Thursday, December 20, 2007

Sarita at LJH

Yesterday I had to take Sarita to school in the morning so that I could get our tire fixed. When I went to pick her up from Lehi Junior High, where she is a long-term sub, I thought it might be nice to take a picture.

Flat Tire

On Tuesday after Sarita picked me up from the Trax station (the lightrail system for SLC) we decided to stop by Costco and pick up some things, like pizza for dinner. On the way home as we were pulling up to a stoplight very close to where we live, I heard a loud puncture sound. I could hear a clicking as I continued forward slowly. I thought it sounded like the tire, but was hoping it was something else. I waited at the light and then went through turning left and then pulled over almost immediately. It was on a pretty wide shoulder of the road but the snow right there had never melted, it just kind of turned into ice. I got out and checked to see if one of the tires had a flat. Sure enough it was the back left tire so I got back in the car and called AAA. For the past couple of months I had been getting reminders of renewing AAA membership but thought that I would just wait until we needed help and then renew. I should have just renewed them. So I had to pay for new accounts before they would send anyone out.

Once the paperwork was finally completed they said it would take about an hour for someone to get there. We have a small tire in the back so I thought maybe while we waited I could just move the car to a safer spot to change the tire myself. The fallacy there was that I thought I could move the car. Turns out that I parked right on the ice and the car wouldn't budge, so we were stuck waiting in the car. Luckily we had pizza with us. We were pretty close to home but Sarita stayed with me in the car instead of walking home.

Once the guy from AAA got there I figured since he was there I might as well just let him change the tire for us. He also checked the air pressure and everything (which was nice since I had to drive Sarita down to Lehi the next day so I could take the car in to Costco and get the tire fixed). I was worried that driving around too much on the smaller tire would create more problems, but everything turned out fine and I was able to get a new tire put on. It was quite the ordeal but I'm glad that it happened after work and not before, and that it was before our trip to California and not during.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

MLB Steroid Report - All-Roid squad

So the Mitchell Commission report came out today for Major League Baseball. I've skimmed through it to find the interesting parts and can't say that I'm surprised. All I can say is hallelujah Ken Griffey Jr. is not in the report anywhere. ESPN has put together a succinct list of the names reported and can be found here. In honor of the report coming out I thought it might be appropriate to name an All-Roid squad. Here's what I've come up with (I've chosen to pick them in light of there best seasons and not overall career performance):

1st - Mark McGwire
2nd - Chuck Knoblauch
SS - Miguel Tejada
3rd - Troy Glaus
RF - Barry Bonds
CF - Gary Matthews Jr.
LF - Dave Justice
C - Paul LoDuca
DH - Mo Vaughn
P - Roger Clemens
P - Kevin Brown
P - Eric Gagne

Let me just say that I think naming specific players was a bad idea. Everyone knows that half the league was juiced. There are other all-stars and former MVPs that have been implicated elsewhere but probably could not be substantiated for this report. I think they should have done the report in a much shorter time frame and focused on the problems and solutions, and then leveraged a trade off of amnesty for the players for more stringent guidelines going forward. Just look at the case of Roger Clemens. Nobody really has any hard evidence so far of what he's done so while it may seem clear that he was using performance enhancing drugs, what can they do more than point the finger? Especially since he's retired now.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

We've Been Tagged

I guess when you get "tagged" you are supposed to share 6 things about you that are interesting. Here they are (3 for each of us):

1) grew up without indoor plumbing for the first 5 years of her life
2) was the prom queen as well as valedictorian
3) lived in NY for a month while attending art camp

4) has never had stitches
5) got to play with monkeys, a sloth, an ocelot, parrots, iguanas, sea turtles, and a penguin while in Ecuador
6) has been hospitalized as a child for a migraine/mild stroke

Personally, I don't know how exciting either of us are so I've decided to spice up this post by adding 6 reasons Batman is better than Superman:

1) Superman can stop a bullet, but Batman is smart enough to get out of the way.
2) Batman has cool gadgets, every guy loves cool gadgets.
3) Superman is thick-headed enough to think that taking off his glasses will fool everyone, and the people of Metropolis are apparently foolish enough to fall for it.
4) Batman has martial arts training while Superman simply relies on his super strength.
5) Batman has the Batmobile, Bat-bike, Bat-plane, Bat-boat, etc. while Superman gets around with Chevro-legs (even if he's fast, that's just not that cool)
6) Batman owns an enormous company with a luxurious working environment and lives in a mansion (with a butler), and Superman hangs out in his dumpy apartment after getting home from working in a noisy cubicle

I could think of many other things to write about, but these were the first to come to mind. Feel free to leave comments on why Batman is better, or why you think Superman might be better.

Even if Superman is the man of steel, who would you be more intimidated by in a street fight? (Side note: in the new Batman you see Bruce Wayne spray painting his new body armor black. When did he put the Batman logo on the chest though? Also, doesn't Superman's cape look like it's held on by Velcro?)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Journal Publication

While I was a research assistant at Brigham Young University working with Dr. Richard "Coach" Butler I got some great experience learning how to conduct research and put together a journal article for submission. One of the last projects I worked on with him was some research on how the Internet has affected journal publications in political science and economics. It is a project that I think he had been working on for a while before I took it up again. I mainly worked on the economics side of things putting together the data and then running the statistical analysis. I then helped with a first draft of writing up everything, mainly taking from some notes Dr. Butler had put together previously. Also working on this project was Dr. Butler's son Daniel. I just found out today that our article will be published in PS: Political Science and Politics. Here is a link to Daniel's website at Yale, where he is new to the political science faculty:

The article should be easy enough to find and will download in Word. The title he has it listed as is "The Equalizing Effect of the Internet on Access to Research Expertise in Political Science and Economics." (This might not be the most current draft.)


This past Saturday we received the first real snow storm of the season at our house here in Murray, UT. It has "snowed" before but nothing really would stick. When I woke up Saturday morning Sarita was excited and got me to take a peak out of our second story bedroom window at our back yard. Everything was white. It kept snowing pretty hard all morning and into the afternoon. After that it stopped snowing for the most part, but we were left with powder on our lawn about 6 inches deep. Here are some pictures.