Thursday, March 31, 2011

Back to Normal - Almost

I am back from the UK. I am almost recovered from jet lag and I am mostly sleeping through the night.

I still get the sweats and that ringing in my ears and I am tired by 3 pm.  They say it takes a day for every hour time change you go through.  The UK is 7 hours ahead of Utah so I should be coming around about Saturday.

Last Saturday we rode motorcycles in the UK.  It was a grueling day of pounding up and down a closed course.  The track was slippery and I kept loosing control until I figured out that my tires (tyers in the UK) were inflated too much.  I lowered the air pressure and it was much better.

Due to the punishment I suffered on Saturday, Sunday was a bit rough sitting for up to 8 hours in a cramped plane.  I'm not complaining.  I was on my way home and the ride was a blast.  Just informing.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Nice Sleep

I arrived here in England on Monday morning.  I was shuttled to my friend's house where he went off to work and I was given a nice cushy oversized couch on which to take a nap.  It was a great hour of sleep. 

I then checked into my hotel room and we went to the office.  I worked for a few hours and then we went to dinner.  I was in bed by 9:00 pm and slept through the night.  I woke up at 8:00 am feeling a bit groggy but rested.

Tonight is the rough night usually.  I get good sleep the first night because I am so exhausted. The second night I wake up at about 3 or 4 and can't get back to sleep.  I wonder around the next day in a zombie state. 

Wish me luck. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Nice Upgrade

I was set to go to England on Saturday.  I got to the gate in SLC and waited.  The flight was oversold so they asked for volunteers who might want to go later. 

I really didn't need to be there on Sunday, but I wanted to get there to rest up for work on Monday.  Usually the flight is such a pig. Crowded, uncomfortable, like steerage on a turn of the century steamship, only without the discentary.  I usually don't get much sleep.  This makes for a bad first day on the ground.

I told the gate agent I had some flexibility.  She offered me a voucher for travel later and an upgrade to first class.  She said she could only give me first class on the US leg of the flight.  After some proper schmoozing she agreed to see if a seat was available in first class from Atlanta to Manchester.  It was.

I am now in the Delta Crown Room on Sunday waiting for my first class flight to Manchester.  Guess what else you get with a first class ticket?  I trip to the Crown Room.  I could get used to this.

The cool thing about a first class seat to Europe is that you can sleep.  The seats are twice as wide as the coach seats and they recline most of the way.  There are more flight attendants and fewer screaming kids. 

I may actually get to England feeling the same as I would have if I had arrived on Sunday having suffered through coach. 

Ah, to sleep, perchance to dream. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Rainbow of Colors

I was riding home from work today, it was misting and as I approached the exit this huge rainbow popped out of the clouds. It was a lot more impressive than the picture shows.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Charlie Sheen is the New Gary Bussey

I watched Charlie Sheen on a 20/20 interview earlier this week.  He wasn't even listening to the interviewer's questions.  He was asked a direct question, in plain English, about his past sex life, drug use or allegations of spousal abuse and Charlie would ramble incoherently about how he was a nice guy.  I know this can be a tactic, but he seemed to genuinely consider the question and then set off on another trajectory with words that sounded like English but didn't string together like they were even in the same room as the question.

I like the sitcom Two and a Half Men.  I think the character Charlie Harper is funny, as a character.  Charlie Sheen is the real thing.  It just looks pathetic without a laugh track and a dopey sidekick.

He reminds me of another soul lost to drugs and fame - Gary Busey.  Gary would also ramble into the camera when approached. It got so unintelligible that the only thing that separated him from the homeless guy we see on our walk downtown is that Gary sort of reminded us of someone who played an actor in a few films. 

Imagine a conversation between Charlie Sheen and Gary Busey.  One would ramble nonsense and the other would respond, with similar but creepily disjointed nonsense of his own.  This would go on for a while until one got angry, fell asleep or fell down.  Sort of like two blindfolded boxers - funny for about 30 seconds. 

The real drawback to fame and fortune, aside from the hordes of hangers on who take advantage of you and the stalkers, is that it gives you permission to do what you want, without consequences.  Charlie will have to learn, or is learning, the hard way, that life is about choices.  May God bless him with the ability to pull himself out of the morass he finds himself in before it is too late.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Today's Beefs

I have two beefs.

The first is the Utah legislature.  Not their total lack of reasonableness in wasting most of the 45 day session promoting "message bills" leaving themselves precious little time to deal with real issues like the budget or education.  Not that they are wasting my time and yours promoting a bill to remove the 100 foot no gun safety zone around schools so unsuspecting "carriers" don't get unwittingly trapped into breaking the law.   

My beef with the legislature is their total hypocrisy in ethics reform.  Last year they were all up in arms that they needed to control influence pedaling so they passed an "ethics in the legislature" bill.  The problem is that the bill has a whole big enough to drive a catering truck through.

Lobbyists are required to report gifts over $10 per legislator with the exception of food and beverage.  This year with 33 days in the session so far lobbyists have provided 112 separate meals.  And that is for all the legislators since under the sweeping ethics reform the lobbyists have to invite everyone.

That's more than three meals a day.  In fact that includes 15 breakfasts, 12 dinners, 27 snacks and 15 receptions among the 112 events sponsored.  I'm glad to see they took ethics reform so seriously.

The second beef is the raves at the Salt Palace.  The news reported for a second time this year (I'm not sure if that is calendar year or in the last 365 days) drugs have been confiscated and people arrested at raves at the Salt Palace Convention Center. 

Why are my tax dollars subsidizing a venue for raves?  Can't the promoters at the Salt Palace get some legitimate gigs?  Maybe they should ask the legislators who they can get for conventions?  Maybe the same people who are catering to their every wishes.  At least then their bribe food will have done some good.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mineral Bottom Road Open This Season

For those of you who have been following the dialogue about the Mineral Bottom Road, it was announced Friday that the road construction will be completed Monday, March 28, 2011 with the road being open to the public on Tuesday, March 29, 2011.  This is great news.

The Mineral Bottom Road was washed out in a horrific rain storm in August, 2010.  This is a major tourist back way that cut off access to a large portion of Canyonlands National Park. 

The road was supposed to take 12 weeks to repair, once Grand County, the overseeing state entity, received funds.  It looked like this would take away most of the travel season in 2011.

 This is what the road looked like in August 2010 just after the washout.

This is what the damage looked like close up when we went down in October 2010.

Congratulations to the crew who put this road back in service in such a short time.  This truly was a gigantic task that was done very quickly so we could enjoy the backcountry.  Thanks.