Friday, April 3, 2009

A Week in Review

Hello All! It’s time once again for another edition of a Week in Review. These come around quickly don’t they? How nice for you.

I finally got to talk to Mom on Wednesday. Last week their phone was on the fritz, sometimes I could get through, and sometimes I couldn’t. We talked a week ago, and then their phone died for good sometime over the weekend. Not being able to talk to them was so frustrating. And every time I called I got a busy signal, maddening. It was almost worse than that terrible screeching, beeping noise that my alarm clock makes, and just as unwelcome.

And then on Wednesday Mom called me. Hallelujah. Poor lady went to Kmart and bought a phone card, and then called me from their public phone. Side note – they don’t have cell phones. I’ve mentioned that before haven’t I? They didn’t see the need and didn’t want to pay the bill. I hope very much that they see the need now. Anyway, she called me from Kmart and said that they are both fine. Their house stayed dry through the flood, even the basement, and she and Dad were dealing well enough. There are plenty of stores located away from the river that they could shop at, so they weren’t going without. It was all good news, and such a relief to hear her voice. I do still feel bad for them though. The phone company can’t get them back up and working again until April 13. They’ve had more storms and cold weather, and with no phone or computer (that went down too) to give them contact with the outside world, I wonder how long they can keep their sanity. Mine would last for about three minutes.

The general situation in Fargo/Moorhead is improving. The river has steadily receded since last Saturday, and residents are trying to get their lives back to normal. The news on the local paper’s website today was about Madonna’s next adoption rather than neighborhood evacuations. That’s a good sign. Those folks filled and stacked a total of 3.5 million sandbags while fighting this flood. A local man did an interesting blog post with graphics visualizing just what 3.5 million sandbags look like. You can see it here. I do wonder what will happen when all of the snow they’ve gotten over the last week starts to melt. Is it crisis management all over again? I hope not.

Thanks to all of you who remembered them in your prayers. I’m sure that it helped.

There’s a new little café open on South Temple called Hagerman’s. As most of you know, the malls were torn down some time ago as part of a downtown renovation project and with the malls went the foodcourt and other food options. We’ve kind of been hating it around here. Then, a few months ago, Cheryl noticed a new place open in the middle of the construction chaos, and started pressuring me to go check it out. After being badgered for days, I broke down and walked over there, and I’m glad I did! It’s a cute place with great sandwiches and salads, and the best chocolate chip cookies. I’m hooked. Now we go at least once a week. In fact, just writing this has made me want some today. You know where I’ll be about 12:00.

Monsters Vs. Aliens
I saw the monsters and aliens last Saturday, and liked it very much. It’s funny, and the 3-D is a lot of fun. If you’re thinking of going, then I say do it.

On my mind
There’s been a lot of talk lately about the economy and the President’s stimulus plan, and his new budget. Working with a bunch of staunch Republicans, I hear only negative views on the plan. The other day one of them was at my desk, and I mentioned that there was a little more money in my paycheck because part of the new legislation is to cut income tax withholding. Nice. My coworker, of course, started up on how this is adding to the national debt, and that our children and grandchildren will be paying for it, and blah, blah, blah. Of course the national debt is a problem, but as this man was talking I thought, “Well that’s always been the case.” And it has! I remember hearing people talk about the national debt when I was a child in the 80s, and no one has fixed it since then. The debt balance has for years been more than one generation can pay off. It’s too late to think that we can save our kids now. I’m not endorsing astronomical debt, of course not. We’d all be better off without it, and certainly the country would be more stable without it. My point is that having a national debt that will be around for decades is not new, and it certainly isn’t the result of the current economic plan, so these guys need to quit acting like it is. Honestly, in my mind all of this conversation is just more evidence of the bias that comes from getting too caught up in party politics. Let’s all just take a deep breathe, and let the new president and his aids take the time they need to work this through. It could be that they know what they’re doing.

Conference Weekend
On a lighter note, the office building is kind of fun the week of conference, lots of visitors stopping by to say hello. All of the General Authorities who are posted around the world come back for meetings, so they’re on the floor and like to talk to their IFRs (Infield Representatives). That’s who I work with. Have I ever told you all of this? The guys that I work with were all once mission presidents, and it’s their job now to act at the support group here in Salt Lake for all of the current mission presidents around the world. So we get phone calls all day every day from every corner of the earth from presidents who need help with everything from general questions to real crisis. It can be very interesting. Our work often involves the area offices of the Church, and so during this week when all of those General Authorities are in town, and they come to say hello. There’s a lot of hand shaking and back-slapping hugs. You know how old men are. Yesterday Elder L. Tom Perry came walking down the hall. Good thing I saw him coming, I had to log off of YouTube and hide the booze. Just kidding, I wasn’t watching YouTube.

Speaking of Booze
It’s Ladies’ Night tomorrow, one of the two worst nights of the year, the other being the other Ladies’ Night, of course. I’m gonna need some help from Jack Daniels, as is my custom. Man I hate Ladies’ Night.

That’s all for today. Here’s an interesting tidbit from today’s Writer’s Almanac:
It's the birthday of the writer Washington Irving, (books by this author) born in New York City (1783). He wrote "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle." He was the first person who referred to New York City as "Gotham," and he created the character of Diedrich Knickerbocker, the Dutch New Yorker. "Knickerbocker" came to describe any New Yorkers who could trace their family to the original Dutch settlers, and that's where the New York Knicks get their name.

Thanks, as always, for your consistent generosity of friendship.
You are loved.


Brian said...

Hee! Oh yes it's ladies night and the feelings right... I heard some of your DB coworkers talking about ladies' night and it made me laugh. On the inside.

So glad your Mom is okay. You need to sneak her a cell phone. Like on Ocean's 11.

Brian said...

Oh! That is so funny! I'm logged in as Brian and I didn't know it. Enjoy his kindergarten photo with the Ernie shirt. (It's just me, Nicole.)

Tiffany said...

1. Glad your parents are alright. They need cell phones.

2. I'm laughing about all the GAs. I don't know why. I think it was the back-slapping that got me.

3. I miss Ladies Nights with you!

Kelli said...

Glad you parents are doing ok and I hope the snow melts very very slowly. I am glad you hid the booze before Tom saw it! I will miss you on Ladies Night! It is horrible while it happens but once you quit it gives you a bit of nostalgia!