Wednesday, June 21, 2017

International Snack Facts

Lovely Wife and I recently celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary this year with a trip to Europe, cruising up the Rhine. The trip was great - Operation Reconnect with Spouse: accomplished.

Many wonderful memories were made that I'd be happy to talk about. Here, I want to share with you one of my personal favorite trip activities: trolling my 15 YO son, Will. On school days, he gets himself up at 6:00 a.m. to make it to the bus. I had this nagging worry that he might oversleep, so (almost) every school day of the trip, I set an alarm for 6:00 a.m. MST to ping him. This was 2:00 in the afternoon for me (my texts are in blue):

Tue, May 23, 6:01 AM

In Amsterdam, they put peanut butter on their fries!
I see
Good morning
Good morning!  How y'all doing?
Wed, May 24, 6:20 AM

The vending machines in Amsterdam have a variety of unusual snacks!
🤠how's it going?
Good, it's 6:23
So far so good then.  Have a great day!
Thx u too

Thu, May 25, 6:04 AM

The dutch have many strange and wondrous ways to prepare potatoes!

Thu, May 25, 11:56 AM

Sry I didn't txt u I was tired
Cool potatoes
🤠they were quite tasty.  How are ya?
Good, in math class
Oh!  Do good maths - chat later.

Thu, May 25, 3:16 PM

The soldier who wields this blade is called a "doppel solder" and earns double pay for wielding the giant blade.
The one on the left looks pretty sick


I went to a cheese farm.  I now know how to make cheese!
Mashed sheep?
Is more complicated than that, but easier on the sheep than that.
Btw, German beer is more potent than Utah beer. *hic*
I see

You have school tomorrow?
So, maybe I shouldn't text you at 6:00...
So that's what u were doing
Ya plz don't lol
I thought u were just sharing snack facts and didn't realize how early it was XD
Ok - text if you want more dad facts about the world.  We in Germany now. XD
Hell ya I will
Hey - snacks are important.
I know that better than literally anyone ;)
Yes...yes you do.
Will chat more tomorrow - is 11:30 pm here (and I need to find moar snacks)
Fri, May 26, 9:01 AM

In Germany, they eat their french fries using wooden tweezers!

Fri, May 26, 11:30 AM
It was totally dark souls and ripe for assassins creed.
Ya, that was literally an area in dark souls 3, part of the castle😱
I wish I could see that
You will.

Sun, May 28, 9:49 AM

The German word "fahrt" means "journey"
This is Emperor William (Wilhelm)
Haha thx dad

Mon, May 29, 10:33 AM

German kamikazi submarine from WWII
That looks like the pilot would be miserable
Definitely - it was a suicide sub, so…

Tue, May 30, 6:05 AM

Bonjours, William!  Did you know that "french fries" were invented in a small Belgian village when the river froze over and the villagers, unable to catch fish and desperate for something to fry, turned to potatoes?
Tonight is our last night on the boat.  We'll stay in a hotel in zurich tomorrow night and fly out on Thursday.
How are things there?
Hooray! Things r good except I forgot to dry my laundry last night 😬
Whoops.  Hope you have something to wear...
Tue, May 30, 3:15 PM
Hey you, how goes it?
My final projects went bad tho :(
Ooh, sorry man.  Anything to be done about it?
Nah but my grades didn't really change much, still mostly a's and nothing lower than a b
That's pretty good.  Sorry your parents are cavorting in europe instead of supporting you.  
No worries 😉
(It is pretty nice here tho)
I bet
Ok sir - any message for yer mum?
Love u guys
Love u too. 😘

Will is currently on a trip and sending me annotated pics of his breakfast. *sigh* They grow up so fast...

Friday, February 24, 2017

Questions for a town hall: Climate Change

My zipcode is 84103 and nobody paid me to say this.

#TownhallHatch - website
#TownhallLee - website
#TownhallStewart - website

Nice windmill!
Gentlemen, I've been going over your websites, and in your "issues" sections, I don't see any positions about the environment, and in particular, nothing about what many perceive to be the greatest existential threat to the United States and the world. That seems a little short-sighted.  Thank you, Representative Stewart, for at least acknowledging alternative energy and putting a picture of a windmill on there.

Searching through your websites for "climate change" did turn up some information: 

  1. Thank you, Senator Hatch, for pushing for the advancement of nuclear energy - I agree with you that it's a logical thing to do.  
  2. Y'all are worried that what we do in the U.S. isn't enough to make a difference.  I agree - the Paris Climate Agreement is probably a good start, eh?  Just because Obama signed it doesn't mean it's bad, right?
  3. What about China?  We have that bilateral agreement.  Can we stick to that?
  4. Y'all don't seem to like cap-and-trade.  It's market-based!  Mike Leavitt likes it!
Trying to figure out if you believe that humans contribute to climate change led me to these articles that say you don't.  If that's not the case any more, feel free to correct me.  If people don't change their minds when presented with new information we'd be in a sorry state.

If you don't believe the scientific consensus, then how about insurance companies? How about the U.S. military? How about Exxon

Question 1:
What would it take for you to agree that climate change is real, humans contribute to it, and we'd better react to it?

 Yes, we have coal and oil in Utah, and those things will become more profitable as the world runs out of them. We can use fracking and maybe more extreme methods in the future to get at those resources - at the cost of earthquakes like in Oklahoma and environmental damage. You seem determined to pin Utah and America’s future on this. Wouldn’t it make more sense to encourage solar and wind and maybe nuclear as an energy source? There’s still a market for petroleum products - plastics and other things. There are lots of jobs in alternative energy, and there’s lots of room for innovation and infrastructure building. How about that?

You say it’s not the government’s job to pick winners and losers. You’re right - they shouldn’t arbitrarily pick industries and declare them winners or losers. On the other hand, it should be your job to make America a winner - not just for the next election cycle, but for when you and I are dead and gone and our kids and their kids are running the place. And making us 'winners' doesn’t have to mean that the rest of the world loses.

Question 2:  

Describe what you think Utah, the U.S., and the world looks like in a hundred years if we stick with fossil fuels versus going big on alternative energy.

Questions for a town hall: Trump and Russia

My zipcode is 84103 and nobody paid me to say this.

I read in the “real news” that all of our intelligence agencies are positive that Russia attempted to influence our presidential election.  It’s very easy to believe that our president has a tremendous financial motive for altering U.S. policy to favor Russia.  Given that our president, among other things, has bragged on camera about grabbing women by the genitals, you should understand that it’s easy to believe that Russia has compromising material to hold over him.  In a recent interview, our president said that the U.S. and Russia had a moral equivalence, specifically in terms of killing people.  

I’m your constituent, and I think the U.S. is not morally equivalent to Russia, and that you, the congress, have an obligation to investigate and prosecute corruption no matter what the political affiliation of the perpetrator, in this case, the sitting president and his campaign and administration.  If you set up an independent investigation empowered with everything it needs to find out the truth, you might be able to restore some faith in the presidency, congress, and our democracy.  If you don’t, you’re going to go down in history for throwing democracy under the bus.

So here’s the question:  
Would you support an independent investigation of these issues and if not, why?

While you’re at it, can you make it a requirement that future presidential candidates disclose their taxes?

Also, Trump claims he doesn’t have to step away from his business by putting it in a blind trust.  If that’s so, then please change things so that future presidents have to.  If it’s not, then go ahead and impeach him - from what I read, Mike Pence was not a particularly good governor of Indiana, but at least he’d be a more stable President.