Saturday, May 27, 2006

May? is Bike Month: How to get hypotheromia

My sister came down from Boise so we hooked up with my brother-in-law for a ride up the South Fork party ride. Turns out that that cold front didn't miss Orem, it was just delayed.

I kept going up South Fork Canyon because I seriously underestimated how cold it would be coming down. My sister kept going up because "I knew it would be too cold to go down" Nice logic.

The weather up South Fork was perfect for hypothermia tonight: a little chilly, light wind and rain. Throw in three people wearing a lot of spandex without a lot of body fat, send them down the canyon at 25 mph and you've got a serious situation at 8:40 at night.

So we called my wife on the cell phone and hudled in the men's room til she got there to save us. It was cool (well, cold).

Hopefully Search and Rescue won't have any overdue hikers out there. It's miserable. I was not this cold when we took the Scouts snow caving last winter.

This is May?

Is CNN always this wrong?

Lou Dobbs' insinuation that the LDS church is recruiting Mexicans to relocate to Utah to fill the pews is just funny. How many CNN achors' assertions are similarly unfounded? (I am willing to admit that I have been duped by a vast LDS conspiracy on this one, but I haven't seen any facts to support Dobbs' claim yet).

If the LDS church realy is recruiting Mexicans to come to Utah, then I don't know why an they aren't doing a very good job. In my neighborhood, there are two LDS churches within 1/2 mile of my house and about 4 churches within 1 mile. They are all full every Sunday from 9am to 4pm (with 3 wards per building) and there are plans to build another 1 or 2 within 1 mile. Ironically, the smallest church congregation in my neighborhood is the Spanish speaking congregation. Of the 5 Latin American families I know of in my neighborhood, only 2 are LDS families that attend church. By contrast, 6 of 7 American families on my street are LDS and attend Church on Sunday.

[see | The winners and the losers]

Friday, May 26, 2006

Simply Unacceptable.

It is simply unacceptable that Utah County has slid down to 8th place in the nation in "Largest Families in US Counties" according to income tax report statistics at ksl today [ - Utah's Online Source for Local News & Information Utah Counties Have Largest Families in U.S.].

It's probably all those single BYU and UVSC students that brought our numbers down. It's nice to have two Universities in our county (UVSC will be one soon enought), but I guess there are tradeoffs.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Patagonia Clothing Company is Lame

My sister sent Patagonia a little email letting them know what she thought of their Patagonia Abassador climbing Delicate Arch. She says that this is what she got in reply and said I can post it (I sent my own missive to Patagonia, but they haven't replied yet. If Patagonia doesn't want me to post it, then I assume they'll get in touch with me.)

I would have given Patagonia some slack and just let this die, but this reply is amazing. Basically, Dean's climb was OK because it didn't break any NPS rules and, you know, its OK for climbers and the NPS to not agree on resource management. Sure no problem. But, Dean's actions also violate well-understood Moab climbing community rules that forbid climbing named arches. And that's not cool.

----- Original Message ----- From:
Sent: Wednesday, May 17, 2006 10:06 AM
Subject: RE: Comments from


Thank you for writing us with your concerns. Patagonia ambassador Dean
Potter's May 7 free solo of Delicate Arch has generated significant
controversy about the legality and appropriateness of the climb of what has
been described as a national icon. We will be interested to follow the
controversy and to listen to views of those on both sides.

A few facts are in order. First, no crime has been committed. The National
Park Service has conceded that its regulations were ambiguous and that they
will not cite Dean for the ascent. They have said they will seek to clarify
their regulations to prevent a second try. The Park and a number of opinion
leaders have argued that Delicate Arch is an icon that should not be

It is important to note that Dean did no harm to the route or to the rock.
He free-soloed the arch, placing no anchors and creating no impact beyond
blowing dust off the holds. As he says, "No one reveres rocks more than me.
I consider all rocks sacred, as do most climbers."

Dean, like all Patagonia ambassadors, undertakes his own climbs on his own
terms. He told us about the climb afterward.

We have taken positions in the past on a number of issues of climbing
ethics, including bolting. We take no position on this one. As Casey
Sheahan, our CEO, notes, "From the early days in the Tetons to the
rebelliousness of Yosemite's Camp 4, every generation of climbers has had
its run-ins with government regulations that attempt to restrict climber's
freedom of expression. At Patagonia we don't control the ways our sponsored
athletes conduct themselves except to encourage respect for the environment
and uncommon approaches to every challenge. Dean is at the pinnacle of free
solo climbing, makes decisions for himself, and has our complete support."

Again, we thank you for your time and your opinion.


-----Original Message-----
Sent: Tuesday, May 16, 2006 6:33 PM
Subject: Comments from

First Name: Dawn;
Last Name: Muhlestein;
Zip: 83716;
Comments: I am writing in regard to Dean Potter, one of Patagonia's
sponsored climbers. I recently read an article regarding Dean Potter's
recent ascent of Delicate Arch in Moab, Utah. I am disgusted that Mr.
Potter would even consider climbing Delicate Arch with or without climbing

I am a climber myself. I have a great deal of respect for Mr. Potter's
climbing accomplishments. Dean Potter's noteriety as a climber makes his
recent climb of Delicate Arch worse. Are there different rules for "famous"
climbers than the rules for the rest of us? Everyone knows that the arches
are not to be climbed. Climbers have to share resources with many other
recreational users, his recent actions shed a negative light on climbers in

Dean Potter claims that he did no damage to the Arch and that he did nothing
wrong. How many others will say, "Potter climbed it... I can too"?

I have always respected Patagonia's commitment to the environment, but Dean
Potter's recent actions do not reflect that same level of commitment.
Perhaps Patagonia should reconsider Dean Potter's sponsorship.

Dawn Muhlestein
Boise, ID;

Provo is complete again

Provo now has an Indian lunch buffet again. Bombay House quit doing lunch a few years ago (allegedly, the owner wanted more time at home). The new Indian place is on Center Street at about 100 W in Provo where Beuno Vita used to be. Yes, it's true, Beuno Vita is gone. The Indian buffet was very good, but the prices are a little steep. I hope they make it!

May is Bike Month: First close call

I had my first close call on the roadie today. Turns out that a car and I wanted to both get into a construction lane on BYU campus at the same time. That was a little awkward for me because I didn't know we were racing and I was in front doing 20 ish MPH and the car came speeding up behind me to cut me off in the construction lane and squeeze me into the cones (I hit the brakes rather than hitting the car or the cones).

The dumb thing about it was that we all arrived at the red light at the end of the block together. I was surprised that I was more angry than scared by the whole thing.

Friday, May 19, 2006

May is Bike Month: A quick 10 with the scouts.

We took the scouts up the Shoreline trail (at 1600 North 800 East in Orem) East to the Great Western Trail and then down into Canyon View park in Provo Canyon. No scouts were lost, killed, injured or maimed on the entire trip. Nobody got a yellowjacket in their jersey either!

My neighbor rode a stock WalMart Huffy on the whole thing and after watching him, I wished I rode my spiffy Trek Fuel 1/2 as well as he did his Huffy.

This ride brought me to 80 miles for the week. A 25 mile ride with the Scouts tommorow will take me over 100 for the week. Not a lot by some standards, but a good dose of riding for a guy like me.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

May is Bike Month: Roadie Nirvana

My brother-in-law hooked me up with a Specialized Allez Sport from George's Bicycles in Logan. We did 25 miles this morning. That worked out well except for when I got a yellowjacket stuck in my jersey. So I got the first scratch on my bike when I jumped off to get the yellowjacket out. He was biting me. It hurt.

I get a little twinge of grattiude when I ride by the former WordPerfect campus on my roadie in my spiffy WordPerfect team jersey because Alan Ashton funded most of the last two years of my undergraduate degree. His example not only helped me get through school but helped me see the value of philanthropy. We aren't sponsoring any 140% of tuition scholarships yet, but we do what we can with what we have.

Bring on the Tours (de France and of Utah)!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

The Real Drought is Over!

RSL wins a game, on the road! On Grass! RSL's next scheduled win should come 18 games from now when they meet the Galaxy again at Rice-Eccles.

Bring on the World Cup!

The Republican Utah State Convention

Parking was bad enough to make me wish I was a Democrat. I bet their parking situation wasn't as bad as ours ;) Plus, I could have worn jeans and a tshirt and fit in at the democratic convention. I wore "bussiness casual" because I hate being underdressed.

I thought the state convention was run pretty poorly compared to the Utah County Convention. We spent a lot of time while Cannon and Greene fumbled through explainations of the rules and what each motion meant. But, they had a tough tough job keeping that rowdy crowd, well, the rowdy elements of that crowd, under control. If they'd have arranged for the Payson High Pipe and Drum band it would have been a lot cooler.

I should have read Ethan's blog post about Mike Ridgway this morning before I left. Then I wouldn't have been as surprised to see Ridgway give his talk. Which, by the way, was a somewhat rambly pity-inspiring monologue.

It was fun, I'd do it again. Now I know whom I want to vote for in the primaries, even in the county races, without driving by my neighbor's house to see who's signs they have in their yard.

Phil's report from the convention, with pics!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Why we need two viable parties in Utah

Bob Bernick's analysis of the Utah primary system is an interesting read in the DesNews.

Bob points out that the conventions (for both parties) tend to pick more extreme candidates than the general public. Yup.

Imagine this: Imagine that the Republican party feels sufficiently threatened by the Democratic party that at our State Nominating Convention we actually think about "well, will this person run well against the Democrat?" Currently, the delegates and the candidates sort of realize that winning at the Convention is roughly the same as winning the general election. That's certainly true in utah county races.

The exception this year, at the state level, may just be the upcoming Hatch/Ashdown race. Pete's a non-whiney moderate Democrat who's strong where Hatch isn't. It will be interesting to see if Pete's strong positions on digital copyright and the regulation of technology force Hatch to change his position.

The other solution to extreme candidates emerging from conventions is for more people to actcually show up at their neighborhood caucus. Guess what: delegates are elected by their neighbors. If only extremists show up at the caucus, then they all elect eachother.

A Democratic Blog that might help Utah Democrats emerge from obscurity

Rob Miller over at The Utah Amicus has been blogging from the left for some time now. The thing about Rob's blog is that (a) He's not whiney (b) He's very reasonable and (c) He sticks to the issues and advances the Democratic philosophy.

As a moderate (by Utah standards) Repuplican activist, my advice to Utah Democrats is: find more people like Rob Miller and give them more power and visibility in your party.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

How I decided to vote for Cannon at the Convention

I got a fine letter from "Team America" supporting Merrill Cook in the upcoming convention. The letter went on and on about securing the border. I am happy to say that this letter is the final piece of data I needed to decide to vote for Cannon. We don't need a border that looks like East Germany in the 1990s.

I love being a delegate.

Boycott Patagonia Clothing.

So this climber down in Moab climbed delicate arch in Arches NP and he can't seem to fathom why that's not cool. He's sponsored by Patagonia. Patagonia appears to be all environmentally aware, they even have an "action alert!" page.

Let's take action by boycotting Patagonia until this guy is no longer sponsored by Patagonia. That's easy for me because I can't afford any of their stuff anyway. But if I was willing to pay too much money for a fleece jacket, I'd buy a The North Face one instead.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Just doing my civic duty

Paul Rolly got it right. This is indeed a good time to be a Republican Delegate to the State Convention in District 3. My only regret is that I got to one of John Jacob's breakfasts at Mimi's a little late and missed ordering the main course.

Why the Democratic Party in Utah will Remain in Obscurity (part 1)

Chuck Lambert's missive in today's DesNews gives the first reason why Utah Democrats are destined to obscurity. Memo to Chuck (and the rest of you): quit whining about Utah voters being Republican lemmings and figure out a way to make you party platform and candidates appeal to more Utah voters while remaining grounded in Democratic principles. You might also quit calling the majority of voters "lemmings." And someday you might see that Utah voters can be lemming-like Democrats too.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

If I do vote for Pete Ashdown, this will be why.

Pete says: "One of the motivations I had for getting politically involved was watching many in the Republican party, who purported to be against regressive regulation and excessive taxation, reverse course when it came to the Internet. " [Pete Ashdown%u2019s Campaign Journal � Net Neutrality]

Right now, I need to figure out which Republican to vote for in time for the State Convention next week. That shouldn't be too hard. None of the Republican candidates appear very viable.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Easy there Linda

Linda Hamilton's piece on the new Tour of Utah in the DesNews casually mentions SLC's "cyclist-mayor Rocky Anderson". Let's not get hasty.

I saw the "no fossil fuels (except electric trains, but that electricity could have been nuclear, so it's all good, except for the fuel rods situation in Skull Valley) trip to Turino" documentary on KUED. It included a clip of the good mayor gamely chugging up a pass in the alps on some road bike. It wasn't pretty and certainly didn't solidify the mayor's standing as a "cyclist mayor."

As I was watching the documentary, I did have two thoughts about Mayor Anderson. First off, kudos for getting on a roadie in the Alps with a camera rolling knowing that the ensuing footage would be less than flattering. Second, I was impressed with how well the Mayor interacted with young people. Not everyone has the knack for that and it appears that the Mayor does.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Reflections on the Utah County Republican Convention

First off, every high school in Utah needs a bagpipe and drum band. The Payson High Bagpipe and Drum band was simply amazing. It's comlpetely irrational, but I love live bagpipe music and it always makes me emotional. The first time I went to Edinburgh, I popped out of the train station and there was a guy busking with bagpipes for tourists. He was playing "Scotland the Brave", and I though "wow, what a stiring tribute to Joseph Smith--oh wait, that's Scotland the Brave" Plus we had some delicious fajita's at a mexican restaurant in Stirling so it was a good visit all round.

Second off, could the Utah County Republican Party please arrange for classrooms that are big enough for the House and Senate Caucases? I stood against the wall sort of sideways (to make room for other people standing) for all of both of my caucuses. Almost makes me want to be a Democrat. I would have to swallow some tough philosophy, but I am sure there'd be plenty of seating at the convention.

Third off, and this one is directed mostly at my fellow House caucus delegates, if Dr.Patti Harrington, the state superindendent of pubic instruction, walks into a room and has to stand for an hour and you are sitting in a seat, then you should get off your rear end and offer her a seat. There's no way you can make a public education official like Dr. Harrington stand in one of her own schools. I thought it was disrespectful.

Fourth off, many thanks to all the men and women in the armed services for allowing us to have a political convention without fear of violence or reprisal. I know how cheesy and trite that sounds, but I was at a funeral for a WWII veteran last week and the words "on behalf of a grateful nation" (which were said to his 75+ year old widow by an even older American Legionaire) and still stuck on my heart and brain. Thanks for being willing to put yourselves in harm's way on a moments notice on behalf of people you don't even know.