July 2006 Edition
today is

Useless Facts of the Day. Click Here to check it out. Brought to you by Barry Bolduc.


Dad, Danny, Alex, Marijke and I went up to the land last weekend. We didn't tell Dad that we were going up there to paint and put up the trim on the cabin, but he happily helped anyway. While we were up there a short thunderstorm rolled through, we saw lightning strike the hill below and to the east of us, and saw smoke coming from where it struck. Of course we had to go investigate, we even brought water and shovels so we could play firefighter. We figured we could put out anything that was small enough to burn itself out. But by the time we found it, the local volunteer fire department was already there and they pretty much had it under control. (Click here to see the pictures) Despite the rain and firefighting detour, we got the cabin painted and the trim up. What with that and the floor done now, it's beginning to look like a real building. And during the rain storm we realized just how much we're going to appreciate having it there, especially during the winter months....
Top 10 Women Drivers........click here.


Time once again to review the winners of the Annual "Stella Awards."

The Stella Awards are named after 81 year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued McDonald's (in NM). That case inspired the Stella Awards for the most frivolous, ridiculous, successful lawsuits in the United States.

Here are this year's winners:

  • 5th Place (tie): Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas, was awarded $80,000. by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store. The owners of the store were understandably surprised at the verdict, considering the misbehaving little toddler was Ms. Robertson's son.
  • 5th Place (tie): 19-year-old Carl Truman of Los Angeles won $74,000. and medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Mr. Truman apparently didn't notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbor's hubcaps.
  • 5th Place (tie): Terrence Dickson of Bristol, Pennsylvania, was leaving a house he had just finished robbing by way of the garage. He was not able to get the garage door to go up since the automatic door opener was malfunctioning. He couldn't re-enter the house because the door connecting the house and garage locked when he pulled it shut. The family was on vacation, and Mr. Dickson found himself locked in the garage for eight days. He subsisted on a case of Pepsi he found, and a large bag of dry dog food. He sued the homeowner's insurance claiming the situation caused him undue mental anguish. The jury agreed to the tune of $500,000. In my opinion this is so outrageous that it should have been 2nd Place!
  • 4th Place: Jerry Williams of Little Rock, Arkansas, was awarded $14,500 and medical expenses after being bitten on the buttocks by his next door neighbor's beagle. The beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced yard. The award was less than sought because the jury felt the dog might have been just a little provoked at the time by Mr. Williams who had climbed over the fence into the yard and was shooting it repeatedly with a pellet gun.
  • 3rd Place: A Philadelphia restaurant was ordered to pay Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, $113,500 after she slipped on a soft drink and broke her coccyx (tailbone). The beverage was on the floor because Ms Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument.
  • 2nd Place: Kara Walton of Claymont, Delaware, successfully sued the owner of a night club in a neighboring city when she fell from the bathroom window to the floor and knocked out her two front teeth. This occurred while Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the window in the ladies room to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge. She was awarded $12,000. and dental expenses.
  • 1st Place: This year's runaway winner was Mrs. Merv Grazinski of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Mrs. Grazinski purchased a brand new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On her first trip home, (from an OU football game), having driven onto the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the drivers seat to go into the back & make herself a sandwich. Not surprisingly, the RV left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Mrs .Grazinski sued Winnebago for not advising her in the owner's manual that she couldn't actually do this. The jury awarded her $1,750,000. plus a new motor home. The company actually changed their manuals on the basis of this suit, just in case there were any other complete morons around
Ahhh, cool air again. For those of you who didn't know - my roof is quite steep and climbing up on it to work on the swamp cooler was not a whole lot of fun. Matter of fact, I wouldn't get up there unless I had someone down on the ground to dial 9-1-1 just in case I slipped and fell the 10 feet to the concrete below. So, I decided to build a cover for the patio right below the cooler, which doubles as a upper deck for working on the cooler. (Actually it's a deck that doubles as a cover for the patio). Anyway, while I was working on it I realized that the cooler wasn't cooling like it used to, so today when I finished the deck I got up there and checked on the cooler. First of all the water valve letting the water in was so rusted out that it wasn't keeping enough water in the bottom, so I had to drill a new hole and put in a new valve. And since the water level was so low, the pump had pumped a bunch of crap up into the hose, blocking off the water pipes and burning out the old pump. So I cleaned out the pipes and put in a new pump and now the house is cool as ever. Total cost $20 (or so). But the best thing was that it was nice to be able to get up on the roof and not be petrified of falling off and being stuck there with no one to call for emergency help. And it'll be a nice place to sit and watch the fireworks at Sugarhouse Park next year.

More dumb ass things people do while driving (from Lisa, the friend, not the sister).

Okay, I know how much you love it when people talk on the phone while driving -- and I agree. And I've seen plenty of other stuff go on by idiots behind the wheel: putting on mascara while blending lanes at 70 mph in the spaghetti bowl, reading a novel on the freeway, hair combing (both genders, and the person reading the novel was male, by the way). But today I saw a great one: I was waiting in the middle lane to turn left onto 13th East from the freeway exit and a blonde bimbo pulled up next to me in a toyota (aren't you impressed that I noticed the make of the car? [actually, I am impressed]). She was flossing. No joke. She had a string of floss wrapped around both index fingers and was checking in the mirror. Now, she PULLED UP next to me flossing, mind you. That means, that while this is an odd activity for what to do at a red light, this is a BLOODY IDIOTIC thing to do while driving eastbound on I-80. egad. just thought I'd share.


People say the funniest things. The power went out at the Chevron last night, lasted about 2 hours. I was surprised how many people expected us to know exactly how far the power outage was and where the nearest working gas station was. I'd tell them where the nearest stations were, but that I didn't know if they had power or not and they'd get all huffy. One lady decided to wait out the power outage and then expected us to give her a discount on the gas for waiting. Like it was our fault the power was out. Another woman responded to being told the power was out with, in her best 1980's bimbo blonde imitation, "shut up!", and again when I told her that UP&L (now doing business as Rocky Mountain Power) said 26,000 people were without power in SLC. But the best was the guy who told me to just go in and override it and he'd pay cash. It took me 10 minutes to convince him that short of dragging out the Professor's bamboo & coconut shell power bike, I wasn't going to be able to get the gas pumping no matter how he was going to pay for it.


Got back from a middle school convention in Boulder, Colorado yesterday. Had a great time. Just in case you're wondering why I was at a middle school conference when I'm going to be teaching at the high school next year; I'd already been booked before I was even invited to go to the high school, and I was also going to be presenting with Bill Berneau (Math) and John Anderson (Science). That was cool, and I wasn't quite as nervous as I had expected to be. The principal of Granite Park sat in on our presentation and told us that it went very well. Cool, I'm now officially a middle school presenter. Anyway, since they said "here's a check, find your own way to Colorado", Berneau and I decided to rent a car and drive out there. We rented a Pontiac Grand Prix, and it would have cost a lot less than flying if I hadn't gotten a ticket in Laramie, Wyoming. We had just stopped at the Gunslinger 66 to fill up, and were on our way out of town down 287, to Ft. Collins. I thought we were out of town and on the highway, so I hit the gas. What I wasn't aware of was that I was just at the end of a 30 MPH zone, or that I hit 57 while still in the 45 MPH zone, or that there was a Police truck right next to me watching the whole thing. He said he saw me all of a sudden dart out of there and thought to himself "What the hell is he doing?" I'm just glad I ddidn't get shot. We made it the rest of the way to the conference without getting a ticket, although we got a little bit lost looking for I-25 in Ft. Collins. The next morning we met downstairs for the breakfast buffet set up for the conference (usually just muffins, doughnuts, bagels and coffee or juice) and finally hit on a buffet with lox, bagles, coffee and fresh fruit salad. As we're piling up our plates, dressed in T-shirts and shorts, a group of guys in suits show up and ask us "Are you with the Waters Group?" Duh, no, do we look like we're dressed for a business conference? Well, seems that all that good food was for the businessmen, so we offered to put it back but I don't think they wanted it after we had touched it, so basically we stole ourselves a really good breakfast. The rest of the conference went well, I sat in on a couple good sessions on drug use and internet safety (talked a lot about MySpace.com and others like it), our presentation went well. Saturday evening we went down to Pearl Street, which is a street turned into an outdoor walking mall with all the kinds of shops you'd expect in a tourist & college town. I saw a 6'2" tall guy stuff himself into what looked like a 3'x3' clear plastic box (a lot of street performers there) and a bunch of college age guys playing some sort of Dungeon & Dragons game. They were walking around the area with walkie-talkies, one guy dressed in what looked like a black pirates outfit. They met up on a lawn, had a 2 minute sword fight took off and then met up with another group of sword fighters on the lawn and had another 2 minute fight. Interesting to watch. And that was about it, we made it all the way home without another ticket, which was good.
People can be jerks. I was at Home Depot looking for some stuff for my swamp cooler and somebody stole my cart. I was also getting some wood for the deck, so I had one of the big ones. So I take my stuff, go get another cart and then go looking for some other stuff I needed. While I was in the tool department, some other butt head took my stuff off the cart, put it on a counter and stole my cart. Twice in one day. I was pissed. So I go get another cart (#3) and this time I kept it in sight at all times, just hoping someone else would try to steal it and I could go postal on them. But alas, I was just too busy getting stuff to let it get too far away, so nobody even eyed it suspiciously and I made it through the rest of my shopping without getting to go postal. And I got a ton of work done on the deck.


Happy Birthday Madison!!


So I know the back end of my house isn't as old as the main part, it was added on at some point. I have no idea when it was added on, but it was before they invented the concept of evenly spaced 2x4's in the walls. Well, sorta. The 2x4's on the bedroom side are nice and evenly spaced, but coming from the other side they are all skewompus. I'm up in the attic measuring how far apart they are because it's a good idea to screw the balcony into the boards, rather than just the stucco, lathe and plaster. I started measuring from the door, and wasn't too surprised that the first set were only 12.5 inches apart, on accounta the door being there. Then when I measured the second set, and they were exactly 16" apart I thought "hey, maybe this add on isn't as old as I expected it was." Um, no, seems 16" was just an accident. The next sets were 23.5", 22", 21" and 25" in that order. Then for some reason the rest of them were exactly 24" apart, about 4 sets all the way to the corner. Go figgah. At least I now know where they are.


Ahhh, the social graces have hit an all-time high here in America. Not only do we have cell phone users who are so into their conversations about the color of their new drapes, who they slept with last night or how many beers they drank, that they see no need for any sort of common courtesy, but now I've met belcher-man. Mr. Manners comes up to the register at Chevron, is looking over at something to the side of it, so I say "How's it goin'?" Without even turning towards me (thankfully) he lets out a little burp and puts his stuff down on the counter. No 'excuse me', no 'hi', nothing. So I ring it up, tell him the total, he tosses his money down on the counter, I give him his change and he leaves. Not a single word, only sound he made was the burp. What a guy. What a gentleman. What a moron.


My family is crazy, but I love them all dearly. Danny decided that since I was moving from Jr. High to High School, that I deserved a graduation party. A surprise graduation party. So he talks to Alex, Alex decides to have a family bbq at his house last night, and "forgets" to tell me that I'm the guest of honor. Now, that may not seem so crazy, but the lengths to which they went to pull it all together were beyond average. First of all Danny looks up Pam (sometimes referred to herein as Adele) in Henderson, NV to call her to see if she just may be up here for the party, and leaves a message for her on her answering machine because she wasn't there (mainly because she was already here in SLC.) Then, due to a long, convoluted set of circumstances we lost 3 employees at Chevron and I ended up scheduled to work last night. So I call Alex to tell him that I'm working until about 9, but if they're still going to be up I wanted to drop by and he calls Danny to tell him that it's postponed until 8:30-9:00. Not good enough for Danny. He calls up Chevron and talks to Amy, the assistant manager (who if he had ever met it was probably only once), tells her that they're having a surprise party for me and gets her to cover my shift. He then calls Alex and tells him "It's back on, expect a call from Steve in a few minutes." Amy calls me, gives me this good BS story about PJ coming in 2 hours early anyway, so since I'd only be working for 2 hours, she'd just stick around for them so I wouldn't have to come in on my day off. I take it in stride, not suspecting a thing. I even dropped by the Chevron on the way to Alex & Marijke's house to fill up the car and Amy didn't let on at all. When I showed up at A&M's house everyone's car is parked out front, I had to squeeze in between two of them, blocking the driveway, I even thought how unusual it was for everybody to get there before me, and yet I still suspect nothing. Alex greets me at the front door and starts things off with something about me wondering why, for once, I was the last person to show up and as we walk in the front door I see everyone lined up in the front hall. Now I'm beginning to suspect something's up, though I still have no idea what. This is where they present me with flowers and tell me that since I'm "graduating" from Jr. High to High School they decided to give me a graduation party. Alex made a video presentation, gave a little graduation speech, Lisa gave one too, Lynda gave me a graduation present from everyone (a really nice glass beer mug with "Class of 2006 Steve Rossi" on it), after learning that it's not easy to find graduation cards in the middle of July, I got a bunch of cards and then we ate. I loved it. At first I was in such a daze over the whole thing, especially how totally clueless I was (why should I expect a surprise party anyway, it's not my birthday and I didn't think of the change as a graduation), that I hope everyone realized that it was awe not apathy. Anyway, I had a great night and I really appreciate all the effort everyone put in to the whole thing (they even had graduation decorations, napkins and plates). Again I say - You guys are crazy, but I love ya.

07/07/06 encore

All the windows are in, and they only measured one of the wrong. The bathroom window was about an inch and a half too short, so they had to put a 2x4 under it to make up the difference. The only problem is that they need to come back and put the trim on the outside around it, they had the stuff for the inside because all the windows need trim on the inside, but they weren't expecting to do any outside stuff. The good thing about that is that they are going to bring some for the bedroom window too, to make up for the mess I made of it when I put in window there about 6 years ago. Anyway, I love them. They all open up, they're all nice and clear, easy to see through without the condensation between the two panes, and they are quiet. With all the windows closed, even with the TV and everything else off, you can't even hear the traffic out on 13th East, well, except for the occasional loud motorcycle or truck. But it's a lot better than before, especially in the back in my bedroom. And with all the foam and caulking they used, they should be a lot better this winter. A new furnace and windows. I'll be able to afford to keep the house above 58 degrees this winter, despite the gas company's increase in rates. To see the new windows, just click here. (I'll be putting up the pictures from the inside tonight, couldn't see much with it as lot lighter outside than inside.)


Ok, so I'm hiding down in the basement, because watching people rip up your house, leaving huge holes in the walls is nerve wracking, even if you know they're professionals and know what they're doing. They just pulled out the big picture window in the living room, and it gave them one hell of a time. It was in there to stay. They've got one of the front room windows in already, and it fits like a glove, looks good too. Wood ones would have looked better, but I didn't have the double the money for them, but these look like good solid windows, and they're not going to look bad or anything. It will be nice to have functioning windows throughout the house, that's for sure.


Well tomorrow (or probably today by the time you read this, since it's already 11:20 pm) is new window day for me. They're coming tomorrow morning to put the new windows in the front room, living room, dining room, bathroom and bedroom. 'Bout time, those old ones used to be really nice wood windows, but they weren't very tight, only 1 had a screen and most wouldn't even open (I screwed them shut because the locks were all messed up, and the wood wouldn't hold new ones, plus when I repainted the outside I just painted them shut). So, after tomorrow (rain permitting) I'll be able to open the whole house up and just let the air flow through. If you want to see the before pictures, just click here. Or, you can wait for the after pictures and then click here.


What a night, the Fourth of July at the Chevron. Got there about 3:00 and started to over-stock the Beer Cave (my assignment for the night) so that it would be easier to keep up with during the rush. About 3:30 the storm started and we were joking about how much of a bitch it would be if the satellite went down because of it, which happens, when the lights start flickering and the power goes out. Completely. We have a couple of emergency lights and the tills are on a UPS (Uninterrupted Power Source), but we still had to shut down the store because the tills won't work on the backup power, it's just there so they have time to save all the information and do an official system shutdown, which happens after 15 minutes or so. Well around 5:00 when the power still hadn't come back on, and the automated UP&L phone answering thingy told us that 10,000 customers were without power and they had no answers to when the power would be back on, we decided to order out for Pizza. Fortunately the pizza place right around the corner was still up and running, because with the traffic going to Sugarhouse Park and us having our parking lot closed and all blocked off, there was no way we were going to get a pizza delivered. About 5:30 or so Mike gets back with the pizza, we all start eating and guess what? Yeah, got through one whole slice of pizza when the power came back on. No problem though, because of the rain we only had to turn away 3 or 4 customers anyway, so we had the time to finish eating before we had to get back to work. Then the night got fun. The real rush didn't start until about 7:30, but before then some woman who had parked in the parking lot next to us, and had gotten boxed in, decided to just drive right over the curb, some of our lawn and almost a couple of bushes, came into our parking lot and started driving around in circles looking for a way out, which there wasn't because we had all parked our cars in the exits to keep people from coming in. Now that wasn't so bad, until she called one of the police officers over (they were all over the place directing traffic) and told him that she had been parked there the whole time and we had blocked her in. I was walking over to tell her which exit we were going to unblock for her when she was talking to the cop, and met him halfway there. He told me what she said, and I told him what really happened (I wasn't the only one who saw it). I told him that we had checked and she hadn't done any real damage and which exit we were going to open up for her, so he said that he'd go talk to her. He must have called her on her lie, because she was really pissy as we let her out. Didn't say anything rude, but not a thank-you, not a sorry for being a dumb ass pain in the butt, just took off out under the rope we had put out even before we got it up high enough to keep it from scraping across the roof of her SUV. Other than closing down the parking lot, we had also closed the restrooms (too much vandalism the other year), but we did provide port a-potties out in the lot. That wasn't good enough for one woman, who when I told her that she had to use the toilets outside asked "Well, then is it OK if I just go here on your wet floor?" I just said "No, but thanks for asking. Next." About an hour later I go into the back room, which is obviously a back room, and there's some 20-something year old woman talking on her cell phone, which is plugged into our power. I tell her that she isn't supposed to be in there and she tells me that she's just charging her phone because the battery is dead. I tell her again that she's not supposed to be in there, and then just to be sure I ask her if she talked to the manager about being there. No. Well, sorry, but you can't be in here, good bye. And to top the night off, right after the firework grand finale, as we were gearing up for the final rush of the night, some woman comes in and punches Andrea because she thinks she's sleeping with her husband. And all this is only what I know about, who knows what other shining examples of human decency and common courtesy I could come up with if I were to question the rest of the crew (the ones that were actually dealing with the huddles masses rather than 24 packs of Bud Lite.) Fun stuff. Fun night. Truth is I had a pretty good time, I was working the coolers with Amy, who is a blast to work with. We did a lot of stress-relieving bitching and moaning, made a lot of jokes about our co-workers (and ourselves) and had an overall good time. But my feet are killing me and it's time to hit the sack.




George W. Bush is visiting with the Queen of England, where he is really impressed with the quality of the people she has working with her, so he asks her "Your Highness, how do you choose the people around you?"

The Queen answers; "With one question, here I shall demonstrate.", and she calls Prime Minister Tony Blair over.

"Mister Prime Minister, if your mother and your father have a baby, and it is not your brother or your sister, who must it be?"

"Why, your Highness, it must be me, Tony Blair."

G.W. is quite impressed with it and when he gets home to the White House he calls in Vice President Dick Cheney.

"Cheney, if your mother and your father have a baby, and it's not your sister or your brother, who is it?"

Cheney thinks about it for a bit, and G.W. tells him to go to his office and come back when he has the answer. On the way he runs into Colin Powell and decides to ask him the question.

"Mr. Powell, if your mother and your father have a baby, and it's not your brother or your sister, who is it?"

Powell gets a thoughtful look on his face for a second and then replies, "Why it has to be me, Colin Powell."

Cheney gets all excited and rushes back to the Oval Office and tells the President "I have the answer, it's Colin Powell!" he says with a big grin.

"No, stupid", the President replies, "It's Tony Blair."

I was at Danny's house last night playing cards when his sister-in-law Shellie called. She works in programming for HP and we get along well, so I got a turn to talk to her, and she didn't even start to fall asleep when I started talking about the Domain Name DNS, A and MX files. Then I told her about my move to Granite High, and the tech stuff I'm going to be doing. She told me that now I was a computer nerd like her, and when I told her, yeah, and I'll even be meeting every monday with all the computer nerds in the district, Shirley (her mom, Danny's mother-in-law) says "Yeah, to wipe their hard drives."
New pictures of the changes I've made at the house......


Warning : I got this screen when I tried to access the Bill Payer for my University of Utah account, and fortunately I didn't know my ATM card number or PIN number for it. I had to contact the Credit Union because it wouldn't let me past it without that information, and it was time to pay the bills. Do not, under any circumstances, fill out the information on this screen! The Credit Union told me that it is not their page and that it is a phishing virus. I had to update my virus and spy ware softwares to get rid of it. which it did. So, again, this is not the Credit Union asking for your information, do not enter any information and definitely do not submit it. If it does show up and you have any questions on how to get rid of it, feel free to ask me. If you need to see a clearer picture of the screen, just click on it and a bigger one will come up. It's just by dumb luck that I didn't get bit in the ass by it, because it comes up naturally, from a legitimate Credit Union link, when trying to log into Bill Payer. I, for one, will never send that information over the internet, even if it does look official, without first talking to someone to see if it is real or not. That's my advice.
Happy Birthday Raffi!

Already got something in an e-Mail, (from Lisa, thanks), here for ya, Click Here.


Mphf sckedrf katdu, ahem, oh wait, I'm typing, not talking. Typing I can do. Went to the dentist today, got tired of living off advil, tylenol and aspirin, waking up in the middle of the night to take more because of the shooting pain in my jaw, so figured what the hell, it's been 28 years since my last root canal surgery, let's try it again. And let me tall ya, it was about as much fun as a prostate exam, just the other end (well, ok, the root canal also involves little high speed metal drills which, thankfully, the prostate exam doesn't, but on the other hand, the area is numb.). But the good thing is that it took only about a half hour, and the shooting jaw pain has been replaced with a (very) tolerable ache. But the big problem with dentistry is that when you have a really funny comeback, you're unable to say it. Personally, if I were a dentist giving someone a root canal and finally drilled far enough for the pus to come out, I'd say something like "Thar she blows" or "call my broker, I struck oil". Which are the two things that went through my mind when he started pushing on my swollen cheek and said, "try to drain that infection".
As you can see (maybe) I'm starting to get things put back up here on the site. The first thing to be completed is (hold onto your hats, this is going to be a surprise) the "All My Cars" pages. I've also got a few months back on the "Previous Ramblings" pages, and those will be the next ones to complete. But don't expect all the links and pictures from the previous ramblings to be there, the further back I go the harder it is to find those things, especially since this is the 3rd iteration of the site, and things get lost in the iteration process. Sorry about that. Anyone who is completely dissatisfied with this problem, please e-mail me at idontgiveashit@srossi.net, and I will promptly refund all the money you have paid for access to my site. Thank you for your patronage.