Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What Took Us So Long?

Let me start by saying that I am not a huge Obama guy. I did not vote for him and quite frankly disagree with a lot of his policies. I have said since he was elected that I will support him as the leader of this great nation.What I have liked is the unity that I have witnessed in our country over the last few weeks. People are excited and have a new hope. There has been a buzz in the air.

"Today is a new day." "Pick yourself up today." "From now on, " were all quotes that I heard on Innaguration Day. Why today? Why not yesterday? Why did we have to wait until Bush left office to unite and work together? Did not John F. Kennedy instruct us "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country"? While President Bush struggled why did we not unite then?

So many spoke down and criticized our President. Some even cheered as an Iraqi man threw a shoe at him. We sat back as arm chair Presidents and pointed out nothing but flaws. It was the government that let us down. It was their and his fault that so many horrible things happened. It was his problem. We had nothing to do with it.

Now Obama says that it is OUR task and we all are ready to go? Was it not always OUR task? Could we not have served and helped our neighbor? Could we not have, ourselves, been fiscally responsible? I don't care if the law and mortgage brokers tell me that I can afford a really big house. I know my personal budget and try to live within it. We all have to do our part and always have.

Another thing that I have issue with is that I heard more than 100 times, "I never saw the day that a black man would be President". I see this as a pessimistic statement. It discounts me as an American. I did think that it would happen. I also think that we will have a woman president.

What I am trying to say is that this is OUR country. No matter who the commander in chief is, it is up to us to make America great. Through good times and bad.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Books that I read in 2008.

- Turn Around- Mitt Romney
A great book on leadership. It talked a lot about pulling off the 2002 Olympic games.
- Heroes of the Book of Mormon- Various General Authorities
This Book showed how various people from the Book of Mormon were heroes. And ways that we can follow.
- Into the Wild- John Krakauer
A great look into one man's journey to find himself.
- Bringing Down the House- Ben Mezerich
The movie "21" was LOOSELY based on this book. It highlights a group of MIT kids that figure out how to beat Vegas in black jack.
- The Richest Man In Babylon- George S. Clason
A classic personal finance book.
- Call of the Wild- Jack London
A classic that I had never read. So good.
- Financial Peace- Dave Ramsey
A personal finance book put in very simple terms.
- Hate Mail From Cheerleaders- Rick Reilly
A collection of a lot of articles written by Rick Reilly who wrote for ESPN for years.
- The 17 Essential Qualities Of A Team Player- John C. Maxwell
A very average book on team work.
- Ultra Marathon Man- Dean Karnazes
A crazy book on endurance running. Inspirational and funny.
- How to Win Friends and Influence People- Dale Carnegie
A must read on how not to be a jerk
- The Shack- WM. Paul Young
A christian fiction book. Interesting perspectives.
- Man Hunt- James Swanson
A VERY detailed account of the 12 day search for John Wilkes Booth. So so good.

And my 2008 Book of the Year goes to...

Man Hunt.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Merry Christmas

Peace, Joy, Love, Joy and Stuff.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Some Random Thoughts.

Last week Sarah and I went on a wonderful trip back East. We were able to see some wonderful American historical sights. I am inherently a very patriotic person. I loved seeing these wonderful and inspiring places.

We were able to view Ground Zero in NYC. This sight brought to memory, not the attacks of that day, but the unity that existed in our great nation. I remember that on the night of September 11th I could not sleep. I remember wanting to help so bad. In secret I wept that I was fortunate enough not to have to go through what those who were there experienced. There was a distinct feeling of love and sadness all rolled into one as we viewed the beginnings of that construction sight.

The next profound visit for me was Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Tourist destinations for sure.We spent a couple of hours at Ellis Island and researched some of those extraordinary people that made entry into this great nation. We found a log that looked something like a handwritten Excel spreadsheet. Some of the columns were; Country of origin, destination, money in possession etc. I noticed, and it had great effect on me, that the most anyone had in possession was $24 the average was $8. Think of these travel worn people coming from afar with very little to their name to "better their lives". The representation of the Statue of Liberty is profound. I was very impressed with the opportunity to see these wonderful places.

The Liberty Bell and Independence Hall in Philadelphia are must sees. I was very impressed with a video that was shown as we made our way to view the Liberty Bell. It showed clips of the bell and it's history. It also showed what the bell meant to people over the history of it's existence. It has brought courage to the discouraged and hope to those in despair. I t was inspiring to think of the boldness and audaciousness of our founding fathers. The Constitution and Declaration of Independence are simply inspired. It was profound to stand in that hall and think of the significance of the happenings there.

Washington D.C. is the hub of it all right now. The memorials brought pride in country. Those men who are memorialized have been heroes of mine since my youth. The most profound memorial to me was the new WWII memorial. My grandfather served in this war. I remember as a kid asking him if he ever killed anybody. His response was " I imagine I had a few bullets end up in somebody." The truth was that he was an Army Ranger that I believe had a lot to do with securing victory. I was taken back by how many names adorned the walls of those memorials. The price of freedom is great and I appreciate all of those who serve.

On the drive from D.C. to Jersey I met a soldier at a rest stop. I walked over to him and thanked him for his service. He took off his hat and shook my hand and thanked me for thanking him. I was grateful for this 19 or 20 year old kid who will one day put his butt on the line for me.

I am concerned about this wonderful country that I love so much. I was on the front line of the economic woes as I worked for a major player in the sub prime mortgage industry. I sat in meetings with the CEO of Argent Mortgage as he predicted all of what is happening now. It has and will continue to spiral unless major changes are made.

I am concerned with the political trash that has become our government. Nothing can be done bi-partisan. It always has to be someones fault. I hope and pray that much sooner than later we can find the middle ground and start doing what is best for the country not what is best to further a politicians career.

I am upset that it is difficult for Americans to get along and take care of our own, when there are those across the world that seek to destroy what we have.

The main idea of this post was for me to put some feelings down that I hope to not soon forget. I know that it is a little over the top and cheesy but something I felt like putting down.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

NYC Trip Part One.

We had a lot of fun on the East coast. We went and stayed with Suzy and her fam in New Jersey. NJ was base camp and we made trips to NYC, Philly and DC. We made several stops along the way. It was way fun. Thanks Suzy and fam for a great time. Happy 10th Sal, you are the best.

Sarah with the $22 sandwich. Gotta love the NY deli's

Me and my lover after "Xanadu" . A must see Broadway comedy.

Hanging in Philly the "Rocky" statue is a must.

On the way to DC stopped at CAMDEN YARDS to take some pictures and get some souvenirs for Camden.

More pics to come.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Nice Little Labor Day Near Manti

Our great friends, the Tate's, invited us to their family cabin near Manti for the long weekend. The cabin is nestled into a canyon with a view that consists of Gunnison Reservoir in the foreground and the Manti Temple in the background. The view was breathtaking. It was so much fun. It was one of those "don't wanna come home" trips. We ate a lot, rode 4 wheelers, played games and totally relaxed. The Tate family is so much fun to hang out and really do a good job of making me feel like part of the family. One the way home we stopped by the Manti Temple. I had never seen it before. It was so cool looking!

Here is the cabin guarded by "Quique". She is one of the coolest animals I have ever met.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Sweet Backyard.

Last weekend I went with Brian and Michael as they attempted to harvest a mule deer with archery tackle. We were within 20 minutes of my house in a very special/secret hunting spot. It is amazing that we have such amazing resources right in our backyard. I saw deer and watched about 20 Rocky Mountain goats play in the steep rocks above. Every now and then they would spill a rock of the high cliffs, creating a thunderous avalanche. It was an amazing sight to behold. It did not help me get any sleep. Neither did the fact that Brian and I were sharing a two man tent. Nevertheless it was a blast.

Here are some of the goats as they traversed a ledge.