Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween - Yes I do wear costumes

I got in this visicous cycle ever since my first year in office, of wearing a Halloween costume to work and subsequently sneaking (or should I say trying to sneak in) to city hall to deliver a Halloween treat to staff.  The problem with it, is that there becomes a growing expectation that you'll continue to do it every year!

It all started when I dressed up as Kangaroo
From my childhood years, I had been looking through the World Book Encyclepedia trying to figure out what I wanted to be, and came across a Kangaroo.   Well to start, there aren't really a lot of Kangaroo costumes on the rack and certainly not for someone who is 6'10" tall.  It pretty much started with my dear sister Nancy, talented seamstress who took pity on her baby brother's desire and created a kangaroo costume for me.  In that initial year, I carried Jessica as a baby in my pouch, later it would be my stuff dog, Woof Woof.  Someone kindly pointed out to me that I was a female kangaroo, since I had the pouch and was carrying the baby.  This would be a pattern that I followed all too often!
There was the year, I dressed up as an Orange Flag.  Mayor Anderson had initiated them throughout the city, and I was just trying to be patriotic to the cause!  Cathy was Martha Stewart that year, although we really needed an orange jump suit, which fit her attire in her temporary home in the Federal Prison system.

One year, I can't seem to find it, I dressed up as a Fairy Princess.  I was wearing my sandles that year, and my constituent liasion, Marge Harvey pointed out that my toe nails needed to be painted.  For some reason, I let her do it, and boy did they freak me out every time I showered.  I kept thinking it would wear off, and it wasn't until a week later that she pointed out to me that I could use fingernail polish remover.  Hey guys don't learn that kind of stuff, usually!

Then there was the West High Cheerleader year.  And no, cheerleaders at West don't look like this!  Although Chris Burbank, our Chief of Police, who played basketball about the same time I did, at East, tried to convince me that was the case.  I thought the little ribbon in my hair, really added to the look!

There was the year I ran for the State Senate in 2008.  I was nervous about that one, but decided to capitalize on the occasion, and pretend I was a "Roman Senator" and decorated one of my campaign signs.  You know that year, I actually had the endorsement of Mitt Romney, but it was clearly a Democratic year, and well, I'm still a city councilman.....

In 20120, I dressed as a caveman.  I'm on the Advisory Board for the Museum of Natural History and we had a bond measure before the voters.  Carrying my pet dino, I made a shameless plug for people voting for the bond.  You can now see the outcome of it in one of the most beautiful buildings in the State and one of the top tourist draws in the valley, approaching 300,000 visitors since it opened, nearly a year ago.  Proud to now be the President of that Advisory Board.

Last year, running out of ideas, started going to the Hale Center Theater Costume Shop!  This is me, dressed as Dumbledore from Harry Potter.  I guess because of the beard, everyone thought I was Hagrid.  Oh well, they still liked it.  It did remind me of why I don't want a beard!

Well that brings us to this year.   Yes I have a costume, and yes I plan to show up at City Hall and a few other places, but you'll just have to wait and see....
Yes, Cathy was a Gypsy and I'm a Pirate!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Tempos, one of life's greatest treasures!

Can't ever have enough Tempos
My dear mother, Verda Mae Christensen, found great joy in the last 10 years of her life shopping at NPS Market Square on Industrial Road in Salt Lake City, looking for bargain after bargain.  On more than one occasion, she would come home with something that I thought was totally crazy, even making a comment about it, and then finding myself a week or two later asking if I could borrow it.  For example, she once purchased an audio visual cart and primarily used it to move her groceries from the car to the house.  After she passed away in 2004, I inherited it and use it all the time for my computer projector and other audio visual stuff.  OK, so I didn't give my Mom enough credit, and I'm now eating some humble pie and getting some just reward from my own kids.

Mom always thought that if one item was a good bargain, than 10 was even a better deal.  One such acquisition by her, was a tissue called Tempos.  They came with these handy visor holders and to the naked eye, they were just another tissue.  But Tempos, actually are a four ply tissue.  Soft enough to use on your nose, but tough enough to wipe a spill in the car, or to wipe down something without falling apart like a normal tissue.  We quickly fell in love with the things and in the nature of my brother Clayton's research about "A job to be done", the job here was not really as a tissue but wiping up life's challenges within your car.  When Mom passed away in 2004, her assets were divided and disbursed by her Trust, it was the Tempos that were evenly divided amongst the kids.  I will have to admit, in taking home a case of them, I didn't really ever anticipate running out.  

Four or so years later, panic went through my own household with the realization that we were on our last package of Tempos.  We went to the Internet, and found a supplier through Amazon when we couldn't find any in the stores, and purchased another case.  As you can imagine, my other siblings were also running out, and in the spirit of generosity, we did share some of those Tempo Tissues with them.  Fast forward to 2012. On the edge of running out again, I went back to the Internet to find out that Tempos were discontinued in their manufacturing.  As I read customer reviews I quickly found out that others shared my panic and love for the things.  I also found out a secondary market for the stuff had developed on eBay.  However I came across a new options, albeit 3-ply product, called Halsa.  Halsa, it just isn't the familiar tone of Tempo and it just wasn't quite the same.  However I was grateful to not have to reform my life, and purchased a mere 40- three package replacements of the stuff.  This time with the intent, to really stick it to family members who want them, and using them for bartering items for family activities.  Like gold for some, I now have a nearly extinct product on my hand!
Yes, I had to open the box and individually verify the inventory!
I realize that my mother wouldn't approve of my high leverage attitude, after all ,she hadn't charged me anything for the original stuff.  She would have given the "shirt off her back" to not only us, but anyone who needed it.  I would do a disservice to her for holding this stuff hostage.  I'm sure at the first family gathering when someone laments, that they're out of "Tempos", I will probably be offering up my new Halsa collection.  If Mom only knew.....