Tuesday, April 29, 2008

15th Anniversary

Today is an anniversary for me. It was 15 years ago today that my wife agreed to marry me. A recent article (see here) in Mormon Times by Orson Scott Card sums up many of my feelings about my marriage.

In the article, he says in marriage, "there's somebody who shares your goals and your problems, somebody to rely on, somebody to hear you out. You're not alone." One of the great things about being married to my best friend is that we both have someone to rely on. Someone to share our fears and our joys with. We both have a shoulder to cry on when we need it. We have somebody else to help us through when we're feeling down.

Orson Scott Card says of the foundation of marriage, "It's a commitment based on the goals you share. And real love, married love, is not what you start with -- it's what you create together along the way." My wife and I have had many wonderful times together in the past 15 years. We've had our struggles and our heartaches, but, what I feel today is a love that is so much stronger than the love I felt for her 15 years ago.

To my wife, I love you! You are my best friend and I want to be with you always!

Monday, April 28, 2008

New Missionary Catch Phrase?

There is a great post over at "The Cultural Hall" blog. (See here.) It deals with the phrase of "Every Member a Missionary" which is used in the LDS Church. The blog post makes an excellent point of noting that you need to be a friend.

Friday, April 25, 2008

First they came...

The following poem attributed to Martin Niemöller is inscribed at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out -
because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out -
because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out -
because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak for me.

Do you see any recent events that this may match up with?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

No Regrets at Murdock Chevrolet

I have been meaning to write a blog post about this prior to now, but, I haven't done it yet. Last November we were looking at replacing our 2003 Chevy Suburban. There wasn't anything wrong with it, I just wanted to upgrade to something different. Now when you have seven children, your options on vehicles is fairly limited. Our choices really became one of the following three options:

School Bus
A institutional van.
Or a nice new Suburban.
I should add here that we plan on keeping this new vehicle for several years.

With these things in mind, we went looking for a new vehicle. Our 2003 Suburban we purchased from Young Chevrolet in Layton. After that experience I wasn't too thrilled to go to Young again.

Since Murdock Chevrolet was close, we decided to go see what they had available. At the time we went, Chevy was offering 0% financing on 2007 Suburbans. That was the deal that we went looking for. The problem became trying to find a 2007 Suburban that was a 9 passenger model. Basically there weren't any within a 500 mile radius. Our salesman than started to talk to us about looking at a 2008 Suburban. They had a 2008 Suburban that was being shipped to them that would hold 9 people. To make a long story short, we ended up deciding to get that 2008 Suburban.

Why am I happy with Murdock Chevrolet? During the process they did several things that made me happy, among them are:
  1. They worked hard to find a 9 passenger 2007 Suburban. They even looked into getting a 8 passenger 2007 Suburban and changing seats to make it a 9 passenger. That proved to be cost prohibitive.
  2. When they found out where I worked, they told me about a discount I could get because of my employer. This actually made the vehicle cost about $500 less than the deal that I had worked with them. How many times have you had a car dealer tell you how you could save even more money?
  3. To seal the deal, they offered to throw in a vehicle entertainment system. The first one that they installed didn't work and after trying several things to get it to work, they finally installed a dual dvd player system. This system has kept our kids happy for many hours. Happy Kids = Quiet Kids. Quiet Kids = Happy Parents. Happy Parents = Happy Vacation.
You may have seen Murdock's "No Regrets" commercials. I truly have no regrets with my purchase experience at Murdock. My wife and I absolutely love so many things about our 2008 Suburban. We love the color, the way it rides, the remote start, the vehicle entertainment system, etc. Thanks Murdock! If you are in the market for a new car, go see Jason Nielsen at Murdock and tell him that I sent you!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Urquhart, Quit Taking From Cities

Representative Steve Urquhart says in a recent post, (see here) "I want to go on record now, to state that Utah should not bail out cities for the huge indebtedness they will incur because of their involvement with UTOPIA."

I personally find this offensive because when I was on the Woods Cross City Council, it seemed that Utah always tried to reduce the amount of money that cities received from the state. The amount of Class C road funds that went to cities was reduced while the state attempted to turn over maintenance of many state roads to the cities.

Almost every legislative session during my term as a City Council member, it appeared that the state legislature attempted to balance their budgets on the backs of the cities and towns of this state.

So my message to Representative Urquhart is while it is fine to say that the state shouldn't bail out cities for what you perceive as bad judgment, take a look in the mirror and make sure that you are not looking to be bailed out by the cities for what they may perceive as your bad judgment.

Representative Urquhart is flat out wrong in his post when he says that UTOPIAs "product is inferior to the competition." This says to me that he obviously hasn't done his homework on the issue. If he hasn't studied it enough to know that the product is not inferior to the competition, what else is he missing about the issue? As for many other comments in Representative Urquhart's post, I find a response by Jesse Harris (see here) addresses those much better than I can.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Kudos to WX City Manager

An article in today's Deseret News (see here) talks about the "quiet zone" that is being established for the trains in the Northern Utah area. The article mentions that the effort to get quiet zones instituted in the commuter rail area was organized by Woods Cross City Manager, Gary Uresk. I know that there were many complaints from citizens about the train horns during my term on the council. Gary knew that there was a need for something to be done and made the effort to see that UTA implemented the needed changes at the street crossings to be able to pursue a quiet zone.This is no small accomplishment. I'm sure Gary had to work many hours with many different entities to accomplish this. The quality of life for many people will improve because of Gary's actions. Kudos to Gary Uresk for taking the initiative to get this implemented.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Qwest going "fiber to the node"

A Salt Lake Tribune article from April 9th, (see here) had some interesting news about Qwest investing in more fiber in Utah. I have included a portion of the article below.
Utah consumers interested in getting ultra high-speed Internet service may no longer have to wait for the financially struggling Utopia network to keep its promises.
Qwest Communications International Inc., as part of a $300 million company-wide initiative, this year plans to invest millions of dollars to beef up its Wasatch Front network by running fiber-optic lines to many of the neighborhoods it serves.
The technology, known as "fiber-to-the-node," initially will provide Internet users with speeds of up to 20 megabytes per second, and eventually 40 Mb/s, said Jerry Fenn, who oversees Qwest's operation in Utah as its president.
Qwest later this month will reveal how much it intends to spend in Utah and where the new service will be available, he said.
Service providers on the fledgling Utopia network now typically offer speeds of 15 Mb/s to 50 Mb/s, although much faster connections are possible.
"We're planning to have this [fiber-to-the-node technology] available to over 200,000 homes and businesses in Utah by the end of the year," Fenn said, indicating the footprint will be expanded as customer demand grows.
What I find most interesting about this is that on October 16, 2007 at the Woods Cross City Council meeting, I remember the Qwest representative stating that they don't believe in the business plan of running fiber to homes. I know that this new strategy is not running fiber to the homes but it is bringing fiber a lot closer to the homes than before. Has Qwest's thoughts on this strategy changed, or do they still only believe in "fiber to the node" and not to the home? It would seem to me that they would be able to do things a lot cheaper if they decided to run their services over the fiber that UTOPIA has already installed and quit fighting against UTOPIA.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

One of My Fears Came True

On August 21, 2007 the Woods Cross City Council held a public hearing about the curbside recycling program. During that meeting, they also presented the 2007 Mayor's Beautification Awards. I remember commenting that the first windy day when the recycling cans are emptied, the city won't be as beautiful anymore because newspapers will be blowing around. That snide remark somehow didn't make it into the minutes of the meeting. (See the minutes at this link.)

Today is a very windy day and it also happens to be the first day that my recycling can was emptied. Wind gusts today have been up to 35 MPH. Driving around my neighborhood I see lots of garbage that has been blown about. There are newspapers, milk jugs, and other such items that I'm fairly certain came out of the recycling cans. This part of the city is definitely not going to win any beautification awards today.

Monday, April 14, 2008


In the past I've had thoughts about a disconnect that may exist between upper management and the techies in the trenches. I have seen signs of this disconnect in my current employment as well as in previous places of employment. Let me give an example that may show how this disconnect exhibits itself.

Let's say that a company pays for several managers and techies in the trenches to attend training on Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). ITIL is a set of concepts and techniques for managing information technology infrastructure. (See more about ITIL at this link.) I could see upper management attending this training and focusing on all the things that their company is doing right. I could also see the techies in the trenches attending this training and focusing on all the things that their company is doing wrong. Now the managers come away from the training thinking that their company is doing well. The techies in the trenches come away from the training thinking that things would be so much better at their company if they changed the way they did things. This is one of the signs of a disconnect between upper management and the techies in the trenches.

I'm convinced there is also a similar disconnect between the majority of citizens and their elected officials. Time and time again, you hear about how ethics reform is needed in our Utah State Legislature. (See this editorial from Monday's Deseret News.) Previous studies have shown that a majority of Utah citizens favor such legislation, but, the legislation never sees the light of day in the legislative session. There are other issues where there seems to be a disconnect between citizens and the state legislature.

This type of disconnect is extremely difficult to overcome in the corporate world. It appears to me it's even more difficult if not impossible to overcome in the political world.

Knowing Me May be a Disadvantage

The two people that I know personally who were running for the State Senate District 23 position, Lamont Peterson and Kent Parry, were eliminated at the Republican nominating convention held Saturday. The two Republican candidates who will face off in the primary are Ron Mortensen and Dan Liljenquist. I've mentioned in a previous post why it will be hard for me to support Dan Liljenquist. I'm fairly sure I don't want Ron Mortensen as my representative in the State Senate. Maybe it's time for me to investigate where Richard Watson, the Democrat, stands on the issues that are important to me. I hope we would all do that, find a candidate that matches your position on the issues that are most important to you and then vote for that candidate. Unfortunately, in Davis County, it appears that most people find a candidate that matches their political party and then vote for them regardless of where they stand on the issues.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Looking Forward to Church

I'm looking forward to my church meeting tomorrow. Maybe the reason I'm looking forward to it is that the length has been cut in half this week. Instead of the normal three hour block of meetings, our new ward has only one meeting scheduled for an hour and a half. That's one reason to look forward to it. Another reason I'm looking forward to it, is because it will be the first meeting of our new ward. There will definitely be some new things to get used to. There will be new assignments for my wife and I as well as other new things to get used to. Next week it'll be back to the three hour block of meetings. I hope I can look forward to those as well.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Buying a Seat in Senate District 23

I've posted previously about the Utah Legislature's reluctance to pass bills that concern their ethics. (see here, here, and here.) Well, I found some interesting things in the campaign finance disclosures for the Senate District 23 race. It would appear to me that Dan Liljenquist is trying to buy himself a seat in the Utah Senate. During the reporting period of "Party Convention" he has spent by far the most amount of money of any of the eight Republican candidates. One of the more interesting expenditures he has made was for a "County Delegate Event" held at "The Wight House." This event cost Mr. Liljenquist over $1,100.00. As of the end of that reporting period, Dan Liljenquist has spent $8,482.40. In contrast, in 2000 when Dan Eastman first won the Senate 23 seat, he had spent $4,627.59 at the end of the "Party Convention" reporting period. In fact, in 2000, Senator Eastman spent $10,132.94 on his entire campaign. (All amounts taken from the State of Utah - Campaign Reporting System. See here.)

Do we really believe that someone who is willing to spend this amount of money so early in a campaign will vote for bills that impact the ethics of lawmakers? It appears to me that Mr. Liljenquist is willing to spend whatever it takes to be elected to the Utah State Senate.

Farewell to a Mentor

In a post on this blog (see here) over two years ago, I posted about how I liked the Centerville Citizen blog. At that time, the blog was run by a different person than the most recent person, WP. I mentioned at that time that I liked how the Centerville Citizen blog was run. It had posts that were relevant to Centerville and stuck mostly to local issues. After WP took over the blog, the posts focused more on national issues and not as much on the local issues. Now, WP has decided to shutter the blog entirely. It's too bad that WP couldn't find another Centerville Citizen who wanted to take the blog over and return it to it's former glory days. Farewell Centerville Citizen!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Recycling Pick-Up Begins Tomorrow

The Woods Cross curbside recycling program begins pick up tomorrow. This doesn't affect me as my house is on the "Green" schedule. That means that my pick up begins next week. Woods Cross City has recently placed some great things on their website about the recycling program. The first is a map of the city marking what homes are on the "Green" schedule and what homes are on the "White" schedule. Then they also have the schedules available for both.
For the Map, see here.
For the "Green" schedule, see here.
For the "White" schedule, see here.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

My Village Re-Arranged

In a Mormon Times article, (see here) Orson Scott Card likens a LDS ward to a village of people where people are "groomed" by each other. Last Sunday night, my "village" had new boundaries created. This is the fourth ward boundary change we have been involved in while living in our current home. We were made part of the new ward that was created. This is also the fourth different ward that we have been in since we have lived here. Changes like this always bring challenges, both for myself and for my wife and children. We'll face these challenges the same way that we have faced other challenges in our lives, one day at a time.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Bucket List Reduced by 2

My list of things that I want to do before I kick the bucket had two things on it completed this past week. I've always wanted to see Delicate Arch in Arches National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park. This past week I took my family to see them both on a much needed vacation. It was beautiful weather for a vacation to South Eastern Utah. Our new 2008 Chevy Suburban averaged 18 MPG on the way down there. It also has a built in Vehicle Entertainment System which kept the kids entertained on the drive down and back. All in all, it was a very nice vacation.