Archive for August, 2011


EDIT: I apologize for the disjointed nature of this post. I had the thoughts but didn’t have the sufficient time to really gather them I’ll fix it later.

I was reading this  article yesterday, and it got me thinking about the group Anonymous. So far they’ve hit things that have not really hurt the public. In fact they took down another hacker group that did. I went looking for this to support my point here, and cannot find it now. I know it happened.

While The FBI and Scotland Yard may have arrested some members of anonymous, it only served to bolster their numbers, and they are not quiet about it. They’ve even been so bold as to outright warn Facebook that they are going down. Their reasons? Because Facebook sells your private information to corporate America. Because Mark Zuckerberg came out and said that Privacy is not important. Anonymous feels it is a direct violation of our own private rights as people regardless of country.

As I read the above article, some of their recent behavior struck me as strange. The basic content of the article is about whether or not Anonymous is padding Time Warner’s pockets. This turns out to be false when you do the math. This comes about because Anonymous uses the Guy Fawkes mask as their moniker. It is what, and how, they choose to identify themselves. The mask and the idea and the whole story is based off of a comic – most people know it as a movie called V for Vendetta. Which Time Warner owns the likeness to; however, as the writer of that story pointed out, While Time Warner owns the mask. Anonymous “OWNS” the mask, as it is, in its embodiment.

This is when it occurred to me. Anonymous will win. Anonymous isn’t the bad group here. They aren’t reckless vigilantes. They are showing us, what they feel, that we the people, have the right to see, to make our own government more transparent to us. Good, Bad, I’m not going to argue those points — that is totally based off your own point of view. My point of this particular blog is that Anonymous will win. They will win because, you cannot arrest, prosecute, execute, or assassinate an idea. You can however turn an idea into a Martyr.  People have already started to believe in what Anonymous stands for, if you attempt to kill that idea you’ll start a revolution. Scotland Yard, and the FBI made arrests, but from what I see only on the internet it only only served to bolster their numbers and increase their activity.

The snowball is moving down the hill.

History repeats, when people have built enough discontent for how they are treated people react and revolt, sometimes it just takes a couple hundred years.

If you do not believe me, do some research on American history and the civil war. We fought our way into freedom before, and it’ll happen again if things do not change.

I hate strawberries.

It’s surprising how many inquires I get when I tell people. “No thanks, I don’t like Strawberries.” I always get shot strange looks and they say “really”. “Yeah, I had a bad experience once…”

But what surprises me, is not that people are surprised that I don’t like strawberries, it’s that people almost never ask what the bad experience was. It’s like they are afraid to find out. I think I’ve told this story, one time. This was because my wife poked fun at me for it at a public gathering, and someone else that I’m pretty sure was drunk and therefore had no cap on his mouth asked what the experience was. But aside from this single event I find this to be very strange. How many people have you heard say “No thanks I don’t like this fruit. I had a bad experience.”  Perhaps I should say “I had self inflicted traumatic experience which caused me years of agony and therapy.” Untrue but it would be interesting to see reaction.

But I’ve decided in recent weeks that I’ve got a handful of what I find to be amusing stories. These are things from my childhood that I should probably write down, for the sole purpose of writing them down. Maybe my kids will like them, maybe I’ll become some interesting and entertain semi-professional blogger. I have no idea. But here goes the Strawberry story.

Note: This is the long story, Much much much longer than the short short condensed versions which takes like 30 seconds to tell and still usually leaves people not wanting to eat their strawberry infested whatever that they have in front of them.

I grew up in a very small town. When I say small. I mean small, like a secluded used-to-be-a-farming-town-only-area. If you’ve read the Utah’s toilet Entry you know what I’m talking about. This being the case, there was little to no work for all of the teenagers who are coming of age and needs/want jobs to get out from under their parents roof to spend their hard earn minimum wage income on all of our ridiculously over priced merchandise you can get from the local shops and our ONE Movie Theater that only shows ONE movie at a time for two weeks. But I digress.

When I hit 16, I too was looking for a job. SOMETHING to bring in money I had needs needs to be cool that I could not do with a mullah. So I went into my local Job Service location. Job Service is now referred to as Department of Workforce Services… yes, that’s how old I am. I just dated myself. I put in some information asked for anything. I believe I even offered my services as a rent a grunt.

And I waited,

And waited,

And waited,

And Grunt work became available.

That July was one of the hottest summers for the country, records were breaking everywhere.

They called me and said a local Trucker needed some Grunt workers for an afternoon and if I had any friends to bring them

Faboo! So I called a Friend we met up and drove out to the house where we were meeting for our temporary employment. We got there and saw about 6-8 other teenager boys – most of them I knew by first name other I avoided, I was not looking forward to this already.

The trucker came in and had us follow him outside. He explained as he walked, that this truck with two trailers on it contains previously frozen strawberries. The truck and its trailers were en route to its delivery in Phoenix, AZ when its driver stopped at a truck stop — 20 minutes later he came out to find the truck and its trailers gone.

They found it 3 weeks later in Phoenix ; BLOCKS away from where it was supposed to deliver its now previously frozen goods. The truck sat in a different truck stop in the worst heat that AZ had seen in a decade with a freezer that had died. The trailers now contained 3 tons of rotting Strawberries. It was found when the owner of the truck stop called it into the police.

I think I could speak for everyone when we realized what we were doing everyone’s faces dropped into shock and horror… and abject horror that was not fully realized as we really had NO idea what we were truly in for.  He instructed us to follow him out to the landfill, he paid for gas.

We followed him out to the landfill which was 30 miles away in the middle of the Desert, in what seemed to be one of the hottest days I can recall.

He backed up the first trailer to the edge of the landfill, by the time we parked and reached him the smell of rot was in the air, and the door wasn’t open yet.

He looked at us and said “Hold your noses” and flung open the door. All of recoiled in horror. It took us all good minute to adjust to the smell. I forever have the scent of sweetly rotting fruit permanently stuck in my mind melted in forever with the heat. The trucker, just kind of smiled and half laughed and said “I’m going back to the cab I’ve got some work to do.” We surmised that he was going to go take a nap, and that’s when we realized that we were really on our own.

the truck was packed two palettes high, and two palettes wide. each palette was about 4-5 feet tall. Each Palette had cases of strawberries in layers, each layer had 9-12 cases in it.

After some debate it was decided to tear down the first one a few cases at a time until it’s light enough that we can pull it down and physically get up into the truck. One person had enough foresight to bring a knife which came in handy seeing that everything was wrapped in thick plastic. Two guys climbed up cut off the plastic and case by case started pulling them and flinging them behind him. Until it got to the point where they climbed on top and started kicking them out. Eventually it got to the point where we shoved it out with our feet. The Knife was pulled out again, and the next one as dispatched much more quickly.  We approached it the same way little by little  until both palettes on the top were pulled down and discarded. About 40 minutes later now that we were all  in the truck and the tactic had to change  someone had the bright idea of making this go quicker. Mostly because we were working with limited room at the moment. They selected the smallest guy (that would be me) To climb on top and cut off the plastic it off since that took the most time. while everyone else would grab 5-6 cases and walk them to the edge and toss them in the landfill.  The top palette would be pulled off when it was mostly empty because of the sheer weight, we didn’t want anyone to get crushed by it. The bottom palette when it was 1/4 to half empty we pushed off it the edge. The liquidized remains of strawberry juice while sticky worked as enough of a lubricant that it made it pushing them off possible.

This continued for over 5 hours. We didn’t even realize how hot it was in the truck until we got out to do the second trailer. It was almost cold outside in comparison The difference was we didn’t have the sun beating on us directly in trailer. The trucker thought it would have taken us much longer than it actually did.

We climbed into the second truck, and the owner made a comment that it smelt like wine. He left, and went back to the cab for another nap.

There was jokes about how this could be almost wine it was hot enough it was fermented. One of them said “REALLY?!” like this was BRILLIANT to get drunk and work. At 15. He reasoned that the trucker couldn’t get in trouble if he didn’t know, and it could be reasoned that it was the fumes. As the other guys continuously justified it for him he got brave and ate not just one but three. There was much goading and prodding to make him do it – and yes he vomited not 10 second later.

The smell got to the point where it was numbing. Everyone’s clothes were tinted pink and although it was insanely hot, smelly, sticky, and a two guys threw up at least twice. Everyone was in a decent mood.

When it was all done I think I walked away with $30 to show for it. Three showers later, I still felt sticky and dirty. I’ve not really been able to handle fresh strawberries since that day. It’s gotten easier over the years but I’m still just not interested. I probably never will like them again. But Then again, I don’t remember if I liked them before hand.

 

I’ve driven from one coast to the next; I’ve lived in 4 different states, worked for several fortunes 500, and 200 companies. I’ve worked on products in development and Q&A that shipped to a combined total of 45 countries.

One thing remains consistent. Everywhere I go, I meet someone who has driven through Utah– more times than not I am asked if I grew up in Utah, I tell them yes, and they often ask where? I tell them “Fillmore” And 90-95% of the time the *FIRST* response I get is “Oh I’ve been there; I stopped to use the bathroom.” My follow up was “did you get gas as well?” Most of the time people say yes.

This is no exaggeration in that number. Yes 90-95% of you who’ve been to Utah have dropped the kids off at the pool at the Arby’s, Burger King, Del taco, or Larry’s Drive-in in Fillmore.

What amazes me about this is not only that so many people in so many remote corners of the country have not only been to Utah — but the only thing they have to say is “I’ve been to Fillmore, I used the toilet.” What does that proceed to tell you about how people think of the state?

Reno, Nevada has a sign that spans across the road that says  “Reno: The biggest little city in the world”

I think the city should Invest in a glowing neon sign that spans across I-15. It should proudly state “Fillmore: Welcome To Utah’s Toilet”