Profit Motive

How can society depend on capitalism, or an unregulated market system? Adam Smith replies with two laws of this market. The first is the desire for wealth that permeates all human activity. Therefore, self-interest, or profit, motivates people to perform necessary tasks for which society is willing to pay. As Smith writes, “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from our regard to their self-interest.” Thus, the first law of the market is self-interest, or the profit motive.

  But how can the individual’s selfish desires benefit society? What stops greed from overwhelming the public, resulting in ruthless exploitation by profiteers? Smith second answer that the individual, in the process of providing for his personal interests, unintentionally contributes to the economic well being of society. Therefore, the second law of the market is competition. The individual who overcharges for products soon learns that competitors will take away business by offering more reasonable prices. If wages are too small, workers will hire out to another employer who will pay more for their services. Thus, selfish motives are tempered by interaction, resulting in social harmony. How does this economic theory effectively explain the basis of my actions? Do I really fit into this, or some other theory of work and profit?

As a student here in Utah Valley, I had to battle to find a good part time job that would pay for school, gas, and for some of the finer accouterments for my new fiancee. Today, Friday, February 18, I had to work hard. I have a job as a security consultant with Apex Alarm. I work from a leads database to call and create sales over the phone. This is a difficult, because people when called on any given day rarely have a need to spend a few thousand dollars on a new alarm system, or a few thousand more than that on video surveillance. Everyday I make a six dollars an hour, barely enough to put gas in my gar to get me to work and school. So, I have to survive, and keep my fiancee happy, so I have to make more than minimum wage. Lucky for me, commission is not included in my hourly salary. When I sell a new alarm system, I make $200. So, in my desire for $200, permeating from me in my selling techniques is the desire to protect my own self interest. It is what motivates me to try and sell someone on a product that will cost them at least $42.99 a month and trap them in a three year agreement.

Today, as I was working, I spoke with a woman that I have been working with for a few days now named Ffjorren Purcell. She was interested in getting an alarm in her new home that she and her boyfriend were moving into in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As I have worked with her this week, she has been shopping around the internet looking for a good deal that would compete with ours. I wasn’t too surprised when she told me that she had found a company that was fairly similarly priced, put offered a little more equipment. As Smith wrote, the unintended consequence of a free market is that there is competition, and that a person has to be flexible in there goods and services to accommodate the general public. Because as noted, if it is to expensive at Apex, they will surely turn to for their alarm service. I then had to deal with the competition of this competitor by adding some equipment.

We see then, with my job, I work that I can have wealth, the simplest of all human desires. But, I have to follow both rules of Smith, for the two laws of the market, self-interest and competition, react upon each other and form a balance, guaranteeing the survival of society.

The Consequences of Effects

From the Utah Valley State College Mission Statement, Academic Freedom is a climate conducive to the free examination of ideas. We encourage thoughtful debate and civil discourse and respect the right and responsibility of faculty and students to explore all topics relevant to the educational experience (UVSC Mission Statement). Why then did local Orem resident Kay Anderson say, “Utah Valley is very conservative and bringing a liberal like Moore here could change the character of the place in irrevocable ways” (Perron).

Wait, I thought that UVSC was a place for the free examination of all ideas, a place where there could be thoughtful debate and civil discourse? From the mission statement, it is the the right and responsibility of the school to bring speakers to help students explore all topics, even liberal ones, for the educational experience of the student. So, what is academic freedom? Is it more than a choice of red or blue? What was the real problem with the Michael Moore/Sean Hannity speeches? Some say it was the excessive spending by the members of the UVSC student government, others say that in some degree, that liberalism is some kind of disease that the residents of Utah County will surely catch with one speaker coming to the college. So the question that must be asked is, do the academic freedoms that UVSC holds have some kind of moral or social responsibility? Should they be more like the blue school that is right up the road, or more like the red school a few miles up the other road. These are the points that we will try to analyze and evaluate.

The Associated Students of Utah Valley State College, or ASUVSC like many public schools has the right to governing student fees. Student fees are set apart from the rest of the tuition in the ways that they are spent. Tuition is governed in two tiers, the first is governed by the Utah state legislature and the second tier is governed by the local institution. Aside from the prices of tuition, there are fees that each student is required to cover. The purpose of this money is to cover some of the services that are not included with tuition. A few examples are bond payments, UTA service for the students, a large portion of the Athletic department, and, the ASUVSC budget (FAQ).

Every spring, the recipients of this money are invited to a fee hearing where they can ask for an increase in their allotment of student fees. A large portion of these fees allottedoted to ASUVSC. These are then filtered down into the three main portions of student government, Student Life, Clubs and Organizations, and Academic Senate. Part of Senates responsibility is to bring speakers to campus. For “it is the proper role of academic institutions, and especially state institutions, to present different viewpoints for intellectual discussion.” (FAQ) To allow a wide variety speakers there is an annual budget of $50,000 set aside from student fees. Imagine if you will, the gaul of our student government to invite one speaker in october of the school year that would ask for $40,000+ dollars. Surely this is within their realms, for in the ASUVSC Constitution it provides that when an expense is beyond $50,000 then there are some hoops to jump through (UVSC).

So student government didn’t really violate the constitution because it was below $50,000. Although it appears that the final contract exceeded $50,000, student government always anticipated that ticket sales would cover a significant portion of these costs. Also, contract negotiations specifically detailed a $40,000 stipend for Mr. Moore’s speaking fee and $10,500 for security and additional expenses. Historic practice at the College has allowed students to commit to events exceeding $50,000 when ticket sales were part of the consideration (FAQ).

So the students did everything according to their own by-laws. So why the fuss, why the hate-mail, why the death threats? Oh, I guess that we already forgot that the speaker budget was only $50,000 to begin with. So what now? Is the rest of the year to be spent without speakers? Is this one sided political carnival that is being given to the students of UVSC to go without notice? Of course not! This is Utah, and the last thing that any God fearing, obviously Republican citizen, (and Mormon) here in Utah would do is let this go unnoticed.

I guess that UVSC V.P. of Academics Joe Vogel saw that the only way to balance out this political see-saw was to recognize the bipartisan politics in place in our nation, and quickly invite the conservative, right wing, Bush loving, Republican. But who to invite? They could sign anybody on the Fox Network, maybe shoot for radio giants Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck. It was reported that UVSC went back and forth trying for Michael Reagan, son of former president, Ronald Reagan, and Alan Colmes. I guess though, if you want to find a speaker that appeals to your world view (in this case Mormon), simply turn to LDS owned KSL 1160 maybe around 1-4 PM Monday through Friday, and you might just find your man. 100% Legitimate, Let Freedom Ring! Sean Hannity.

Hannity was offered $40,000 to speak earlier this year by Joe Vogel and ASUVSC. He declined when his $100,000 speaking fee could not be met. But, after hearing that Moore would be coming to campus, and probably feeling that Moore, could change the character of the place in irrevocable ways waved his speaking fee, and offered to come to campus free of charge. Like any true patriot, all that he asked was for UVSC to pick up the travel expenses (Abbot).

Sean Hannity lives in New York. He needed to travel to Utah, and then to Arizona the next day to do a show along with the third presidential debate. Along with the presidential elections, it happened to be a race for the Governor’s chair here in Utah. Add into the mix John Huntsman Jr. an excellent statesman, and quite the philanthropist to boot. So it wasn’t really hard to say to Mr. Hannity that when you come to Utah Valley, feel free to have my personal jet, and along with the crew, here is $10,000 to help the expense cause. Sounds like a good deal to me, I like the idea of flying in Mr. Huntsman’s jet. So imagine my, along with most of Utah Valley, shock when he declined the offer. So, we thought, thanks for coming, we will will look for the bill in the mail.

So Hannity came, spoke, and called Moore a coward for not accepting an invitation for a debate. The Utah valley was Hannitized, and was left blood thirsty for their liberal prey to descend upon their campus. Hurricane Mike came, and left little aftermath. Free underwear and Top Ramen were given to pledged voters and as attendees left the McKay Events Center (Nielson).

Well Moore received his check and all said in done, UVSC ended up paying for his speaking, traveling, and security fees in excess of $62,000. Our Republican still had to send his check. Hannity, sent university officials and private donors travel expenses totaling $49,850, which surprised UVSC administrators. I guess that I would have been surprised when Mr. 100% Legitimate, Let Freedom Ring, Hannity did such a favor to the students of UVSC when he dropped the original speaking fee, and then still sent such a large bill. Because UVSC did not have an official speaking contract with Hannity, they did not know beforehand how much his travel would cost. Derek Hall, spokesman for UVSC, said UVSC officials were generally surprised when they received the bill (Barry and Payne).

Ticket sales for Hannity’s speech reached $35,000. Hannity’s travel expenses, combined with costs for event security, totaled $8,850 taken from the student budget for speakers this year. Expenses for both events totaled $105,850, but revenue coming from donors and ticket sales offset most of the cost. The Associated Students of UVSC will have over $15,600 remaining in their speaker budget after all expenses from both events are paid (Payne).

“You have two speakers both of national renown in their own right on campus within two weeks of a national election and to spend a grand total of $34,500… that’s unheard of,” Derek Hall said.

With the banners down, and the press largely left, has the college turned into some liberal hot bead akin to that of the 1960’s Berkeley? No, of course not. Bush still won the election, and Utah is still largely Republican. The real victory here is the media that came to UVSC. As the old adage goes, there is no such thing as bad press. For as much bad press UVSC got, it has turned the school into a political frenzy and got students registered, and they voted. This was a real victory for UVSC, even if this broke up student government, after reports that Joe Vogel would be writing a tell all book of the Moore/Hannity controversy (Pederson).

Vogel said many people believe Hannity did a favor to the community by coming, so the travel bill is not a big deal. After all, people came, people voted, and UVSC got some national publicity. “It will eventually blow over,” Derek Hall said.

The Effects of Unintended Consequence

The law of unintended consequences, often cited but rarely defined, is that actions of people—and especially of government—always have effects that are unanticipated or “unintended.” Economists and other social scientists have heeded its power for centuries; for just as long, politicians and popular opinion have largely ignored it. How widely have its effects spread? Are they regulated only within the realms of business and economics, or can they be found even within the walls of our little Utah Valley State College campus. We shall see in this paper that its effects can be seen in markets and attitudes everywhere. ? The concept of unintended consequences is one of the building blocks of economics. Adam Smith’s “invisible hand,” the famous metaphor in social science, is an example of a positive unintended consequence. Smith maintained that each individual, seeking only his own gain, “is led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention,” that end being the public interest. “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, or the baker, that we expect our dinner,” Smith wrote, “but from regard to their own self interest.”? Most often, however, the law of unintended consequences illuminates the perverse unanticipated effects of legislation and regulation. In 1692 for example, John Locke, the English philosopher and a forerunner of modern economists, urged the defeat of a parliamentary bill designed to cut the maximum permissible rate of interest from 6 percent to 4 percent. Locke argued that instead of benefiting borrowers, as intended, it would hurt them. People would find ways to circumvent the law, with the costs of circumvention borne by borrowers. To the extent the law was obeyed, Locke concluded, the chief results would be less available credit and a redistribution of income away from “widows, orphans and all those who have their estates in money.”? The first and most complete analysis of the concept of unintended consequences was done in 1936 by the American sociologist Robert K. Merton. In an influential article titled “The Unanticipated Consequences of Purposive Social Action,” Merton identified five sources of unanticipated consequences. The first two—and the most pervasive—were ignorance and error.? Merton labeled the third source the “imperious immediacy of interest.” By that he was referring to instances in which an individual wants the intended consequence of an action so much that he purposefully chooses to ignore any unintended effects. (That type of willful ignorance is very different from true ignorance.) A nation, for example, might ban abortion on moral grounds even though children born as a result of the policy may be unwanted and likely to be more dependent on the state. The unwanted children are an unintended consequence of banning abortions, but not an unforeseen one.? “Basic values” was Merton’s fourth example. The Protestant ethic of hard work and asceticism, he wrote, “paradoxically leads to its own decline through the accumulation of wealth and possessions.” His final case was the “self-defeating prediction.” Here he was referring to the instances when the public prediction of a social development proves false precisely because the prediction changes the course of history. For example, the warnings earlier in this century that population growth would lead to mass starvation helped spur scientific breakthroughs in agricultural productivity that have since made it unlikely that the gloomy prophecy will come true. Merton later developed the flip side of this idea, coining the phrase “the self-fulfilling prophecy.” In a footnote to the 1936 article, he vowed to write a book devoted to the history and analysis of unanticipated consequences. By 1991, Merton, age eighty, had produced six hundred pages of manuscript but still not completed the work.? The law of unintended consequences provides the basis for many criticisms of government programs. As the critics see it, unintended consequences can add so much to the costs of some programs that they make the programs unwise even if they achieve their stated goals. For instance, the United States has imposed quotas on imports of steel in order to protect steel companies and steelworkers from lower-priced competition. The quotas do help steel companies. But they also make less of the cheap steel available to U.S. automakers. As a result the automakers have to pay more for steel than their foreign competitors do. So policy that protects one industry from foreign competition makes it harder for another industry to compete with imports.? Similarly, Social Security has helped alleviate poverty among senior citizens. Many economists argue, however, that it has carried a cost that goes beyond the payroll taxes levied on workers and employers. Martin Feldstein and others maintain that today’s workers save less for their old age because they know they will receive Social Security checks when they retire. If Feldstein and the others are correct, it means that less savings are available, less investment takes place, and the economy, and wages grow more slowly than they would without Social Security.? The law of unintended consequences is at work always and everywhere. In 1968, for instance, Vermont outlawed roadside billboards and large signs in order to protect the state’s pastoral vistas. One unintended consequence was the appearance of large, bizarre “sculptures” adjacent to businesses. An auto dealer commissioned a twelve-foot, sixteen-ton gorilla, clutching a real Volkswagen Beetle. A carpet store is marked by a nineteen-foot genie holding aloft a rolled carpet as he emerges from a smoking teapot. Other sculptures include a horse, a rooster, and a squirrel in red suspenders.? In the wake of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989, many coastal states enacted laws placing unlimited liability on tanker operators. As a result the Royal Dutch/Shell group, one of the world’s biggest oil companies, began hiring independent ships to deliver oil to the United States instead of using its own forty-six-tanker fleet. Oil specialists fretted that other reputable shippers would flee as well, rather than face such unquantifiable risk, leaving the field to fly-by-night tanker operators with leaky ships and iffy insurance. Thus, the probability of spills will increase and the likelihood of collecting damages will decrease as a consequence of the new laws.

From a local perspective, an unintended consequence came in the form of national media exposure to a certain Utah State College. After inviting Michael Moore to come and speak at Utah Valley State College, the quiet town of Orem, and surrounding Utah County turned into an uproar as this left-wing liberal descended upon their community. The original plan was to have two mainstream political voices speak on campus. The result was hate mail, death threats, and pending lawsuits. V.P. of Academics, Joe Vogel thought that it would be good to bring these speakers to show the a spectrum of politics to a predominantly Republican community. The unintended consequence lies in the national media attention that was brought with the speaker. As word spread, the little state school in Utah grew also. Urging potential applicants and already enrolled students and faculty to “Go Green” the school smiled in the face of the opposition. As a new marketing campaign unveiled, school administration and student government welcomed and relished the attention that the keynote speakers were bringing. It is hard to decide if Kay Anderson, the local citizen who opened a lawsuit against the school for misappropriating funds, was angry with the school, or just wanted to bring more attention to the school, and make the visit of Moore a little more captivating for the national media. Whatever the case, there were and still are unintended consequences of the Moore visit, including an Ethics forum this week. This will be led by the new V.P. of Academics Leland Page who filled the position after Joe Vogel was asked to step down by Jim Bassi, ASUVSC President, and Brook Arnell, V.P. of Clubs and Organizations. This after announcing a new tell all book that he is writing.

So we see that the law of unintended consequence has its effects in many forms.

Criminal Behavior

Well, I wouldn’t really consider myself to be any kind of a nuisance to the community, but rather a supporting member of the Provo area. I want to use “The Daily Universe” to front my secret criminal behavior. I skateboard. Sometime, on Provo City streets, I skate at night without reflective gear. I will confess and say that I am not professional in any form, but as a recreationalist, I enjoy longboarding on the streets, and sometimes trying to break land speed records in Millcreek Canyon in my hometown of Salt Lake. So, imagine my confusion when I moved to Provo about four months ago, and was promptly stopped by an officer of the Provo City Police taskforce. He informed me that longboarding down Ninth East was against the law. He also told me that I needed to be wearing reflective gear that was visible from three hundred feet. In the midst of this police brutality, another police officer showed up and expressed his disdain for skateboarders and how the initial officer was being to easy to let me go.  After he was done, another officer, this time BYU police, showed up to make sure that the everything is going well, and that this menacing member of the community was being brought to justice. He assured me of how lucky I was not to be caught on BYU property where, he would be able to ticket me. After all of this, the police cars, the officers and all of the hullabaloo, we were instructed that we could leave, walking. It was rather demeaning to have all of this happen, especially because a girl that I was really trying to impress had to witness all of this as my accomplice. So the question is now, what is to be done? First, get informed. Provo City municipal code 9.32.170 states that where it is posted “No Skateboarding” it means it, and the police can ticket you. What can be done here at BYU though? Is it really such a crime to skateboard on campus? I would say no. I can see the problems that are associated with skateboarding. Damage to property and persons. But isn’t BYU a place where the Honor Code is still in force, and a place where bicycles are allowed privileges on campus? I am for a change in the regulations governed by BYU police to allow skateboarding on campus in the same fashion that cyclists have. I think that the time has come to change and allow people the chance to use this form of transportation, along with rollerblades, and scooters. This fall should be a time for change. ??Jake Spurlock

Careful… it’s loaded

Grandpa was sitting at the table, kicked back in the usual fashion, with the big glass of water in one hand killing the bowl of peanut M&M’s in the other. His goal was simple, really just to stay awake on this lazy Tuesday afternoon in the mid summer. We sat and talked throwing back the dry weather and other mindless banter. It wasn’t his style after all. He was a workingman, whose hands were old and worn from the paintbrushes and saws that he held his whole life; which is probably why this day his finger lay outstretched on the table. Sensing some release to the tension of the weather and the bore of eating m&m’s, I reached forward and pulled his outstretched finger. Quickly pulling away with a big grin in his face, and a sharp rebuke on his tongue, “Careful, that thing is loaded!”


The beating of the helicopter was probably enough to scare my mother, what with the asphalt being covered in blood. But that was really beyond her in her panic stricken shock. After seeing a covered stretcher, she thought that her worst fears had come true, that her first-born son had died.
Having spent a little time at Matt’s home, we grew anxious for adventure. Eager to try to something new, and long past asking our mothers to cross the street, the two of us at a mature age of nine years old decided to venture across Thirty-third South in Salt Lake. With a posted forty miles per hour, but regulated around fifty, it made for a fast street for any type of person. The other side was our goal, an Arctic Circle that offered free kiddy cones. There we found childhood pay dirt, free ice cream.
I was worried right away. I felt that with our mature age that there was no chance that we were going to see free cones that afternoon; nevertheless, luck was with us and we were able to get our free mint dip cones. Finding the model train on the ceiling to provide our young minds with only modest entertainment, we headed off with our new conquest. It was just a few hundred feet to my friend’s home across the street form Arctic Circle, but it was a path that I would not be able to complete that day.
Simple enough I guess, just six lanes of traffic, and to a nine year old, it seemed to pose no threat to the two of us. We waited for the traffic to cease on half of the road, and proceeded to the island in the middle of the street. The roar of the cars was a little nerve racking for my juvenile mind, but ever anxious to exceed another rite of passage, we began to cross. At the island, we waited for a split in the traffic; it was greeted by a large
Lay’s potato chip truck pausing from an afternoon delivery. With the driver’s signal my friend and accomplice Matt headed across the street to find refuge on the sidewalk. I was not the veteran of street crossing that he was, so with a little more caution I started out across the last half the asphalt gauntlet.
The trip was a short one, what I remember of it. I would just explain it as a quick flash of light and then nothing. As a bystander would later relate, I crossed in front of the truck, and quickly met a 1986 Toyota Corolla in a very personal way. The bumper would hit my knee; the hood my hip and arm. When a car is traveling near fifty-five miles an hour, it will take a small, seventy-pound body and throw it forty feet in the air. As the saying goes, what goes up must come down. This is true not only for basketballs, but for humans as well. The fall was as devastating as the primary impact.
From a forty-foot fall, whether the collision is to asphalt, snow, water or even pillows, it can be traumatic. As a nine year old, the collision was much like the American Indian method of scalping. With that much force, an impact literally causes the scalp to tear away from the skull. For me it was much the same, causing a split in my forehead nearly 180 degrees around my head. This was just the beginning though. With an accident like this, traffic was soon to stop. Someone ran to Arctic Circle and called 911; my friend Matt ran to his home and echoed the call. It was reported around five o’clock, the sixteenth of March 1992.
It wasn’t long before the ambulances arrived. I was really in no rush; I had been unconscious since the primary impact. Matt called my home and informed my parents that I had been in an accident. My mother, and my father who had recently returned from work, gathered the rest of my siblings and rushed to Thirty-third South. When they arrived at the top of the street they were greeted by over a mile of backed up traffic. My parents in an adrenaline induced frenzy parked the car and ran towards the scene of the accident. Upon arriving they were greeted by paramedics putting a linen covered stretcher into an ambulance. This only made things worse for my ailing mother.
In the beginning they intended to take me by ambulance to Primary Children%92s Hospital, but with the nature of the injury, they decided that it would be better by helicopter. Lifeflight was called and before long, I was being flown away to the hospital. Looking back, I wonder what the point of Lifeflight was. From my home to the hospital, I once drove there in eight minutes. I guess that with the present traffic situation they decided that it would be better to fly.
The beating of the helicopter was probably enough to scare my mother, what with the asphalt being covered in blood. But that was really beyond her in her panic stricken shock. After seeing a covered stretcher, she thought that her worst fears had come true, that her first-born son had died. This was not true yet, but quickly getting there. While in the midst of my first helicopter flight, the apparent excitement of getting to fly was enough to stop my heart from beating. Throwing the medics into a shock of their of own, the mobile defibrillators were administered to recharge my dying heart. Adding the spark that I apparently needed to cope with my present situation, I decided to breath.
After hours of intensive care at Primary Children’s, I was placed in the intensive care unit where I would eventually regain consciousness. I remember the late hours of the night hearing the voice of my father calling, Jake, Jake.
I responded.
Do you know where you are?
In the hospital.
Do you know what happened?
I was hit by a car.
Yes son.

For my parents, this was the breath of life that they needed. To hear words escape my mouth was a comforting act. They had seen me in a very fragile part of my life at birth, and now again, I was hanging by a thread to my life.
The surgeons had done very well with my head. With the trauma they had stitched my forehead back together. At final count they had put over two hundred and fifty stitches along three different levels of the skin. No small feat, even for plastic surgeons. There was also a lot of internal bleeding that had been stopped. They said that it was a miracle. It was a rarity for a child of my age. That day there had been two other children that were hit by cars in the Salt Lake valley; they, however, had not been so fortunate.
The next day the orthopedic team at Primary started on my knee. My pelvis had been fractured in three places, a break that does not require any form of surgery or casting. All that was necessary was some rest and relaxation for that break. The major problem that the orthopedists found was that my knee had been completely blown apart. After five hours of surgery the surgeons released me with a cast from my hip to my ankle. They completed orthoscopic surgery on a torn MCL and ACL. It was another eventful day that was spent with my eyes closed as I laid unconscious in the intensive care unit.
The rest of the week was spent playing a mobile Nintendo that was brought into my room at the hospital. This was only when I could stay awake from the heavy medications they had me on. Time seemed to fade from one day to the next in some kind of drug induced haze. This was to pass as I left the hospital after about a week of intensive care, nurses, and hospital food.
After leaving the hospital, to say that the story was over would be a lie. It was just the beginning. What followed was lots of rest and therapy. This time that followed was crucial to the recovery. I had to keep off my right leg for nearly three months going from a wheelchair, to a walker, and finally to crutches. This was a hard thing for an active nine year old, but time passed and brought a steady recovery.
To see me now, one doesn’t see the wheelchair or the split in my forehead, which is now mostly covered by my hair that had to grow back after the accident. The real miracle is not that I am living today, but that I am living with only a few scars. These are my memories of the accident.
I am a miracle.

Livin’ On The Edge…

Well, a few days later, and a few hundred more miles on Melissa’s Celica, we arrived back in the happy valley. It was a pretty crazy drive. About 95% off the return trip was spent driving in the snow on the way back to Utah. Melissa was a little scared at the trip, and the fear of crashing the car landed me in the drivers seat, and I got to pilot the car back. It was really fun to get to meet her parents and the rest of her family.

One of the highlights of the trip was the chance to go rappelling on Bath Rock in the City of Rocks. After having to do a fairly difficult free climb, we set up the descent on the face of the rock. Melissa’s Dad estimated that it was about a 100 foot cliff, and that there was 120 feet of rope. We set up holds for a belay rope and a rappel rope. The wind was blowing about 30-40 miles per hour with a cold, 25 degree temperature, which, as Cecile so aptly put, made it cold as hell. The girls were anxious to get off the rock, so they were the first ones down. It had taken about an hour to get everyone up the mountain. They wanted to be belayed up the rock, with the ice and the cold weather making it kind of difficult to do the ascension. So with everybody shivering at the top, we began the decline. Laura was the first to be strapped in and lowered over the edge. She began the rappel, and everything was going fine, until we saw only about four feet of rope on the ground from the belay rope. Meaning that she was probably at the end of her rappell rope. We radioed to the bottom were we were told that there was still about 40 feet to go, and we were stuck without any rope. After some tricky knots and some patience on Laura’s part, the ropes were extentended and she was at the bottom in safety. I had a great time, the sudden gusts of wind that made it feel like you were going to fall off the edge of the cliff made it really fun.


Well, I am headed off to Idaho today… I get to meet Melissa’s Parents and the rest of her family. I am really looking forward to getting away from work and school, and just relaxing for a few days. I wonder if there is a chance that in the next few days that I can become proficient in the art of potato farming. Probably not going to happen, but that is ok. I think that my education and career will take my away from potato farming. In french you would say pomme de terre to say potato, that means apple of the earth… Well, This is just ridiculous so I bid thee all adieu.


The New Blog

I guess that this was going to happen eventually, the little thoughts that are running around in my head would someday endup on the world wide web… I hope that this blog can be a means for some kind of creative output on my part, and some input form others as well. Along with the chance for me to post some blogs for brothers and friends who bmay be away from home. Here’s to the Blog…