Thursday, December 8, 2016

Why I am no longer going to drive for, or ride with Uber

A couple weeks ago I thought it would be cool to try ridesharing while I'm out and about running errands.  I was able to be a driver for three people over that time and earned a total of about $25 including tips. It was kinda fun providing this service and getting paid for it.

I was emailed about possibly attending a conference with Uber while they were in SLC.  But for me, being an Uber driver was initially done out of a curiosity rather than a real need for extra cash.

I just received an email this morning regarding the official rules of conduct of being an Uber Driver/Rider.  Here's the standards: https://www.uber.com/legal/community-guidelines/us-en/

I totally agreed with everything until I got to the section:
Firearms Ban
Uber prohibits riders and drivers from carrying firearms in a vehicle while using our app. You can learn more about our firearms prohibition policy here. [1] If you violate Uber’s firearms prohibition policy, you may lose access to Uber.
For me, having a stranger in my car required me to be prepared should my safety be in jeopardy and I need to defend myself.  I simply refuse to trust anyone to enter my car to be compliant with the Uber standards.  If they get in my car and attempt a carjacking, I want to be prepared to defend that action.

It's not as if I would openly carry it or have it visible at all.  For those three rides, I had my firearm easily accessible but completely out of sight.  In the United States, we are finding more and more of an attitude that by simply banning firearms, that bad-guys will respect those rules.  That is a false and dangerous ideology.  Banning firearms on private property, fine.  But what I have in my car, that is completely legal in my state, is NOT for Uber to decide.

So goodbye Uber, I am done with you.  You need to rethink the rights of your riders and drivers to carry firearms in a concealed manner by permitted users.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

My personal presidential voting history

Someday when I'm old and in a wheelchair I may look back on my life and my role in the history books and the events of the times, so I'm adding it here with a few thoughts:

I turned 18 on May 26, 1990, so that made me eligible for voting for the following presidential elections:


YearCandidate I voted forWho won
1992I was on my mission
but would have
voted for George H. Bush
Bill Clinton
1996Bob DoleBill Clinton
2000George W. BushGeorge W. Bush
2004John KerryGeorge W. Bush
2008Barack ObamaBarack Obama
2012Gary JohnsonBarack Obama
2016Evan McMullinDonald Trump

Some of my reasoning:

2016
Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton - Donald Trump was running his campaign with a lot of racial and extremist comments, and Hillary was under investigation by the FBI for her handling of classified email being sent/received on a private server. Not to mention her handling of Benghazi.

Then Donald Trump a month before the election had a video leaked of him saying some very disturbing statements bragging about his sexual abusing women. Definitely had to stay with my independent vote.

Gary Johnson came across as a moron, so I went with Evan McMullin which actually did very well in Davis County. He actually came in second place behind Donald Trump in Davis County, UT. With Hillary taking third place. But ultimately Donald Trump won Utah, and Hillary took second for Utah.

I was unable to convince Cathi to join me in my vote.  My second oldest son Jacob had influenced her to pinch her nose and vote trump which she did.

2012
At this point I realized that the two party system is greatly flawed as I noticed that our government was resembling two big kids in a playground chest bumping for power rather than protecting the little kids (their constituents). So I realized that my independent vote would mean little, but at this point, I was voting on principle. Despite the fact that I really liked Mitt Romney much better than Gary Johnson.  Didn't know squat about Gary Johnson (which I realize was bad that I voted for him), but I was so angry at the two party system that I didn't care.

2008
I actually voted for (and contributed $25) to Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries. Still angry with President Bush re: Iraq, at this point in time I associated with the Democratic party.

2004
I was extremely upset with George Bush over the Iraq invasion. The "Weapons of Mass Destruction" was not the case, and I was very angry about him going to war over something that was completely false.

1996
Bill Clinton with his Monica Lewinski scandal, made him the worst possible president in my eyes. Video of his denial, and eventual admission. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

It's Salty!

(Taken from a letter I wrote to Austin on his mission)

Last Friday I took the day off work to attend Jacob's CHS Graduation.  He sure has done well in school his senior year.  The last two semesters he got straight A's.  Pretty awesome.  Not bad for a kid who did his fair share of sluffing, and sleeping in a few times missing his first period.  

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This last Saturday was the Great Salt Lake Race that I help Josh Green manage.  We had 15 one mile swimmers, and 13 10K swimmers.  I was able to talk Isaac into swimming the one-mile the night before the race.  At first, he was reluctant, but I used a little bit of reverse psychology on him.  I mentioned that it sure would be cool if he could swim it.  He instantly said no way.  And then Mom perked up, "C'mon Isaac you could do it!".  I paused and said, "Maybe he's right Mom.  I mean he's never swam in the Great Salt Lake and a mile sure is a long way."  After a few seconds, he said, "I could do it.  OK.  Sure.  Yeah, I'll swim it."  Pure awesome.

It was funny after he and the other swimmers did their 100 yard jog in the ankle deep water at the start to get to a swimmable depth, I heard Isaac yell out at the top of his lungs, "It's Salty!"  Haha.  You think?

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Can you find Isaac in this group picture?

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Cathi helped me paddle for a 10K swimmer.  That race consisted of three big loops that started and ended at the marina.  I paddled the first loop (which took about 1.5 hours).  I also had Sam and Oliver on the kayak with me.  It was tough.  Then Cathi took the second loop, while I took pictures of the one-mile swimmers.  Then relieved Cathi for the final loop.  Everyone was dead tired, including the race volunteers.  Cathi, Oliver, and Sam were zonked out on the way home in the van.  Isaac, however, was on a "swimmers high", as he sat in the back thinking about the race and every once in a while talk about what he was thinking/feeling during the race.  I'm so proud of him.  

As soon as we got home, Cathi took Jacob and 5 of his friends up to the cabin for the weekend. Grandma and Grandpa also being up there.  Mom spent like 5 hours preparing food on Friday night for this.  Jacob was gone and had no idea how much effort she put into making his "Senior trip" a success.  He's getting pretty serious with this girl from Spain, Natalia.  

Last Sunday Sam bore his testimony.  He did so right after one of Slagle girls did.  He always does it right after her.  So I knew he's got a little thing for her.  But he said something in his testimony that demonstrated his lack of understanding of Heavenly Father and Jesus.  So we had a family home evening lesson helping the kids understand the difference between them, and the common misunderstanding that people have on what role they have, and the names they go by.  With their purpose all being the same it is understandable how they can be intermingled.

Yesterday, Mom received an email about someone in the family that renounced their faith in the gospel and left the church.  While I'm not bringing this up to judge, it made me think. Sometimes I wonder about Cathi's spirit.  This might be considered blasphemous probably by Catholics, but I think she may be made of the similar spiritual strength as Mary.  Almost every day I catch her sitting on the toilet reading her scriptures out of her very worn quad, with printed programs, and pamphlets intermingled in the pages.  Or finding her kneeling beside the bed in prayer for seriously 10-15 minutes.  What the heck!  And she is constantly building people up around her and saying kind things.  I totally married up.  I joke every once in a while, that I totally have a free pass to heaven as long as I hold her hand nice and tight.  What an angel.  I'm so glad she's so strong in the church because there are a few things I've determined in my life that I will never even consider:

1) Divorce
2) Going inactive

They are both actually interdependent.  If my faith in the gospel diminished, then so would my belief in our eternal marriage.  If I turned my back on my marriage, then my dedication to the gospel would obviously go to pot.  Both go hand in hand.  I love my wife with all my heart, and I love this gospel with every (pardon the cheesy cliche) "fiber of my being".  haha.  Seriously, though.  Not a chance I'll turn my back on either my wife or the church.  

Please do me a favor and listen (or read) this conference talk:  https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2015/10/faith-is-not-by-chance-but-by-choice?lang=eng

Some thoughts to consider:

  1. When we are obedient we strengthen our faith.  When we justify disobedience we plant a little thorny black stinky seed, compared to the tiny mustard seed of faith.  This thorny black stinky seed grows to be a nasty old weed that bears all sorts of gross fruit:  Cynicism, Justification, Pride, Gluttony, Lasciviousness, Worldliness, and Idolatry.  
  2. I love the statement he makes, "Your faith is either growing stronger or becoming weaker."

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Kroger - selling drugs and then leaving the addicts high and dry


Update:  I've found that this is supplied at a few Smith's stores, but not all.  So I'm buying them out whenever I visit and stockpiling this.  I know, I'm nuts.

So I've been buying literally dozens of boxes of this energy drink over the past year.  I've tried several different flavors and brands, and after finding one that is just perfect.  I used to clean out various stores of their inventory as I'd stockpile this flavor.  I especially like this drink because it keeps me awake in the morning.  Getting up at 3-4am to swim and then go to work requires a pick me up, and being Mormon, I can't exactly start drinking coffee, except I might as well with the amount of caffeine this stuff packed.

I've gone to 6 different Smiths stores in the valley, and none of them have it.  I called and talked to a Smith's buyer and it's confirmed.  They are officially discontinuing this product. This is probably the last unopened box in the state.

I've tried to find an alternative similar to it, and can't find anything. Typically Kroger brand is some knock off of another more expensive brand.  Not so in this case.

Don't know whether to save this for the day when predatory aliens arrive, or to save it and sell it on Ebay for hundreds a year from now, or what.

I want to cry....

UPC: 01111084567