Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The U.S. Constitution

The Constitution was officially accepted and ratified September 17, 1787 by twelve states, Vermont being the only of the original 13 colonies not to ratify at this time.  That would be 230 years ago.  I have been pondering this document, and what it really means to me.  
It established our government in it current form, with prescribed checks and balances.  However the part that is most referred to are the Bill of Rights.  The first amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceable to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The second: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Third amendment: No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent to the Owner, nor in time of war but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
Fourth amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Sixth amendment:  In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial...
Seventh: Right of trial by jury
Eighth amendment no cruel or unusual punishments.
These are our basic rights.  Then it says those thing not enumerated here are reserved to the states or the individual.  
These are the right outlined in the constitution.  It is interesting to me that the Bill of Rights starts with freedom of religion--freedom to worship.  This is the first basic right, and must be respected.  People do not need to worship the same of us, but we need to respect the right of others to worship how they please.  Joseph Smith put this very succinctly:  "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may."  Being civil with each other is what the Bill of Rights is about, but also about putting a check on government.  Many specifically target this check, which comes from the people, from the states, and from the different branches of government.  
Joseph Smith once prophesied that the Constitution would hang by a thread.  This is not some future event.  This is a struggle today.  We must struggle to preserve our freedoms and our rights on an almost daily basis.  May we pray for our government, our leaders.  If they are lead by the constitution then we can stay on course.  However we as a people have a role as a balance for government.  We have to be involved and active to make the constitution work the way it is intended.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

My Poetry: Ode to Sheri

Ode to Sheri

I have felt the fire of you inner flame,
Burning me, as I snuggle close to you in bed.

And I have heard the rumbling of you inner core, 
The cavernous echoing of each snore.

I have touched the satin of your skin
It's texture a playground for my fingers.

My hand has brushed your sating hair,
Played with it, curled it, twirled in upon my fingers.

I have looked into your eyes,
And there, seen a spark of heaven.

I am yours.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Poetry I Like: Family

By Tim Tarrant
No matter how great the distance, we return, 

bearing the bruises of the paths we’ve chosen.

We come to join in laughter, 

in comfort, 

and in grief.

In this house spirits soar, souls dance, 
and magically we make up for the lost time.
We gather in a whirling celebration of life 
and like the rivers that run into the sea, 
we are once again whole.

We take comfort in knowing that through moments of great joy 
and times of sobering reality, 
we are surrounded by all that we will
 ever need … each other. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

The Modern Day Witch Hunt

Just finished reading "The Crucible."  Man that was a time when you were damned if you do and damned if you don't.  Your choice was to commit a sin, lie and say you were influenced by the Devil, or deny any such association and be hung because you were unrepentant.  As to whether or not you your under the influence of the Devil was not doubted.  Authorities had already made up their mind.
I say this same attitude in several movements today.  On is the media, which is determined Trump is bad, and he is damned no matter what he says.  They have gone so far as to manipulate lighting in pictures, make up stories, and dwell on things which make no sense.  If you talked to anyone form Russia, then you are guilty of collusion, done deal.
The other place I see this is with the Black Lives Matters group.  If you say all lives matter, then you  are racist.  things are just weird.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Soccer Coach

I first coached soccer for AYSO.  I coached the team from Hyrum, 11 and 12 year olds.  I did not grow up with soccer, so this was all learning for me.  I coached kids from the community.
However after I was a father, I coached my kids.  This was in the Cupertino, West San Jose league.  I would usually coach them until about 12, and then hand them over to others who had been coaching longer.  I figured they would have more to teach them.
Major League Soccer would send people to give trainings every year.  These trainings would include material to help with organizing practice.  They would give books with suggested games.  I also purchased a book, Soccer Practice games: 120 games for technique, Training and Tactics by Joe Loxbacher.  I found parts of this book very helpful.  Others too advanced for the age I was teaching.  Crab soccer was always a favorite, and taught both positioning and endurance and strength.  I also liked some of the throw-in games, ass well as the go games.  Some of the warm=up activities would include dribbling and then squash the ball, or side-to-side, or "I've got an injury."  This would help with stretching.
I must admit, I ways always offensive minded in soccer.  I had difficulty teaching defensive skills.  However over the years I got better at this.  I think I coached most of my kids, Mark and Jeremy and Caleb for sure.  Also Charity played for me one year, and Sheri coached Miranda one year.  My kids wee always some of the better on the team.  We played in the district tournament several years, meaning we took first or second.
I always enjoyed this.  When the kids were older, I converted to officiating.  I use to particularly enjoy lines, but I did officiate in the middle as well.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Poetry I Like: I Am a Child of God for the Parents of a Child that has Died

This was shared by Shawna Webb Tripp on Yahoo and I liked it so much I wanted to save it.  

I am a Child of God for the parents of child that has died
I am a child of God and He has called me home.
My earthly journey's through but still, I do not walk alone.
He leads me, guides me, walks beside me, helps me find the way,
He welcomed me with open arms. I live with Him today.
I am a child of God and I have gone ahead.
My earthly life was brief but oh, such peace and love you gave.
You loved me, held me, stood beside me and though I cannot stay.
You gave me much to help me and I live with Him today.
I am a child of God and I will wait for you.
Celestial glory shall be ours, if you can but endure.
I'll lead you, guide you, walk beside you.
Help you find the way.
I'll welcome you with open arms
One bright Celestial day.
~Donna Kulliard

Our first boy was stillborn.  We called him simply Billy Boy.  Often I think of him in this light.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

My BB Gun: Hid by my Parents

I really wanted a BB gun when  I was a kid, and finally I received one for Christmas.  This was a nice gun.  You could load a whole slew of BB's, or you could load pellets one at a time.  It was fun.  I used it with friends to shoot birds.  Not a very comely activity, but mostly I missed.  One time I actually hit a bird, and was so distressed that I didn't shot at birds after that.  I would also use the gun to shoot at army men.  One time, I was watching t.v. with my gun in hand, pretending to shoot at characters on the screen.  The gun actually went off, and hit the t.v. console.  Our t.v. had a large consul, so I didn't damage the working mechanism at all, but I left a BB dent in the wood.
Shortly after that my BB gun came up missing.  I couldn't find it anywhere.  I looked and looked with no luck.
However, several years later I did find it.  It was in the fruit room, above the heating ducts that were above your head.  It was close to the furnace so the duct was very large there and afforded a good hiding place.  I only had it a couple days though, when it disappeared again.  I never did find it again.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Veterans in my family

My Son, Mark, Marine, served in Iraq

My dad, Navy served during WWII in Brazil and Africa
Great-great-great grandfather Ashton who served in the Infantry of the Army defending U.S. interest at the time against Native Americans 1856-1861.  He marched to California, and walked the entire state North to South.  He was discharged from Benecia in 1861. (sorry no picture)

Aunt Verna who did a a couple tours of duty.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day Dedication to My Wife; "Star of Justice"

This song always reminds me of mother's day, and the importance Sheri has taken with bearing and raising our eight children.  I love her very much for that, but also for her support.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

10 Commandments of Human Relations

This is found in Legacy: Daughter of Utah Pioneers Newsletter, Winter 2008

1. Speak to people.  There is nothing so nice as a cheerful word of greeting.
2. Smile at people.  It takes 72 muscles to frown, and only 14 to smile.
3. Call people by name.  The sweetest music to anyone's ears is the sound of his or her own name.
4. Be friendly.  If you would have friends, you need to be one.
5. Be cordial.  Speak and act as if everything you do is a genuine pleasure.
6. Be genuinely interested.  People want to know that you care about what they have to say.
7. Be generous with praise.  Affirmation is uplifting to a person.  Be cautious with you criticisms.
8. Be considerate.  Feelings are hurt rather easily.  Be aware of that fact and don't be rude--even if you disagree.
9. Give service.  It's more fun to give than to receive.  You'll make somebody's day.
10. Add to these a sense of humor, a big dose of patience and a dash of humility, and you will be rewarded many fold.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

8 Natural Swimming Spots With The Clearest, Most Pristine Water In Nevada

4. Big Water Spring – Railroad Valley

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Haircuts Through the Years

When we lived on the farm in Othello, Me and my brothers would get our hair cut at a family friend.  the friend had a stepping stool you could sit on that brought you up much higher than a chair, and he would cut our hair.

Of course when we moved away from the farm, my Dad cut our hair.  For many years we always received crew cuts, hair shaved right off.  I remember some older kid on the bus liked to feel my head as he thought it felt good.  But it was not fun going through life with only on option for a hair cut, buzzed all the way off, not even leaving a little on top.
From their my father graduated to the "Miracle Barber."  You remember, "This message is not for barbers, this message is not for barbers."  This was a device into which you put a razor blade.  then the hair cutter could just slide the device across someone's hair, and it would cut the hair to the desired length.  It failed miserable.  There was no way to determining how long the hair would be at the end of the thing, and it always dragged, more pulling the hair out rather than cutting it off.
From there we graduated to the cheap barber in Smithfield, yes it was worth the drive (fifteen miles form Hyrum.)  Here we received a professional haircut, but for some reason the Smithfield barber didn't charge very much.
And then there was visits to Uncle Marvin.  If our visiting Grandmas coincided with a need for a haircut, Uncle Marvin would give them to us for free.  Again his cut was professional, and it always included a back massage.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Poetry I Like: A WIdow's Lullaby at Winter Quarters, 1846

A WIdow's Lullaby at Winter Quarters, 1846 by Edna S. Browne in Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Thomas X. Smith Camp 2005-2006

Sleep, my little one--
Sleep while Mother dreams
Of your comely smile
And your small hands cupping my heart;
Of my completeness, holding you;
The happy burden of your trust,
My pride in your unfolding;
The wonders wished for you
Since our first touch.

Even here--
Here in the wind-whipped place,
This savage wilderness,
You have been my courage
And my star.

Sleep, my little one--
Sleep in your narrowbed
Under your coverlet of prairie sod
And stones gently piled . . .
Sleep, while Mother dreams
And weeps--
Walking the long, lonely miles ahead.

The Mile Swim

I can't say that I was the fastest swimmer, but I could go for long distances.  I had several resting strokes down.  This included the side stroke and the elementary back stroke.  Of course if you wanted to get anyplace you had to do the crawl.
I completed my mile swim at the Sky View High School pool.  Our ward Scouts would rent the pool  and we would go up there to work on our scout swimming requirements.  It made for a long Young Men's as the pool was twenty minutes away from Hyrum.  After being in Scouts a while, I had passed all of the basic requirements.  So we moved on to harder things.  There was a handful of us passing off the mile swim.  We started as soon as we arrived.  We only had the pool for an hour.  I took it easy, using plenty of resting strokes and taking my time; But I was steady.  Bit by bit I swam.  The leaders encouraged me to go fast.  There was no way I would finish before the hour.  And in fact I didn't.  I was a few minutes over.  But I swam a mile.  I received a patch to put on my swim suit.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Hardward Ranch Elk Ride

I saved an article form the Great Outdoors section of the VIA AAA magazine a few years back about hardware ranch up Blacksmith Fork Canyon.  Too late this year, but the ride is great fun, and the herd seems to always increase in size.  You can go to the visitors center all year and see elk across the mountain meadow.  I remember as a scout going to the ranch and helping with conservation projects, or bringing in the cut hay or bailed grass.  We had some good times there.  One of our scouts' dad worked at the ranch so we got to go there a few times.  That would have been the Hyrum Fourth Ward at the time which included the ranch in its boundaries.  Check out their website.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Argentine Foot Bath

Argentina, especially in the capitol (Buenos Aires Federal District) the sidewalks are made of tile.  This really is very nice looking, and the are efficient, unless a tile comes loose.  Then you have problems, especially when it rains.  It does rain a lot in Buenos Aires.  The moisture gets under the tile, and then when you step on the tile it works as a little pump and squirts water on your feet and ankles.  You can protect yourself with an umbrellas, but there is no protection against the little foot bathes coming from below.
An example of a tile sidewalk

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Driving 100

Can't say I have been that fast often, but one time, in the Grand Prix I had purchased from my sister, I was challenged to see if I could do 100.  This is the first car I had ever owned.  It was while driving to Blackfoot for my field placement at the State Hospital there.  I traveled with Blair Gardner and Mary Ellen Spackman.  Blair challenged me, "Can this thing do a 100?"  So we got off the freeway after Pocatello, and found some back roads on which to try out the Grand Prix.  It hit 100.  However the springs were so loss it didn't do so safely.  The car was really bouncing.  Scared me enough that I slowed down as quickly as we hit 100.

That car, likely because of the springs, had a bad habit of hitting the differential case on the bottom, which would push the casing into the differential and it would make a terrible noise.  I had to get it fixed a few times, once in the garage and once a friend of Weldon's in Tintic.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Caleb's: Our Days of Color

Our many days of color By Caleb

The many different days I change colors.  Sometimes I'm happy and sometimes I'm sad.

When it is a pink day it reminds me of flamingos.

Sometimes I feel lonely on gray days.

Then comes a purple day.  I feel as sleepy as an owl.

I love my days of color.  I hope you do too.

I don't know what grade Caleb was when he wrote this, but I really like it.  I don't know if it was an original poem.  But I am sure he did the pictures, and the use of color is great.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Poetry I Like: Silver Boxes

Silver Boxes

My words were harsh and hasty

And they came without a thought.

Then I saw the pain and anguish

That my bitter words had brought.

Bitter words that I had spoken

Made me think back through the past;

of how many times I'd uttered

Biting words whose pain would last.

Then I wondered of the people

I had hurt by what I'd said;

All the ones I had discouraged

WHen I didn't use my head.

Then I thought about my own lifd,

Of painful words I've heard;

And of the times I'd been discouraged

By a sharp and cruel word.

ANd now clearly I remember

All tne things I might have done;

But, by a word I was discouraged

ANd they never were begun.

Lord, help my words be silver boxes,

Neatly wrapped up with a bow;

That I give to all so freely,

As through each day I gladly go.

Silver boxes full of treasure,

Precious gifts from God above;

That all the people I encounter

Might have a box of GOd's own love.

Michael Bright 1989

Monday, January 30, 2017

Todd Neilsen: Childhood Friend

Todd was a good friend when we first moved to Hyrum.  I was in the second grade, and todd was a grade older.  Our home had a smaller plot of land, but his was the center of a farm.  He had a nice swing set, a great sand box, and a tremendous climbing tree, as well as an orchard where the cows also grazed.  Most of my time for a while was at Todd's playing in the dirt.  We made great communities with tunnels and bridges.  It was great fun.  It is still the basis of my sand play at the beech, the tunnels we made.  Todd was always careful to not make the grade too steep.  We also enjoyed climbing his big tree.  It was an oak out by the barn, and we climbed very high.  One time my younger brother followed us.  We were sliding down through the branches, what Todd called the back exit.  My brother followed, but was too light to bend the branches far enough for a safe landing.  He broke his arm.
The also had a nice swing set, with a really nice glider.  We use to slip off the back of the glider after we got it going good.  I must have slid to early one time, because I ended up underneath and it caught me in the head.  One of the times I cracked my skull open.
I us to play in their house at times as well.  This usually playing a game.  I remember we played Life frequently.
The Neilsen home was also the place for night games at times.  We would play kick-the-can or freeze tag or hide and seek.  I also remember collecting bugs and the flowers they had to the side of their house.
We lived kitty corner from the Neilsen's.  We lived there for my second through fourth grades, and then moved away for a couple years, and then moved back.  After moving back, we didn't play quite as much.  I mostly hung with the boys my age.  Todd's father, Reece, was the mayor for a time. At one point they divided the ward  down the street between our homes.   However I am sure the broken arm incident was after we moved back.  My mom thought I should have done better with Charlie in light of my being a Boy Scout.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Office Van Gogh Prints

This are the Van Gogh prints I now have in my office.  I need some more.  I love Van Gogh's work, it makes me see things from a different angle.  I especially want "starry night" and "the scream."  I do like the ones I have.  The angles in the bedroom scene are fascinating.  And the cafe does give a view of the sky.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Virginia Street Project Acknowledgement from Nikki Chrisman

Our boss at Virginia Street project was Nikki Chrisman.  We were part of a longitudinal study about whether or not intensive services to those with serious mental illness could improve the quality of life, while also saving money.  This study concluded that both of these could be achieved.  Money savings came from keeping patients out of intensive high-cost services.  There was a comparison between Community Companions (now part of Momentum) Down town Mental Health and Virginia Street Project.  Although Virginia Street Project was the most costly, it also saved the most money by diverting people from the hospital and keeping them out.  Nikki would contract cancer and pass away shortly after this.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Access Staff-to-staff Mementos

We had some good times at Mental Health Access, and we had some hard times.  Towards the end, our bosses transferred to us the manager from hell.  It was really true, we had a boss whose goal was to get rid of everyone.  It was shortly after this that Access closed and the Callcenter took over.  The mementos were attempts to deal with some of the stress caused by this boss.  SO if you have the boss from "hell" talk to me; I've been there.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Rose Bowl

In my life I have been to the Rose Bowl Parade three times, and the Rose Bowl twice.  The first was with my family, and was in conjunction with a trip to Disneyland.  This was during my first grade, and my dad took us to California while we were moving away from the farm in Othello.  We eventually ended up in Idaho Falls living with my grandmother for the rest of the year.  Back to the Rose Bowl Parade.  We didn't not arrive early, and so had to scramble for a place we could see the floats and the parade.  The floats were nice, but the most impressive thing was seeing many actors, especially cowboys on horseback.  My older sisters, and I guess myself as well were really impressed with the cast of Bonanza as they rode past on their horses.  I mean, seeing Hoss Cartwright, and Ben and Adam and Little Joe.  That was really something.  
Not my picture, but my memory.  This is labeled 1961.  We were at the parade Jan. 1 1964.
Then as teenagers we returned to the parade two more times.  This time we traveled with the DeBolt family.  carol had moved into Hyrum and we befriended them.  Carol was a big fan of Ohio State, and in the 70s Ohio State played in the Rose Bowl several consecutive years; 1973-1976.  We traveled with them for the 1975 and 1976 rose Bowls.  
Carol was a great fan of Ohio State.  They played four seasons in a row at the Rose Bowl, and we boys went twice a road trips to Pasadena.  Weldon only went with us the second year, as he was on his mission the yer before.  We would arrive in town, early morning on Christmas Eve, and head strait for the beach for a good wading adventure.  We would then establish ourselves along the parade route.
We slept on the street to have a good spot for the parade.  We would camp at the corner of Orange grove Blvd and Colorado Blvd.  The parade turns here (more than a 90 degree turn) which gives you a view of both sides of the floats.  We would be some of the first to arrive, and we would claim our spots with our sleeping bags.  This would be a spot to sleep the night and then also a curbside spot for the parade.  This corner was very popular and the crowd would fill in.  Radio stations also liked this corner and would do the interview on the street.  The grandstands were just before the intersection, so we would get to hear the bands put on their best show.  It could get pretty cold sleeping out on December 31, even if we were in California.  Also there were not got rest room facilities.  the nearest was over a mile away in the Jack-in-the-Box.  Walking down the road we would see homeless people, and other people camped our for the night.  There were even barrels with fires in them for people to get warm.  We would sleep the best we could, but we were always up early so no one could claim our spot along the curb.  
One year hank Aaron was the Grand Marshall of the parade.  This was shortly after he broke the record for home runs.  We always enjoyed the floats, but those with animation and familiar characters were always the best.  
Carol Debolt always brought a big cooler with sandwich fixings for food, so we got by OK.  After the parade, we walked down the hill to the Rose Bowl for the football game.  It wasn't too bad of a walk, closer than that Jack-in-the-Box.  Both years Ohio State lost.  The first year they had won handily the year before against USC.  However this year the lost by one point to USC in a hard fought game.  the next year the lost by about five points to UCLA.  At the time the Rose Bowl pitted the Big 10 Champion against the PAC 10.  Weldon missed the first year, but was with us the second as he had returned from his mission.  
One year the Volkswagen van Carol drove had issues.  We were stopped in the desert for some time for repair.   It would take to long to get an ordered part, so they repaired the alternator with cardboard, and showed me how to do it.  I had to use the cardboard to get a correct gap so the spark plugs would fire.  It actually stopped again and I had to fix it in Las Vegas.  While in Las Vegas I saw somebody following somebody else.  I thought that was weird so followed the person following.  He told me he was an undercover policeman and I shouldn't be following him.   I got the car put back together and it got us home, and then died.