Monday, February 27, 2006

Saw this one too.

I happened to see the police and medical response to this one while I was preparing for class friday morning: BYU NewsNet - BYU Motorcyclist in Fair Condition. I couldn't see much of it because there was a tree blocking my view, but I did see a policeman get the white sheet out of the back of his cruiser. Glad this wasn't a fatality accident and hope that Ryan makes a full recovery! That makes 2 accidents I've seen in the past 2 weeks. Plus we got rear-ended friday night in Orem (just a fender bender but the other driver fled the scene and was caught later, what a hassle for us). Hopefully that will be it for a while.

Friday, February 24, 2006

So that explains it, and KSL got it right

I had wondered if the fatality in Rock Canyon was indeed in Rock Canyon because there was obviously something going on at the Y mountain trailhead Wednesday night. Turns out that there was a lost hiker at Y Mountain Wednesday night and fatality in Rock Canyon as well.

When climbing Y mountain it is important to take the second draw to the north after slide canyon and not the first. There used to be a tipped over Aspen tree at the correct turn off. If you take the first draw to the north then you end up in what the DesNews calls "a steep area of the mountain". Basically it is the cliffs above the Y.

And, when climbing the north side of Rock Canyon it is important to use ropes.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Rock Canyon or Slide Canyon?

We saw tons of lights from Emergency Response vehicles at the Y mountain trailhead last night as we scurried back to our car from the Marriot Center toward the end of the BYU game (had to get the babysitter home). I wonder if that is the same incident as this one reported in the desnews. If so, that would put the incident at Slide Canyon and/or the cliffs above the Y rather than Rock Canyon.

[A quick check of the Provo Daily Herald online gets no response from their server and a quick check BYU's Daily Universe won't be useful for another couple of days. They tend to be a little slow. A quick search of the Utah County Sheriff's office web pages revealed this cool story about an old rare tree by the County admin building but nothing about the incident]

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Orem Utah Medal Count Update

As of Tuesday the 22nd, the medal count for Orem is at 1 silver (S. Rohbock in Women's 2-person bobsled). That ties us with Great Britain, Bulgaria and Slovakia and just ahead of Latvia but well behind Park City.

Winning the World Leadership Award costs 3,000 pounds this year

As it clearly states on the entry form for 2006, if you get shortlisted then you have to pay a fee of 3,000 quid to cover the judges' expenses to come and pick between the three shortlisted cities. It also looks like the awards have a self-nomination process.

So two questions: first, did short-listed cities have to pay the fee last year when SLC won? second, if so, who paid it?

I don't want to mitigate Mayer Anderson's award too much, but I am skeptical of awards that (1) require a fee to win (2) use self-nomination. This sounds to me like the "join the Who's Who list" ads that one used to get coming out of High School. You pay a fee and get yourself listed in a book with other people who paid the fee. In this case, three cities pay the fee and one gets to be listed in the book.

Still, this is a non-trivial award in which the city of Salt Lake City (to use the IOC phrasing in honor of the Olympics this week) beat at least _2_ other cities to win, and maybe more cities applied, but the numbers aren't available.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

New Utah Stamp

Looks like Tom Till got himself a stamp: - Utah's Online Source for Local News & Information New Stamp Features Bryce Canyon. I wonder if professional landscape photographers look at getting a picture on a stamp as a good thing or an annoying thing? I thought about being a professional landscape photographer but then I discovered that I am good at it but not _that_ good at it and that I can make more money in less time doing other things. Someday when my kids are older I will get back into it. Right now, telling my 2 year olds to "wait here 3 hours in the cold while Daddy waits for the sun to get in the right spot" sort of spoils family outings. Besides, photographing my own cute children is plenty enjoyable as it is.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Solving the LDS obesity problem

You may recall Jamie Pierre skiis off cliffs as a way to witness his faith. I think a lot less Mormons would be obese if we bore testimony not only by waddling up to the microphone but also by skiing of cliffs and other extreme sports. Think about the cultural shift that would happen in parts of Utah if one's devotion were measured by how fast one could run the Wasatch 100.

Also, I think the author misses the point on why Mormons tend to be obese. The problem isn't comfort foods at funerals, the problem is that once a person gets done doing their calling, going home teaching and raising a family then there just isn't alot of time left to work out. And there certainly isn't a lot of time left to work on being an avid your-favorite-past-time-here. Besides, one can not reach the levels of obesity that one might see at the LDS ward house by simply eating funeral potatoes 3 times a year.

Fortunately for me, my calling associates me with 14 and 15 year old young men and keeping up with them keeps me in shape. Once I tried to race one of them up a hill at camp. He's on the Waterford Lacrosse and Basketball teams. I run half marathons. Even race? Not even close. Not only did I cause extreme pain in my wind pipe sucking wind but I also lost the race by a wide margin. He didn't even have the decency to act out of breath.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Snow Caving: does it work and how do you build one?

We took the varisity scouts snow caving last night as Apsen Grove. There were at least 3 other scout groups there as it got dark (and only two or three including us in the morning). (To my knowledge, no scouts were lost, injured, killed or mained in any of the groups this weekend. )

Building a snow cave is simple but time consuming. Before we went snow caving, we went up and piled our snow so that it could consolidate for a few days. Life happened and we had to delay a week. So we actually let it settle for 1.5 weeks. We made our snow pile in a tree well so that we could start the entrance well below the top of the mound. The trick to the entrance is to make it as small as possible (we could crawl through it) and make it slope up into the cave to trap warm air inside. After carving the entrance, start working on the chamber. We used a cheap plastic walmart type tobogan sled to muck out the snow. That was a good idea. We also used an electric light to light the cave during digging. Ideally, the cave will be dug while its still light out so that one can use the sunlight to guage the thickness of the walls. The walls and cieling should be thin enough that you can barely see sunlight shining though (too thin = cold, too thick = collapse risk). In the dark, we just used a flashlight to gauge thickness. You'll have to turn on the inside light to guage the thickness, but the way. We used an avalanche shovel to dig. That was perfect.

It's probably a good idea to bring a pair of clothes to wear while digging because you'll get sweaty and covered with snow during the process. Once the cave is done and you are inside, its just a matter of spreading out the sleeping stuff and calling it a night. We stayed above 25 at night even though it got down to 6 outside. I was surprised. It actually works and that was one of the best nights I've spent sleeping in the winter.

This trip was the second time that I've had my snot freeze as it dripped from my nose (my nose runs clear and slow at about 25 degrees). The scouts thought that my snotcicle was cool, as did I. The other time was XC skiing out to Doughnut falls back when that was allowed.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Best new Utah-related photoblog for 2006

This guy Adam Bateman is working on a photoblog that, well, it has pictures of icons that form part of the Utah identity. And there's a bunch of "art project" mumbo jumbo that I didn't understand. But I like the idea and think it is a fascinating new Utah blog. See: Utah/Mormon Identity. It is heavily biased toward the Utah-Mormon identity, but you can probably figure that our yourself.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Yet another brush with something in the news

I drove by this accident at 4:02 pm today. There were not yet any public safety people on the scene. There were quite a few people wandering around with very worried looks on their faces. I guess I know why. I did whip out the old cell phone and dialed 911 in an abundance of caution, but dialed the wrong number.

A now famous plane I've flown in

would be the Diamond DA-20 out at Salt Lake Airport #2. Turns out that some guy tried to steal it. This was also the first "glass cockpit" plane I've flown. If you fly it without looking out the windows, its just like a video game (except turning hard in the real plane is very different than turning hard in a video game). My Dad took my on a flight in the plane "in the name of research" to see if we could get some insight on avionics software verification problems by taking one for a spin. We didn't, but it was a fun flight.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

A theater outside of Utah that did not show Brokeback Mountain

Would be Kersotes Theaters in Terre Haute
  • . Oh the outrage, the horror and the intollerance! Makes you wonder why this didn't make CNN international? Will this hurt tourism in Terre Haute?