What's In This Blog

I created this blog for my journal. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In this blog I keep many of the things I come across as a member of the church. I also share my experiences on the ACE Train and getting to work, my experiences in Manteca where we have lived for three years, and other things I think are noticeable.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Miranda's White Christmas


in doors tent

a local house
The tree and gifts, three stockings each

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Movie Review: The Nativity Story

I enjoyed this as an after Christmas movie.  I think the LDS Bible videos are more accurate in their depiction with Jesus being a toddler when visited by the wisemen, and fleeing to Egypt, but it was really very good.

Merry Christmas from Iowa

Merry Christmas from Twin Falls

Friday, December 19, 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014

First Presidency Christmas Devotional


We went to the stake center to enjoy the Christmas Devotional this year.  This year it offered plenty of Tabernacle Choir music.  Also featured speaker focused on giving service a this time of year.  I love that type of story, and this devotional presented plenty of stories for thought.  Henry B. Eyring was the featured speaker.
The stake featured the bishoprics serving hot chocolate and cookies.  It was very nice.  I stayed after for choir rehearsal.  We are singing next week for an evening fireside, ward and stake choir.

Miranda Sent a Special Gift Home to Moma

Don't you just love Idaho spuds.  Miranda sent home a box full of potatoes, and mixed in were a few Idaho Spud candy bars.  These are Sheri's favorite, and you can't get them in California. 
I enjoyed the real spuds.  The were perfect spuds and became hash brown, baked and boiled potatoes.  Someone had given them to her.  Who cares how much it cost to ship them.
Sheri had already eaten a couple candy bars.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Thanksgiving Weekend: 2014



Temple trip

 We had the Spanish sisters over for dinner a week ago Saturday and had a good time.  Sheri made cinnamon rolls and breakfast. 
For Thanksgiving we were at the Normans this year.  There was a very small group.  Mark and Dianna, Heather Anna and Nicole.  Then we had Tony and that was us, eight in all.  Tony had a good time.  We played Skipbo.  I think that was sort of a silly game as you were watching most of the time unless you had a turn.  Tony played outside as we started to relax in Mark and Dianna’s room with a movie.  Tony I guess ran full on into the tether pole, and there was no one there to comfort him.  He had a pretty good cry before he got in the house.  He walked around to the front and rang the doorbell.  Sheri put ice on it; he had a good goose egg on his forehead.  After that Tony was ready to go home.  We didn’t get to play Rook as a result, but it was a good day all the same.
I made it to the temple Friday with the high priests. It was fun  I saw about ten people from the ward.
In family history work I found a couple new families over the weekend.  I was working on the Green line (my aunt’s husband) but have gone back to working on the Williams line (my great Uncle Leo’s wife.)  I was excited because I finally made the link to England for the Williams line.  I verified the same profession (blacksmith) and everything.  They settled in Chicago in the US.
Did home teaching and sang yesterday, which pretty much took the entire day.  Got the wood picked up outside which was a requirement for foster care review.
I have been checking the weather regularly.  Miranda is 10-20 degrees cooler than us, Caleb is 20 degrees cooler than Miranda and Matt is 20 degrees cooler than Caleb.  However, I have noticed you have had some pretty cool days, but relatively speaking this week is suppose to be nice. 
I miss my missionaries, especially when it comes to choir.  I am the only tenor in choir.  However, I persevere.

Life in Manteca 115: Manteca Holiday Parade 2014

Last Saturday Tony came home from playing over the fence at the Petersens and suggested we go to the Holiday parade.  The Petersens had two daughters playing in different bands.  This was 4:30 and the parade started at 5.  We scrambled and made our way to the high school to watch.  This is at the end of the parade so we were there with plenty of time.  We say Kade go past to collect his daughter from the end of the parade, but did not see the rest of the family.  However Tony did run into a friend from school.  We had a good time.  Of course we were waiting for Santa who represented the end of the parade.
Last time we attended this, it was cold, but this year it was actually pretty nice.

Camberly Rose and Tony at Charity's Birthday Dinner

I am slow on getting things posted as have been busy with other things, but this is Charities 24th birthday party November 2.  Charity actually made dinner, and Sheri made the cake. 

Camberly is folding her arms

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Traffic Nightmare

Last night Sheri was in town, and was giving me a ride home.  Tony was with her as well.  Usually when we get away quickly we can make it home an hour before the train does.
Not last night.  The 280 was all backed up.  We consulted Sheri's phone, which had red lines showing traffic until after the 280 becomes the 680 and then turns north.  We also finally consulted the radio, and it informed us the freeway was closed for a police action of unknown type.
I finally convinces Sheri to try and alternate route, and we got off at King, and took that to Berryessa, and then got back on the freeway, which was good going the rest of the way.  However, before we got off, it took us a almost a couple hours to go the ten or so miles we had traveled.  It was a mess.
Later, checking online, I learned that the road was closed for a suicidal woman who was threatening to jump from the Alum Rock overpass.  She started up there at about 3:00, and the police didn't convince her to come down until almost midnight.
I know the goal is to preserve life, and being in the traffic jam with no official announcement as to why the police took the action they did, I calculated the economic costs.  I based this on a couple hour delay, rather than the nine-hour delay which this turned out to be in reality.  280 and 680 are very busy interstates, especially at rush hour.  I would think conservatively there are 500 cars per minute going down the road, and then you take that much time you are talking about you can figure 180,000 cars delayed going North, and 270,000 cars going South, and then the surface road cars that were delayed because of people fleeing the freeway, you could figure 500,000 cars delayed.  Most cars are single riders, but not all, so say 750,000 people in all.  The average delay was probably a couple hours.  That totals 1.5 million hours.  Then calculate the worth of everyone's time and this woman can call herself the 10 million dollar woman, because that is a conservative measure of the price she extracted from everyone.
I know people were frustrated, but you can't put a price on a life.  Just because someone is down today, does not mean they will be so tomorrow.  Treatment does help.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Ace Rail 55: Ace Rail Motto: "The Customer Is the Enemy"

I have written before about how the attitude of the staff on the train changed when they changed the name from Altamont Commuter Express to Altamont Corridor Express.  The train is no longer customer friendly.  This past month has me wondering if it is worth taking the train to be treated so poorly.
The current issue is "No belongings on the seats or in the aisles with zero tolerance."  They announced this was the edict of the "manager" whoever that is.  Probably some President Snow (Hunger Games) want-to-be.
A poor co-rider had two bags, including a large suitcase which was in the aisle.  His other bag was under the seat.  After the staff went by, enforcing zero police, he had the suitcase on his lap.  Can you imagine what stupidity goes into zero tolerance.  I traded spots with him as I had more floor space for his bags, but it is puzzling.
Another passenger was harassed because he put some papers on the seat while he was working on a project.   "Zero tolerance" has got to go. 
The train is not always full.  In fact, certain legs of the trip there are plenty of seats; yet they make sure there are no bags on the seats.  I use my bag to provide extra support to my back, but this is not allowed.  It is a struggle to get comfortable, everyday.
I was at the point of wondering if I should drive more, and forget about the loyalty reward for purchasing a monthly pass every month.  I am getting close to calling the train ride quits.  When the Altamont Pass construction project is completed I will be in a better position to drive.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Health As I See It: Book Review: Suicide: The Forever Decision

Suicide: The Forever Decision: For Those Thinking about Suicide, and for Those Who Know, Love or Counsel Them; New Expanded Edition by: Paul G. Quinnett, Crossroad Publishing, New York, 1987, 2011 printing.
I have been studying this book for some time.  Mr Quinnett writes this book with the intent of engaging those considering suicide, getting them to slow down and take another look, and then presents some of the things they should consider.  He starts asking people to take a step back.  And then take another look at how they came to this point.  One of the aspects of suicidal thought, is that we often have some illogical thinking, based on some erroneous ideas.  Quinnett does a very good job of looking at some of this thinking, and refuting it.
He warns about the danger of anger, and alcohol and drugs when mixed with thoughts of suicide. He has a very good chapter on family and suicide.  We should not attempt suicide to get at our family. 
He ends with a couple other ideas to consider.  What if I don't succeed, but leave myself permanently disabled or in pain or whatever.  And also what about those who are left behind.  He describes the act of suicide like a hand grenade.  Many people get hurt from suicide, not just the person who commits the suicide. 
He ends with talking of the help that is available, although he says professional help is not always needed.  There are clergy, family and others who can provide support.  He makes a good point, suicide prevention is one of the primary functions of mental health workers.  He also makes an observation that there are many causes of death, however suicide is tragic because it is one cause of death which is preventable.

First Presidency Devotional 2014


We would love for you to join us for The First Presidency Christmas Devotional.  This Sunday 12/7/14

We will by attending the stake center on Northland this year at 7 p.m.  At this session there will be chocolate milk and cookies.
The live devotional is at 5 p.m. on BYUTV or LDS.org.