Monday, June 16, 2008

Who would have thought

As you can see by the pic, I have finally accepted the fact that I live in Utah and am a resident thereof. I registered my car and got a UT drivers license. This was a long time coming but I kept dragging my feet and didn't want to give up my Nevada license plate. But in the end with my Nevada drivers license expiring it seemed wise to become a resident of UT.

This isn't all bad though, now I can make questionable driving decisions and people will write it off to me being a UT driver. (ha ha) Also I can now purchase guns here. I love exercising my 2nd Amendment rights.

I am pretty sure, though, that I will be teased now by certain members of my family whom I used to tease about being from Utah (Natalie). All well, I'm ready.

On a different note, can anyone see where my chin starts in this picture? This desk job is really killing my good looks. I hate to admit this but I think I need to start exercising regularly. Although I've been pretty active my entire life, I have never really had to exercise to keep from getting fat. Sad day.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Real men

I've been thinking about a lot of things recently. To start out I would like to tell a story about one of the times I drove from Sparks to Provo. It was after Christmas break and I was driving back alone as I often did when I got pulled over by a highway patrolman just outside of Elko, NV. I was frustrated as we all are when we get pulled over and went through the normal routine of getting out my license and registration. The police officer said the usual things about if I knew how fast I was going and why I was in a hurry and where I was going. Then he said something else that really changed the way I saw him. He said something to the effect that it was getting colder, the roads where getting icy, and he didn't want to have to respond to my getting in an accident. As I was driving away with my ticket I found it hard to be upset with the cop because he spoke to me in a way that I really felt he was acting in a way for my best interest and not just because he was on some power trip or because he had to fill a quota by the end of the month.

Daron (one of my brothers) is about to graduate from the police academy in Reno, NV and I have been amazed at the methods his instructors are using to teach him and the other cadets. Well, not just the methods but how rigorous of a process it is for him to become a cop. This made me start to wonder why he is going through all of this (getting beat up, getting sprayed with MACE, etc.) just to get a job where almost everyone with whom he comes in contact will be mad at him, people will constantly call him names, he will have to interact consistently with the filth of society, and people will even try to kill him. I asked him to write down for me why exactly he is going to be a police officer, and here is (in part) what he wrote:

Couple things here, 1) I feel like it is a calling. It is something I have thought about for a long time. It feels right. It is what I was meant to do. When I think of what other job I would be doing or would need to do if I was not in the academy, I cannot think of anything. Nothing else appeals to me. (2) I love the idea of protecting people. Not necessarily being the "hero" but a protector. I know I will have to work on Sundays and there will be times I will not be able to attend church. But I am ok with that. Here is why. I know that my family will be safe to attend church because I am on the street catching crooks. (3) I want to catch crooks and put them behind bars. THere are people out there that need to be caught and put away for a long time. (4) I believe that being a police officer is more of an act of service than a career. It is a way of life. It is who I am and it is making me a better person. (5) I want to make a difference in the world. I don't want to be the average Joe Blow citizen who doesn't notice people in need: Or if they do notice they don't want to help. Well, I want to help. I notice things that need to be fixed or changed and I want to be a part of correcting wrongs. That is just a few of the reasons why, and honestly as I am in this job longer, more things come to me that reinforces my decision. Things just make sense to me. I want to be the guy that runs to gun fire. I want to be the first one in the school during a Columbine or V.T.

I try to be realistic and I must admit that I don't think all police officers have such noble intentions every day; they are not perfect and have made and will make mistakes. But I have to believe that the majority of police officers are doing what they do for more than just a paycheck every two weeks. I have decided to write about this is to get all of us to reconsider our views of police officers. I have to work on this just as much as the next guy. I struggle with the feelings of loathing for cops because they are looking for the bad in everyone, they plague me with worry whenever they drive behind me because I feel like they are just waiting for me to make a driving mistake. But I have been trying to have a paradigm shift, to see them on the same level as the Armed Forces. The military protects us from enemies abroad and police officers protect us from enemies at home. And if we just happen to get a speeding ticket or some other moving violation then I am trying to see that as a small price to pay for having the security of knowing there are people in every city and county in the USA who are willing to give their lives to protect us.

In conclusion, I invite all of us to be more appreciate of police officers; pay anonymously for their lunch, don't complain when you get a ticket (it will be hard I know, but it's not like we don't know the law), and simply treat them like the good guys that they are. I am glad that Daron will be a cop; it makes me happy to tell my friends that my older brother will be a policeman. And now finally when I get pulled over in Reno I may be able to talk my way out of getting a ticket. :-)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Defending the Family Name

I want you all to know that I was able to uphold the family name last night in the Elder's Quorum ping pong tournament. I didn't go undefeated but I won more than I lost. There were two guys who were decent at the game; we played a bunch between the three of us and I was above 500 on both of them. It had been awhile since I had played and I had forgotten how much fun the game is.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

On to the main event (finally)

I find it ironic that the party labeled as the most disorganized was able to wrap up their primary months before the other party. Barack Obama has finally clinched the Democratic presidential nomination; at the start of the primaries I was all for Obama (meaning all for him to lose in the general election) but after all the information on Obama's pastor, friends, and liberal voting record I have been feeling very disenfranchised from him. A couple things that bother me about him are that you can't criticize him at all because he'll say (or his people) that those are the old politics and we should be above that or that we should stick to "the issues" but I think that we, the American people, should have a right to know about the personal life and close acquaintances of the person who wants us to give him the most powerful position in the free world. Also, if his wife is going to take a major role in the campaign and be very outspoken about her husband being qualified to be the next president then what she says is fair game to review and scrutiny. Now if she had stayed out of the publics eye and then people attacked her then I would say that is uncalled for and inappropriate (to a certain extent) but she is taking a major role in the campaign.

On the flipside, I am tired of people saying that because Obama's middle name Hussein he is, therefore, actually a Muslim in hiding and should not be the President. I met a guy at a recruiting event for a company once and he was from Dubai, grew up a Muslim, and his first name was Hussein and I spoke with him about how people would question him as a person because of his name. I am sorry but I think that is the most ignorant thing someone could do, well maybe not the most ignorant but very stupid nonetheless. Following that logic, we should take financial advise from anyone with the name of Alan, Warren, and Donald; we should choose anyone named Lebron, Kobe, and Michael for our basketball team; and if someone's name is Ronaldo, Ronaldo, or Ronaldino then they must be really good at soccer. (Actually that last one may be true.)

Politics fascinate me but politicians often annoy me. The idea that people sit around and argue about what other people should be made to do and then get paid by those other people seems like a big scam. Don't get me wrong, I love this country and I do realize and accept that there must be laws for the general public safety and well-being; but laws discussed, proposed, argued, blocked, and passed by politicians that I believe fall into this category are maybe 1% of total actions of politicians.