Saturday, November 05, 2011

Daylight Savings Time

I'll run the risk tonight of becoming another of likely millions who are making comment, whether pro or con, on the changing of the clocks. It seems to me that with Standard Time being in the minority (what, a little over four months), why do we still refer to it as 'standard'. It seems to me that it is the exception now. I now began my two-week readjustment period, getting used to it being lighter earlier again, and getting darker earlier as well. I wish we would just abandon the whole thing. What I won't do is beat a dead horse by going on and on and on about it.

Tonight we had fun watching Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi back-to-back. I had forgotten how whiny Luke is in Empire. Still, it was a lot of fun revisiting a couple of my favourite films. I just wish I had not eaten so much popcorn.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Let It Snow!

While I won't believe it until I actually see it (that's how much I trust weather forecasts), tonight we are actually supposed to get snow in the valley. Personally, I am rather excited. I like snow. We moved away from Utah when I was a kind, so I guess I never really lost that childhood love of the cold, white stuff. I like the way it makes everything look so pristine, until it gets all dirty from cars and such. I like to walk barefoot in the snow. It feels good on my feet as long as I do not spend too much time in it. I like walking it late night snow storms. They seem to amplify the light and there is a kind of muffled silence as the snow gently falls to the ground. I like getting on a warm jacket and breathing the crisp, cold, clean air. I like the feeling of the natural world slumbering under a blanket of white. I like driving up the canyon and seeing the green pines frosted white with snow. I like icicles that grow from the roof as the snow melts. I also like that the winter gives me a renewed appreciation for the warmth of spring when it finally comes.

Most of all, I just like snow.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Just A Thought

Recently I had what I think is a pretty good idea. Here in Utah, we have quite a few very sunny days per year, especially during the summer. In Utah and Salt Lake counties, we also have more than a few malls and shopping centers. These places of commerce have huge asphalt parking lots that reflect an awful lot of heat during the summer. Wouldn't it be nice if they would fill those parking lots with raised solar panel arrays? The solar panels would generate electricity and having them placed over the parking lots would provide shade for the cars. It seems like a win-win to me. Like I said, it was just a thought.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Rant Ahead, Proceed With Caution

There are days when I really have to work hard to remind myself how grateful I should be to have a job. About a month ago, I started what I thought was a mostly new job. Many of the aspects of my job that I found less than appealing were going away and certain problems that I faced on an almost daily basis would be a thing of the past. I would be doing one thing, and only that.

The reality is that nothing has really changed. I still do the same things, only differently, and I do more work than before while being held to many of the same stats. I have never had a 'lateral move' (translated as 'no raise') that presented so much additional work. This new process was supposed to simplify things, but they have simply gotten more complicated and cumbersome. It feels as if they have passed on much of the job that those above us did, only we do not get paid anywhere near as much as they do. We are doing work they did for a lot less money than they get. In many ways, I feel rather used. If I had known that this was going to turn out this way, I would never have taken the job. Oh, that's right, I was not given a choice. None of us were. We were simply told we would be doing this, told it would be one way, and we have now learned that it is something completely different.

I wish I could be more detailed, but if I shared any more, I'm not certain what might happen, so I am trying to keep my complaints as generic as possible. I wouldn't want to get fired for expressing concerns here, but I simply have to express them somewhere so that I can get the frustration out. Besides, I am certain my wife is tired of hearing me complain =) I guess this is what happens when one is a front line employee for a big company. It does not feel much different from working for a small company where not being part of the main clique was career suicide.

I'll just end by saying that those of you out there who truly love what you do for a living are among the luckiest people on the face of the planet as far as I am concerned. One day I hope to join you, but for now I'll huddle with the unlucky and hope I can find a way to dislike my job less and be thankful for it more.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Starting Anew Again

After taking almost the entire month of October off, I decided it was time to start writing again. Besides, I have a few photos to share from my most recent journey down to Arches National Park. This time I actually managed to see new things as well as some old friends. You would think that after being there so many times, I would not take quite so many photos, but that was definitely not the case. I am always seeing things to photograph, like sunrise lighting up the red rock below.

Then there was Tunnel Arch. I have seen this one before, but never gotten a good photo. This time the light was good, so I was able to get a decent shot.

On this trip, basically as the result of a spur-of-the-moment decision, I hiked out to Tower Arch in the Klondike Bluffs area. It is a 3.4 mile round trip hike that the sign at the trail head says is moderately strenuous, with gently ups and downs. I beg to differ, especially when it comes to the climb up the sand hill. I almost turned back a couple of times, but it ended up being well worth it. With sights like the Marching Men (below) and Tower Arch itself, I would definitely do this hike again.

These are just four of over 500 shots. Of course, not all are worth showing, but I liked these four enough to share here. I hope everyone who sees them enjoys them as well. I think I will let them be enough for tonight.