Monday, November 30, 2009

Goin' to Calvary

We went to Calvary Baptist Church yesterday (11th South between State and Main). Kermut was there. There was a lot of singing, praising and general thankfulness for the blessings the Lord has showered upon us. Rev. France Davis has an amazing gift for telling it like it is. You feel spiritually uplifted when you leave his house.

The folks at Calvary Baptist also know how to dress. Sometimes when I go to church elsewhere people are so casualed out (is that a word?) they look as if they are going to Walmart (you've seen the blogs - it ain't pretty). At Calvary Baptist I feel like I have to wear a suit, not out of obligation but out of respect. You can see all sorts of suits and dresses and hats that you don't normally see. Most people don't dress like that anymore.

Did I forget to mention the choir? They are the soul and backbone of all that goes on at Calvary Baptist. This Sunday they had only 20 or so people, their full choir wasn't there, nor was their children's choir. Throughout the service the music is central to the worship. Everyone is clapping, praising and jumping with the Lord. You can't help but leave with a smile.

A lot of people gave their testimony and thanked Calvary Baptist for being their church home. I am thankful that Calvary Baptist is a beacon for our community and they boldly proclaim the Word as Gospel. They are working to overcome the cultural, religous and racial barriers that have often separated us in this community. They are a force for good and we all benefit from their work. Thank you Rev. Davis for your leadership and tireless work in the name of the Lord. May God continue to bless you.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

DVD Recommendations

I went to the dollar movies (it cost $2.00) and saw Julie and Julia. This is the story of Julia Childs and a young Queens wife who sets out to make each of Julia's 524 recipies in her cookbook "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" while blogging about it. Not an emotionally significant movie but it was fun.

That got me thinking about what movies I would put in the same category. Those movies that have a message but aren't what you call an epic, ones you can watch over and over because they have substance but not crass or even intense. These movies have quoteable lines and are void of objectionable subject matter that you wouldn't mind showing your grand parents or grand kids.

Here are some of my favorite movies, one for each of the 12 days of Christmas:

1. It's a Wonderful Life (1946) - Jimmy Stewart at his best in this story about Christmas and a man who thinks he doesn't have friends. Its a classic (B&W) .

2. Family Man (2000) - Nicholas Cage and Tia Leone. An updated version of It's a Wonderful Life.

3. Bruce Almighty (2003) - Jim Carrey surrounded by Bible lessons. Oh yea, Jennifer Aniston is also in it.

4. Princess Bride (1987) - Billy Crystal has a cameo.

5. 50 First Dates (2004) - Adam Sandler is not that goofy and Drew Barrymore is.

6. Elf (2003) - Will Ferrell is pure joy to watch.

7. Toy Story (1995) - Tom Hanks and Tim Allen are so good you forget you are watching an animated movie.

8. Ground Hog Day (1993) - Bill Murray is really funny without being gross.

9. Back to the Future (1985) - It has a flying Delorean and Christopher Lloyd.

10. Miracle on 34th Street (1947) - If you don't believe in Christmas you need to watch it. Besides it has a positive protrayal of a lawyer, even if it was more than 60 years ago.

11. The Russians Are Coming (1966) - Carl Reiner, Eva Marie Saint and Alan Arkin. This is just funny. It also is a wonderful depiction of life in a simpler time. You can also see Martha's Vinyeard before it was taken over by the uber rich.

12. Oceans 11 (1960) - This is the coolest movie I know of. I'm not talking about the 2001 remake with George Clooney. I'm talking about the original with the Rat Pack - Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford, Cesar Romero, Joey Bishop and many other big names in the 60's. This is a great portrait of the original cool guys in a very different Las Vegas.

Enjoy and let me know what you think or if you have favorites that I didn't include. By the way for that person who has my name for the book exchange, I don't have a copy of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking".

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I Made It!

I guess all those hours of blogging paid off, or maybe it was the senate investigation, the call to the DA's office or the threat of a civil rights lawsuit. In any event I have made it to the top of the Srossi Blog Roll. I want to thank my brother and daughter-in-law for their help in educatin' me in the ways of the internet and blogging.

This doesn't mean I am hanging up my posts. I am now energized to continue expressing my views and observations daily. I pledge to try my best to make a daily entry on my blog. I owe it to all of you.

And not to disappoint you I have been saving these words of wisdom for a special occasion. I want to pass on the Tao of Navin.

If you are of the same generation as I am you will remember a treasured bit of celluloid starring Steve Martin as Navin R. Johnson who was adopted at birth by a poor black family in the south who leaves home at 18 to seek his fame and fortune. The name of the movie is "The Jerk" and was released in 1979.

Before Navin leaves on his adventure, his dad gives him three bits of wisdom. 1. Lord loves a workin' man, 2. Don't trust whitey and 3. If you got it, go to the doctor and get rid of it. If you've seen the movie you will know that these were meant to be nonsensical and silly. I think they have merit.

1. Lord loves a workin' man - If you work hard you will be rewarded. That is a universal sentiment. You can create your own success by working hard. That makes sense.

2. Don't trust whitey - This sounds racist but if you interpret it outside of the racial context it makes more sense. Look at whitey as "the man". We are often told not to trust the establishment. Question what those in power are saying, think for yourself, trust yourself. A good rule to live by.

3. If you got it, go to the doctor and get rid of it. This is meant as a reference to pre-aids sexual contact with less than honorable women but I maintain it also has a broader application. When faced with a decision you can make a choice or you can stew about it. If you let it fester it won't get better. To make a good decision today is often better than making a perfect decision later. If you don't deal with something the problem won't go away. Going to the doctor is a good euphism for making a decision.

There it is, the Tao according to Navin. Enjoy.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Still Shut Out and What Was That Thing Over Gibraltar

My post for Thursday didn't come up yet. I'm feeling discriminated against. I'm going to call the NAAIDWP (The National Association for the Advancement of Internet-Disadvantaged White People).

At T-Giving yesterday I got schooled by my Daughter-in-law and brother. Both are much more internet savy than I am. Apparently unless you change the date of posting, if you start a post one day and finish it the next, it will appear as if it were written on the first day. So much for my complaint that one of my posts was not posted on the correct day. It also appears that the alert box in called a Blog Roll and that I can keep track of who is blogging and who is visiting my blog. Who knew.

As side note my son and D-in-law schooled me on the proper terms for In-N-Out Burgers - it appears it isn't monster style, its animal style. Also there is a secret menu, but they wouldn't tell me anything else.

I was reading the paper yesterday and it appears a Swiss adventurer has been watching Toy Story one too many times. The paper reported that Yves Rossy (that's Rosseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, not Rossi). ditched in the Atlantic while trying to fly from Morocco to Spain. The thing is he was using jet powered wings, about 4 feet in width, sort of sounds like Buzz Lightyear? It also appears he wasn't flying as much as falling with style because half way through the flight he hit turbulence and clouds so thick he had to ditch in the water. Maybe next time he could go to before he takes off.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I was going to just put up a cheerful message of thanksgiving but since this is my blog I will vent first.

Now someone is messing with me. My Wednesday blog congratulating the Utah legislators, posted Wednesday morning about 10 am, is now listed as being posted on Tuesday, even though I checked it just after I posted it yesterday (Wednesday). This wouldn't normally irk me but I am on the quest for the top. I want recompense. I want whoever is in charge of this blog posting order to show him or herself and take my verbal onslaught as they so rightfully deserve. The senate investigation is still going forward and I am meeting with the local district attorney to file criminal charges as well as a civil suit. I will be avenged!!!!!!!

With that out of the way, it is Thanksgiving. I want to say I am thankful for my wife, my kids, my grandkids and my family. I have a wonderful life. I want to thank all of you for giving me the chance to be part of your lives and your work to reconcile when we fall out. I love you all no matter what.

I am also thankful for my ancestors. This morning as I was thinking about all the things I was thankful for my thoughts gravitated toward my grandparents. All of them are gone, the most recent about 15 years ago. It was a wonderful time when I was little and was loved so much by them. They are the ones that gave me the heritage to be in this country, live the life I live, and have the family I have. I wish I knew their grandparents so I could see where they came from.

I am truly blessed and very thankful for all the blessings I have. Have a happy thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Way to Go Utah Legislators

Seriously, what does it take to make this blogging thing work fairly? My Monday and Tuesday posts have not been recognized (they have been registered in the blog, but they don't appear in the alert box) and others with earlier posts are moving ahead. I feel as if my civil rights are being voilated. I am going to call Ron Yangich.

Spking of civil rights, I have a double edged comment. On the one hand I do applaud the Utah Legislators, headed by former Utah Governer "Grandma" Olene Walker, who are pushing ethics intiatives to bring integrity to the governmental process.

On the other hand there are those who make the rest look bad. Some Utah legislators are opposing the ethics initatives because they infringe on their civil rights. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. What it infringes on is their ability to make money at the tax payer's expense.

Jello Haiku

OK, This blog alert thing is beginning to bug me. My post from yesterday (Monday) still isn't recognized and the Gearheads pulled ahead of me by posting on Sunday. I wish no ill will toward the Gearheads, but there seems to be no rhyme or reason to the posting sequence. I'm going to call Senator Bennett and launch a full investigation.

I saw an article in the Tribune for Jello Haiku. There is a competition held in SLC each year and several dozen people bring their Haiku molded in Jello. What is next Lasagna prayer readings?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Its Real!

Before I get to the really big news, just an update on my quest to the top. A minor setback, I am still number 3 and my Sunday post has not been recognized yet. I'm not dismayed, I will pull myself up from this hiccup and continue my quest. Onward and upward to an unparalleled plateau of power and prestige.

This is the really big news - Real Salt Lake won the MLS Cup! Sweeeeeeeeeet. They were a sub .500 club in the regular season and barely made it into the playoffs but they managed to pull it together at the right time and make it happen when it counted the most. Great job guys, thanks for bringing SLC its first national championship since 1984 when the Zoobies (BYU Cougars football) were handed a national championship in NCAA football because they cried about not getting enough respect through their lightweight schedule.

Not that I am bitter about this, just that I happened to be going to the U of U at the time and we were referred to as "Bo Diddly Tech" by Bryant Gumble. I think I put that all behind me over the last 25 years, but I still get all riled up every year the U plays the Zoo, I am still not able to say BYU in any other way than making it sound like a swear and I can't help refering to the 2008 Sugar Bowl where the U crushed Alabama every time the subject of the rivalry comes up. I guess I may still harbor some ill will toward our rivals to the south.

Back to my point. Real Salt Lake did what the Spazz couldn't. Do you remember the 1996-97 basketball season when the Utah Spazz met the Chicago Bulls (Micheal Jordan's team) in the NBA Finals and Micheal put the game and the series away with a stellar show of power in the Delta Center (now the Energy Solutions Arena) even though he had a temperature of 102? It was like watching the ball roll through Billy Buckner's legs in the 1986 World Series (OK I am a Red Sox fan and I may have some sports related issues).

We should embrace Real Salt Lake and thank them for bringing Salt Lake to sports prominance again after a long drought.

That also reminds me of my favorite Jazz joke - Why don't you buy a car from Stockton to Malone Honda? Because they won't get you the title. Unfair but funny.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Glimmer of Hope and Meat

I saw a glimmer of hope in my aspiration to be at the top of the Srossi blog alert box. I am third! And in all fairness to the blog gods I have been counting my days blogging since my first blog made last Saturday, this being the 8th day since then. In actuality I have been consistently blogging since last Thursday so this is my 4th day. I feel a rush of adrenlin to stay the course so I can achieve my goal.

If you didn't notice it, In-N-Out Burgers of SoCal recently opened an outlet in Draper. It was all over the news. Meat eficinados gathered the night before outside the establishment so they could be the first to say they had a double/double or monster style burger. I am a huge fan of INO but always had to wait until we traveled to Vegas or St. George to partake.

I did take to the "replacement" burger joint that opened last year in Fort Union; 5 Guys Burgers and Fries. That place was packed for the first six months and then, as the SLC dining out faithful will often do, they find other newer options to lavish their attention on.

Well when INO announced their grand opening less than a 4 hour car ride away I instinctively checked my cash situation and headed for the car. Of course this was Saturday night at 6:30 pm (for those who haven't noticed this is optimum feeding time for the dining out faithful) so I was frustrated by the prospect of waiting 4 hours or being turned away.

I thought of an alternative plan; go to 5 Guys. The line moved quickly and I ordered the Bacon Cheese Burger (2 patties which they call out to let the cook know how many meat slabs to get ready) and their humongous fries. My order was ready in a flash and before I knew it I was swimming in the meat lovers pond. The fries were there only as a diversion.

Long live the guilty pleasure that is two freshly grilled beef patties, slabs of cheese, grilled onions, bacon and a mound of crisp garden vegs. In the immortal words of Doug Hefrenen (King of Queens) "If loving meat is wrong, I don't want to be right".

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Legislators in Utah Should Drink Liquor

Well it's day number 7 and I am still not properly represented on the blog alert box on the Srossi home page. I guess I will have to continue my diatribe until I am victorious.

"Liquor Caps Will Stay Put" is the headline. The story goes on to say that no more liquor licenses will be authorized so they can prevent kids from getting ahold of liquor. They site a study that shows that 21% of kids under the age of 21 polled said they got their liquor at a restaurant, bar or nightclub. That all sounds reasonable.

OK one thing I did notice is that restaurant was lumped in with a bar and nightclub. They are way different, but I digress.

On the next page a graph shows the results of the study cited above. The category where the fewest kids reported getting their liquor? You guessed it - at a restaurant, bar or nightclub. A full 60% of the kids reported getting their liquor at home or at someone else's home. More than 35% said they got liquor at a park, beach or other public event location and even those who confessed to getting liquor said more often they got their liquor in a car (30%) than in a restaurant, bar or nightclub.

BTW - I did notice the percentages added up to more than 100%, I assume this wasn't because those administering the study were also drunk, but that the kids could give multiple results.

Now I am not trying to minimize the fact that 21% of kids under the age of 21 polled said they got liquor in a restaurant, bar or nightclub. I just don't like the fact that the legislators are using this as logic to restrict the number of liquor licenses. If they truly were concerned with kids getting ahold of liquor they would work to reduce their ability to get liquor at their home, at someone else's home, at a park, beach or public event location or even in a car before they restrict liquor licenses.

As I have said before it is good to know that someone is watching out for my moral fiber while I drink.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Peru, Oprah and Buttars

I'm still on my quest to get my post at the top of the alert board. It isn't going as well as I had hoped. My post from yesterday is still not acknowledged. Well here goes

This just in from the international section of the SL Trib. "Gangs Kill Folks for Fat?". It appears gangs of houdlims in Peru are killing people and extracting their fat for use in cosmetics. ICKKKKKKKK. It appears a gallon of fat may be worth up to $60,000. So if you are fat don't go to Peru. I think I'll go by the liposuction clinic and see if they have any left overs, maybe I can sell a gallon or two on eBay.

Speaking of Peru - Did you hear the HUGE news? Oprah is quitting!!!! Wow, talk about end of the earth. She is going to concentrate on her new network. I guess Ted Turner can't be the only one who can go weeks without leaving his universe. Oprah won't have all those royalties and endorsements flowing in so she will have to cut back on some things like buying small countries and giving away a major car manufacturer's backlog inventory. Good luck Oprah, write if you get work.

Speaking of their own universe - Chris Buttars, that poor embattered State Senator in Utah who has been critisized for his stand on opposing gay marriage, and who by the way offended every African American by making a racial comment about a bill last year is at it again. Max writes that he gives Buttars credit for following the politically safe trend even if it is against his past statements. You see Buttars came out in favor of legislation prohibiting discrimination based on "sexual choices". This sounds like a huge reversal but not so fast. It appears the Church (of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) also supported this legislation. Based on my past observations of Chris Buttars, I don't think he did any independent thinking. I don't think he has that much of a grasp on reality. I think someone from the Church (of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) spoke to dear Chris and convinced him not to make waves for them in their support of the legislation. I think Mr. Buttars is just doing what he is told. If you get a chance look at the interview he conducted after the announcement. It seems he is just saying what he has been told. It truly is nice to live in your own world. I know.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I'm going to try and post every day so I can get the top spot on the alert box on

Its not that I am competitive and need to be number 1. Although many have given me the hand gesture that suggests I am.

Its not that I am vain or ego centric, the world really does revolve around me. I am sure that when I leave a place everyone waits around in suspended animation until I return. If a log falls outside of my hearing I'm not sure it makes a sound.

Its just that what I have to say is so truly important that I think everyone should read it and make insightful comments. Also I know that you are all reading this intently awaiting your chance to chime in on what I have to say. I don't want to disappoint you by making you wait. You should have the benefit of my insight as soon as I commit it to my blog. Now isn't that truly humble and giving of me?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Double Dipping

I read this article a few days ago and I thought at first they had a point. I then read the rest of the article and found out the point was on their head.

The article exposed the hideous practice of "double dipping". A state employee retires after the required 20 years with the fire department and as he or she have been paying into the state run pension, they start collecting their retirement checks.

We all know state wages are enough to put anyone into the lap of luxury so there is no need for a second job when the pension (only part of the regular salary) starts rolling in (sarcasim).

These state employees then go back to the state and get jobs as teachers. The article indicated the state legislature was going to stop this practice because the state pension fund didn't have enough money to support the payouts. They also insinuated this was wrong in some way.

I am all for someone not getting paid twice for the same thing, which is what I thought the article was about. Typically double dipping is about, for instance, someone who gets a car allowance from the state and then turns in the gas reciepts for reimbursement (never happened in our state - again with the scarcasim).

First, this example is not double dipping and second the proposed legislative action is stupid for several reasons:

1. The retiree is entitled to the pension. He or she paid into the fund and retired after the required amount of time. No other job should void their pension. If they aren't able to work for the state they will just work elsewhere. They won't give up their pension.

2. They are a trusted state employee. Why would you give up someone you know and trust for an unknown quantity.

3. The pension fund is smaller because it is tied to the stock market, not because these retirees are taking out of it.

Thank goodness we have the legistlature to look after us.

Why Don't They Help

I as getting onto Trax yesterday and I tried to pay for my ticket. Last time I used Trax I put in a $20 for two round trip tickets (cost $8) and got $12 in useless Susan B. Anthony dollars.

This time I was smart and brought dollar bills. The machine wouldn't take them. In fact both machines wouldn't take my dollar bills. The machine kept saying "Bills Not Accepted" as I tried to cram the dollar bill into the slot.

I guess I now know the use for the dollar coins. I had to track down a bus driver who took my dollar bills and gave me a ticket.

My question is if they want us to use Trax and they want us to pay for it, why don't they help?