute (1217) I have had two expense reports to approve since 0948, nothing else to do. I can only read so much news. I read a little about Teddy Roosevelt, what an amazing man. A real American Hero that just happened to be a President.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cities, States and Federal Budgets

Really this is only about Salt Lake City but I think it applies to all levels of government. When Mom and I were kids/teenagers there was a job nicknamed "Meter Maid". These mostly ladies road around the city on a three wheeled motorcycle called a Cushman checking out parking meters and no parking zones and giving out citations for expired meters etc. There was no such thing as handicap parking, expectant mother parking, sheriff or police parking spaces. Any way while on my way to work the other day I saw a Jeep Wrangler 4 door with the marking of "Traffic and Parking Enforcement" on it. Probably not an unusual siting, but just think of the cost of a Jeep Wrangler vs say a John Deere Gator. Gator's come with covers and heaters and can be used in any weather cause they have a high/low range transfer case and all wheel drive. Sure it would be hot in the summer but lots of people work out in the heat. Just a thought on how government spends like we have more money than we know what to do with.
A couple of weeks ago the city/town of Syracuse Utah had to cut their budget due to a shortfall of taxes. The mayor said he did not know where they would come up with the budget cuts, thus the problem. No one in government leadership can figure out where to cut funds because they are so accustomed to just saying "sure we can pay for that". It is the wrong attitude.
The real attitude should be "no we can't pay for that" and won't tax our constituents to pay for something that only benefits the few, in any case it should benefit the many like public safety and roads. Thats all.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Fleetwood Mac Concert

Good time, good music especially if you knew the words. Very loud and sometimes the words were not distinguishable. Lindsay Buckingham was on stage the entire concert except the next to last song which was primarily a drum solo by Mick Fleetwood, balls and all. Lindsay did a couple of tunes by himself while all other band members took a break. I overheard a few people talk about Stevie Nicks' wardrobe down to the boots she wore on "Don't forget about tomorrow", guess you would have needed to see the music videos or followed the band more closely to understand (or whatever the songs title is). Don't know if it is the makeup but Stevie looks like she has aged better than Lindsay, Mick or John McVie (bass player). The only original band member not doing the concert tour this time is Christy McVie (ex wife of John). Stevie told a story of a time while a teenager that she lived in SLC and dedicated a song to an old friend named Karen. Nicks states that she did the San Francisco music seen during the late 60s after high school, which she wrote a song about, I mention it because she does not look older than me. Don't ask me the name of the song I just can't remember.
Thanks to you all for the tickets.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


They call him a lot of things: President of the United States, Obama, Borock, Barock and even spell his name correct sometimes. We don't know where he was born. We don't know if he is truly a Christian or Muslim. We don't know what he really thinks of Gitmo, the War on ? Terrorism or even the military. We do know how he handles oposition. Just look at Chrysler and this

So love him or hate him, do YOU really know the man YOU voted for? I don't think so.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Jackson 5

Wednesday night Kim called about Kale's video I just chuckled thinking of what it might be. Mom asked me what I was laughing at, and of course I just said there is a video of Kale and Alivia on the blog. Alvia was not on the video. Now I wonder if Kale would have been able to carry a tune had the piano been turned on. A star in the making? Mozart was composing arrangements of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" at age three, so let him play.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Brandon's ride

Saturday May 9th Brad Scott and I rode to Orem and met up with about 140 motorcycle riders to raise money for a scholarship fund, money to aid deceased veterans families and assist hospitalized recuperating veterans. This was the 5th such ride named for a soldier who died April 2004. Brandon's parents received the news the day before Mothers Day 2004. His Dad started the ride in 2005.
Just before the departure time it was thrilling to hear that many motorcycles start up, the roar of engines bouncing off the buildings surrounding us. At about 10:30 we took off with police escorts to get us out of town and up to Provo canyon. I have never understood what the hurray is on rides like this. On the previous rides Donna and I or just myself had been on it was the same way. Speed limits just didn't matter. And guess who was in the lead of the group, SL Country Sheriffs' Deputies on motorcycles. Riding up the canyon could have been a real enjoyable ride if not for the speed, 10-15 mph over the limit. When we reached Daniel's pass the group stopped for drinks, snacks and of course a restroom break, maybe a half hour. At this time Brad and I left with the first group, maybe 40-50 bikes, it is a quite the site to see them winding the road ahead of you. This leg the road was nice and speed rarely hit 65 mph, a more leisurely speed. I guess this was the Indian Canyon section of the ride toward Duschene. Duschene was our gas stop and of course the other things as well. Brad and I looked at a very sleek fully loaded Victory motorcycle (too much plastic/fiberglass for me), a bike custom painted with the US Flag, Mt Rushmore, F16s and an Air Force Emblem on the tank. The fenders were painted with the Flag as well. There were choppers, bunches of Harley's and goldwings, royal star yamahas and even one Dukatti. We we left Duschene Brad and I were in the last group near the rear of the group. The ride was OK as we headed toward Helper and US 191/6 to head back to Orem. I guess at some point someone decided we were to far behind the other groups so we took a detour to shave time and miles off the ride. The road was hell on wheels, very rough with shallow pot holes and very bad shoulders. About a 1/2 half mile or so prior to reaching US 191/6 a rider went off the road and ended up in the right shoulder in some very soft dirt/sand. He appeared to be OK from where we were. They tried push starting his bike but when we finally left I don't think they had it started. When we turned onto the "main" road we were a couple miles or so from "Hilltop". I have probably passed that gas station/store 200 times in my life and never knew it was a ghost town. Nichole was helping Carter do a report on Utah county and dug out that info from the Internet. Butch Cassidy had passed through there several times during the wild bunch era. We finally arrived back at the Golden Coral restaurant 45-50 minutes later than the goal. The owner of the GC donated lunch and $5000 to the scholarship fund. There were other sponsors so I guess Brandon's Father and Mother were happy about the results of the event.
With the exception of the last twenty miles I was cold most of the time. Polys, jeans and chaps didn't keep the legs warm. My vest and vented leather jacket were not the best choice for keeping the upper body warm, though on the ride from Orem to home they were perfect. I felt for the guy on the Ducatti, light jacket, jeans and athletic shoes. I will never ride on I-15 between the 53rd and 90th south street exits again! The I-215/72nd south area is just to crazy unless you can stay in the HOV lane and even then I'm not sure it is safe in that area.
Good time, nice to ride with someone I know for a change and good to get off the seat after about 6 hours or so. Thanks Brad!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Better day

It appears the home hunting is going to pay off. Finally and accepted offer, I think. The design center that handles the interior stuff for hamlet homes called today to set an appointment. May 15th Mom and I will choose our interior colors, appliances, plumbing fixtures etc. We actually don't have a signed back offer from the builder, but with the emails and the design center phone call I think it is a done deal. Hooray!!!!!!!!!

Monday, March 16, 2009


Since many of us have facebook I don't see as many blogs as I once did. Hope everyone continues to use blogspot, It is easier to post things that fewer people will look at. With all the relatives and their facebook friends are able to see anything you post blogging just seems more personal.

One of Five Senses

I rode the motorcycle to work this morning and with the temperature near 50 it was truly delightful. As I was headed north on State Street a very familiar aroma hit my sense of smell. The smell of bacon in the air brings back more memories than almost any other of my senses. Back in May and June of 1971 while at Fort Lewis, WA., every morning started with a run of 2 to 3 miles. As the company passed mess halls the smell of bacon and a bit less so of maple syrup and pancakes was in the air. Bacon and eggs was a 4 day a week offering. Sausage and ham probably on the other 3 days. But sausage and ham never smell as good as bacon. I love that smell especially when the air is crisp and cool. Since that time in my life each time I smell bacon in the air on a crisp morning it takes me back to that time. I do not think it was an aroma I loved prior to then, but as I pass a Denny's, IHOP or local place and the smell of bacon is in the air I go back in time for a few minutes.
Another probably more of an odor is the smell of Army canvas. Occasionally I go out to the healing garden just outside my office and sit and each lunch in the sun. It has not mattered what the temperature is I just like and need the sun. In the southeast end of the garden is a SWEAT LODGE (google it). The lodge is made of a tree branch frame with plastic sheeting over it to help hold in the heat. On top of the sheeting is Army canvases from deuce and a half or 5 ton cargo trucks. At some time early in my Army career I learned to love that smell. It is one I will miss for a very long time once I no longer have the chances to smell that distinct odor.

The Visit

The last full week of February was and is still vivid in my mind. Paul and Kris went to Puerto V Mexico for 5 or 6 days. Donna and I had a great opportunity to watch Kale and Alivia. While filled with challenges it was also filled with great joy. The kids are very active and as each day came and went more and more enjoyable. I think a lot of it is due to how little Donna and I get to see the two of them. Kale knew who I was from my time in Indy and getting to go to Des Moines on a somewhat regular basis. It would take a couple of hours for him to warm up but he did realize that I was someone he knew. While the two of them are very close they each have a mind of their own and know what they want. For me the three days I took off as vacation were more than worth the experience of being with them. I even changed a diaper, something I have not done since my our last child finally started going all the time in a toilet.
To Kris and Paul, thanks for the opportunity of watching and taking care of two of your children. It will always be a cherished time in my life.

Monday, January 5, 2009


It was a great game. Utah 31 Alabama 17. had two great articles about why the U was snubbed. Couldn't agree more with the two writers.
Christmas was fantastic for Donna and I. Best the two of us have had in years. We stayed at Matthew and Kat's on Christmas Eve. We watched as Matt, Kat and Zoe opened presents. Stopped at Heather and Brad's on the way to Nichole's. We had purchased tickets to see the movie Marley and Me, but the roads were bad down south so by the time Donna and I got home we felt it was to late to see the movie. We opened our gifts to each other, fixed dinner and had a good time with all the family. Wished Paul and Kris could have been there but I understand the distance and such.