Saturday, November 29, 2008

A day out...

This afternoon we went for a little 'adventure' - Jill's Parents, Ryan, and then Karrissa & Joe and their cute girls joined us. First we went up to the Cabela's in Lehi - I've never been there before. Reminded me why I'm not the 'hunter' type. But I did enjoy the 'stuff' they had as well as the many exhibits. Kind of like a natural history museum... but not to show off the animals, but to show of the types of things you can kill with their equipment. A little freaky if you ask me. It was a large building, and quite professional and clean with lots and lots of things that would be fun to have/play with.

Then we went down the hill to Thanksgiving Point - the Museum of Ancient Life... another local attraction that I've never been to.
We met up with Karrissa's family and went through the museum together. "The World's Largest Dinosaur Museum"! - I was a little underwhelmed in the beginning... I overheard someone say something about it just goes around this one corner then directly to the exit... and we'd only been inside for 10 minutes or so. But they were WRONG. It was a very large museum and quite well done. I was personally wrong thinking my grand-daughter McKinley at only 2 years old would be too young to appreciate it. She had a ball! I quite enjoyed carrying her around to different exhibits and talking with her about what we saw. I must say she is quite intelligent. (and you know where she got that from... yea, her Dad's side of the family) - ha, got you there eh? She is talking so much better than just a couple of month's ago when we were in San Diego with her at SeaWorld. She saw a 'dolphin' - well the bones of one and a small picture. And she remembered about how this 'fish' would jump and splash. She also knew about the differences between 'sharks', 'fish', 'whales', etc. As well as all the other recognizable animals in the exhibits. Kinny didn't like getting her hands dirty in the 'erosion tank' or other kids-level exhibits and had to wash her hands. But she did enjoy the hand-dryer machine... using it over and over.

Kinny liked making the sound of a 'Dinosaur' roar!

Kylie looks a bit like 'Magneto' from the X-Men movies eh? - But ooh soo cute!

After a great time in the Museum we headed over to Applebees for some dinner together. (Alysha got home from her 'girls at the cabin' thing early and drove up and had dinner with us) It was great having the entire family together (well, all but Brent...) for dinner. A good time was had by all.

Thanks to Jill for being the Grand-Daughter entertainment system while we waited for dinner!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving At Home!

It was sure nice to be home this week!

I arrived home on Friday afternoon - about three hours before I left New Zealand (oh, the wonders of the International Date Line!) and promptly went to dinner at Sizzler with Jill, Ryan and Alysha. We had a great time talking, catching up, and eating lots of little shrimps.

Saturday was filled with lots of little errands, getting caught up with household and office stuff that gets left behind when I'm gone for two weeks straight. Then home for the BYU -vs- Utah grudge match Football game. And 'No' - I don't want to talk about it!

I had lots of work to catch up on and go through multiple pages of 'To Do' lists... but whittle many of them away before Wednesday night when my daughter Karrissa and her family came up from their home in Las Vegas to spend some time this holiday weekend with us. I 'Surprised' Karrissa and Joe with my Mongolian Beef... (she asked for it, and I surprised her with it...)

Then up at 5:45am on Thursday to get the Turkey out of the overnight 'Brine' soaking and prepare it for the oven. Then after a bit of an early morning nap... I got into making the rest of my list for the big Family Thanksgiving Dinner (Lunch). I was responsible for the Turkey, Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, and Gravy. I enjoy making all of them... but the kitchen was way too warm for me by the end. (Thanks to all those others who made the rest of the meal!) I especially enjoy eating the dressing... so I spend extra time with it. Adding onions, green onions, mushrooms, walnuts, and extra-fine chopped celery. Mmmmmmm Good!

Then at 1:00pm we met up at my sister Janet's house and had a big family and friend get-together, ate lots of food, watch a bit of football and visited a lot.

For the evening's entertainment we went to the new movie 'Australia' - it was a grand epic in the 'Gone with the Wind' genre. I enjoyed the movie, and it's long running time. (Feels like you're getting more for your money when you have to leave for the restroom mid-movie)
It was very fun having my grand-daughters here this weekend. McKinley is talking soooo much better. I can actually understand what she is saying when I'm in the room with her. (Over the phone its sometimes a bit hard to understand) She likes to play with dolls, 'buys' (money), sing songs, read books, and get 'flipped' around. I enjoy being called 'pop pa' in her cute little voice!

Jill's parents will be here today and Karrissa and Joe back on Saturday from visiting with his family. It's nice to be home for a week of family time!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Week in New Zealand

I spent an enjoyable week teaching a custom set of courses for Kalooma in Auckland. Actually I was at the 'Spencer on Byron' hotel in the North Shore community of Takapuna. There was 'lawn bowling' across the street, swimming, kayaking, and running races on the Takapuna beach a couple blocks away, and Rugby on the TV to augment the Women's Soccer World Cup. Lots of 'sports' going on in New Zealand. I cut my chin shaving on the first day of class... and it wouldn't stop bleeding! - So I had to start the class and teach the first 45 minutes holding a series of bloody napkins on my chin. How embarrassing!

A very pretty place... I could easily live there, but... It's way too far away from family. Next time down I'll have to take Jill along with me and stay some extra days to do some sightseeing.

Auckland real estate has a unique flavor with lots of 'filigree' and extra little touches on their homes. The 'Silver Fern' is a special New Zealand favorite - and logo for their Country's All Blacks Rugby team. The flight home was uneventful... just weird landing in Salt Lake City three hours before I left Auckland New Zealand! (that silly old International Date Line thing)

After arriving home we took the kids to dinner at Sizzler (Ryan and Alysha's favorite) and had a very enjoyable time talking and visiting with our children.

Monday, November 17, 2008

USA Women's Soccer - World Cup in Auckland

The hotel I'm staying at in Auckland was the FIFA World Championship host... the place was 'crawling' with soccer folks (sorry... football for the rest of the world)The US team came from an underdog position beating Korea in the quarter-finals, then in a surprise upset beat Germany to find themselves in the final against North Korea on Sunday afternoon.

The US was up by one goal until the 77th minute when North Korea put in the equalizer off a bounce from the goal post. Then in overtime they scored one more time to become the World Champions.

One thing I noticed when both teams arrived back at the hotel. The US girls were not as 'bubbly' as they were on the way to the game earlier in the day... but still joking and talking.
US Team after winning the Silver
The North Koreans were much more stoic and staid in their demeanor... both before and after the game. I think they must have been thinking... "After this, we now have to return to North Korea!" yech...

That and the USA team were all pretty cute with different hair styles and personalities... in riding the elevator a couple of times with a variety of North Koreans... they all had the EXACT same hair cut (garden shears and a blind man come to mind) and seemed 'afraid' of their coaches, and stopped talking whenever a coach was around.
PRK Team after winning the Gold
Just a couple of things I noticed.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Where I've Lived-Visited-Want to Go...

I found this web site online that allows one to easily build a world map showing where they have lived, visited and want to visit.

Check it out at

Here is my current map... hopefully I'll be able to update this from only 50 countries visited to my goal of 100 before I tire of travel.
I still have four states to go for all 50 - I think I'll be able to get West Virginia the next time I'm in Washington DC... Alaska when Jill and I go on a cruise there... but for the Dakotas? no clue.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Week in Seattle - Followed by a LONG FLIGHT

I spent last week in Seattle - well actually in Tukwila, down by the SeaTac airport.

The facility was quite nice, and comfortable. The classroom was right on-site and the service at the Homewood Suites more than expected.
Some cities have higher rental car rates than others... and some airports have on-site rentals and off-site rentals. Since I arrived late in Seattle last Sunday... I just took the hotel shuttle and didn't rent a car. Then each day during the week when I thought of renting a car so I could do something after class at night... the $75 per day charge just didn't justify it.

So a week in Seattle and NO KING WHA... boo hoo... I just couldn't justify the cost. (And a taxi from my hotel to King Wha and back was just about as bad.)

I did get to go over to the Southcenter Mall food court one night while the 'Twilight'-mania was going on. Hundreds of teenage girls (as well as a lot of their mothers) were dressed in Twilight-branded clothing fawning over the actors from the show (I guess 'Jacob' was in town)
On Wednesday Ken/Cathy and Debbie/Craig came down and took me out to dinner! Thanks... it was nice to visit with you all again!

Friday after an 'early-out' one of the students was kind enough to drop me off at the Airport and I took a flight to San Francisco. This was to have an hour and a half layover... time to recharge my electronics, get a bite to eat, and leisurely go over to the International Terminal in SFO. But that was not to be. Our flight down from SEA to SFO was delayed and after 'running' through the airport (I know, that's a disturbing visual image) I barely made the flight to Auckland (and had a terrible seat assignment for the nasty 14 1/2 hour flight)
The hotel was sold out the Saturday night before my Sunday morning arrival, so they weren't able to put me directly into a room when I arrived at 6:30am... but gratefully some folks were continuing on a tour and checked out early... so by 8:30am I was back in a nice bed taking a nap to get my body 're-sync'd' to New Zealand time.This afternoon I took a walk around the 'North Shore' area across the bay from Auckland and even got to walk on the Takapuna beach and watch the wind surfers and kite surfers.
Here are some pictures from the area around the hotel and the view of Auckland from my room on the 19th floor of the 'Spencer on Byron' hotel - this is on the 'North Shore' of Auckland.I should be all ready to go for class here starting tomorrow.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Travel Ideas - Suggestions?

Here are some travel ideas I've been 'kicking around' - any comments or suggestions?


Travel Ideas

Plan on One Trip per year

Paris London Trip - 2008


World Trip Plans - 2009

Venice, Italy
Istanbul, Turkey
Athens, Greece
Petra, Jordan
Jerusalem, Israel

Dead Sea

Great Pyramids of Giza
Cairo, Egypt

Cruise on the Nile

Taj Mahal, India
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Visit Hong Kong
Three Gorges/Yangtze River Cruise
Terracotta Warriors

Forbidden City
Great Wall of China

Pickup Brent Trip - 2010

Machu Picchu


Christ Statue

Sao Paulo

Panama Cruise
Costa Rica


Alaska Cruise


Utah National Parks Trip

Mesa Verde
Four Corners
Visit All the National Parks

Finish 50 States Trip

South Dakota

North Dakota

British Isles Trip




Northern Ireland


Return to Morocco Trip
Alhambra, Spain






Antarctica Cruise


Falkland Islands





Baltic Train Trip







Danube Cruise
Eastern Europe Countries

Mt. Kilimanjaro
Victoria Falls
Photo Safari

My 'Life List'

After doing that 'Tag' for my blog, it made me think about the things I'd like to do with the remainder of my life.

Here's my first pass. I had a couple of these already in my computer for my travel list... but I updated it and put in the things that I think are possible.

Please give me your input on things you think I might want to add to this list.




Keith Parsons – Life List

Do These Things

  • See a total eclipse of the Sun - Faroe Islands - 2015
  • Go Sky diving or Para sailing
  • Raft the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon
  • See a Volcano Erupting
  • Spend a Christmas in New York City
  • Drive along Route 66
  • African Photo Safari
  • Float in the Dead Sea
  • See the Northern lights

Visit These Places

  • All 50 States – Still need S.D., N.D., Alaska, WV
  • 100 Countries – Still need 45 more
  • All 7 continents – Still need Antarctica
  • All National Parks in Utah
  1. Acropolis in Athens
  2. Angkor Wat in Cambodia
  3. Antarctica
  4. Eiffel Tower in Paris
  5. Great Wall of China
  6. Hagia Sophia in Istanbul
  7. Jerusalem in Israel
  8. Machu Picchu
  9. Mesa Verde
  10. Mount Kilimanjaro
  11. Panama Canal
  12. Petra in Jordan
  13. Pyramids of Giza in Egypt
  14. Ruins of Pompeii
  15. Statue of Christ in Rio
  16. Taj Mahal
  17. Terracotta Warriors
  18. The Louvre
  19. Three Gorges/ Yangtze River
  20. Tower of London
  21. Venice
  22. Victoria Falls

Monday, November 10, 2008

Life To-Do List Tag

Bold the things you've done:

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band

4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower

. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
(rappelled count?)
12. Visited Paris

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child

16. Had food poisoning

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
(not allowed since 9/11)
18. Grown your own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train

21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill

24. Built a snow fort
(and slept in many snow caves as well)
25. Held a lamb

26. Gone swimming in the ocean at night

27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught yourself a new language

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David

41. Sung karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt (wasn't much...)
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted (caricature)

48. Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
(Bottom count?)
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
(bought them count?)
62. Gone whale watching

63. Got flowers for no reason
(and given)
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

67. Bounced a check (doh!)
68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt

73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

77. Broken a bone

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem

84. Had your picture in the newspaper

86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury

91. Met someone famous

92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
(well the wife has...)
95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
(and I live here... embarassing!)
97. Been involved in a law suit

98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

85 - not bad...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Don't Lose Your Suitcase!

I know the title of this blog is obvious... but someone at Delta Airlines didn't heed it this past week.

I was on a flight from SLC to Detroit with three checked bags, my suitcase, and two pelican cases with course and classroom materials.

The two non-essential cases arrived and my personal suitcase did not. Big deal, flying over 150,000 miles this year and to finally have a 'lost' bag wasn't much of a deal...

The nice lady at the Delta baggage claim office in Detroit looked it up on the computer and my bag's bar-code scan was last seen in SLC - and they'd put it on the next flight via Atlanta and it should be at my hotel by 11:00pm. (this happens occasionally to me, perhaps one out of fifty flights)

When it wasn't delivered to the hotel room in the morning I got a bit worried. Called and checked online - but to no avail.

It still hasn't been tracked down yet!
After five days I can charge Delta for a Lost Bag.

So I don't recommend you try this any time when you travel. Not too fun. But, if you have a credit card, and shopping near by you can do pretty good. A Jos. A Banks and CVS across the street got me by this week. (That and an emergency care package from Ryan).

So my recommendation:
Take along whatever medicines and a spare change of underwear and socks in your carry-on - Now I'll start doing that...

I was amazed at how much value was in my 'small' version of a traveling suitcase. Here is the list of what the Delta is supposed to reimburse me for. I didn't even carry a couple of laptops or projector with me on this trip!
Just as a reminder - Airlines in the US only reimburse up to $3,000 per bag. I thought I was way off on that figure. But be warned. It doesn't take all that much to be above the limit. If you are over limit you can get 'extra' coverage from your Airline (before you fly).

Always have pen and paper!

Ok, this will be the start of a series of blog entries about my recommendations based on years of business travel. This first one will be on 'Always have a pen and paper!'

I've been one to carry a pen with me... all the time... for many years now. This habit has been quite helpful in many ways. It comes in quite handy to have your own pen, to sign receipts, fill out customs documents, and the most important... to take NOTES!

I use a Mont Blanc with Rollerball Refill... classy, spins nicely, doesn't leak, and puts down a clean smooth black line, even works through carbons. It's not too thin, not too thick, just right.
Well, what to take notes on? This has been a journey for me for many years now. I've tried small notepads, larger notebooks, Franklin Day Planners (various sizes), the backs of my business cards, etc.

My current system is to always have with me 3x5 index cards. These are always available to me to take notes, write down lists of To Do's, leave notes to students, or a wide variety of other uses. I've opted for a personalized 3x5 card from with my Name, blog, and e-mail addresses. These I can give as reminders to students or friends of my contact information.

I use a grid pattern. It can be used to organize To Do lists, or draw out network diagrams, or design things. I like it.
I found this article on the history and use of Index Cards... a pretty good synopsis of the ubiquitous 3x5 card!


Dancing with Darwin:

The vanishing index card is a useful species still

Just about everyone’s heard of—and has probably used—3 x 5 cards, but where did they come from? Surprisingly, their origin dates back a thousand years. Also known as index cards, their evolution is rooted in the concept of cataloging, or indexing, key words in a book

The monks of medieval times employed a hands-on system for marking a manuscript’s key words: they would use a symbol that indicated a finger pointing to the term—that digit being the forefinger, or index finger. Index traces its roots to Latin and the concept of informer, or pointer. Its Greek forbear means to show

Eventually these pointy fingers found their way to the back of the book in the form of an index of terms

But how were books themselves being catalogued? In fits and starts, it seems, with the Alexandria Library using an alphabetical system in the third century B.C. E., but the European libraries using a peculiar rhyming system 11 centuries later. Things got better organized in the nineteenth century, and in 1820 the first card catalog appeared in a library in London

The American hero of the library index card was Melvil Dewey. He introduced his decimal classification system in the 1870s, in the library at Amherst College in western Massachusetts. The card he devised for his catalog drawers was approximately 3" x 5". The typewriter had been invented a few years earlier, and ultimately the card and the keys met and married

The Library of Congress started printing its catalog index cards in 1901. For the next eight decades or so, the library index card and its attendant cabinets would serve as the Google of their day. Nicholson Baker, in his elegiac essay on card catalogs that appeared in The New Yorker in 1994, reported that the New York Public Library harbored 10 million cards

With all these cards in libraries, perhaps it was only a matter of time before they segued into general use. Thrifty librarians primed the pump by setting out discarded cards for patrons to use for notes. Seeing the cards’ usefulness, stationers began offering blank cards for sale. Business and professional people, writers and students adopted the cards as standard tools for researching, filing and organizing information.

And then, of course, computers struck. Card cabinets in libraries were dismantled and the cards discarded. There simply wasn’t enough room anymore to capture all our knowledge on a 3" x 5" descendant of papyrus. The once ubiquitous little cards, whose origins are so closely linked to cataloging knowledge, teetered on the brink of extinction

The index card is still a handy palimpsest, the screen on which one can quickly capture first ideas, reminder notes, titles of books friends recommend, your grandmother’s recipe for pumpkin pie. Index cards, with their scratch-outs, imperfect erasures and caret insertions, jog our memory as only the tactile can

By contrast, electronic systems live a perilously finite existence. Better operating systems, application software and search engines will come along and the current hero will be banished, forgotten, trashed.

Get your digit out, the English are fond of saying—meaning, get cracking. Get your digit out—and your pen—and jot a note on an index card. It still has a place in the digital world.

“A key tip: try to limit what you write on cards to a single topic or subject, such as a grocery list on one card, a hardware list on another. For work, keep cards for different people or areas of responsibility.”

“I use a very fine-point pen to get lots of information on one card and I write neatly—most of the time.”

“I almost never write on the backs, and this saves me from always having to turn cards around to see if there is writing on the back. Occasionally, when I’m taking a bunch of notes on one topic, like during a speech, then I’ll write on the backs. But I number each card side, 1, 2, 3, which is my cue to look at the backs.”

How to thrive with the power of 3 x 5

They have been around for a century, they’re as low-tech as they come, but 3 x 5 cards can fill an exalted role among twenty-first-century thinkers. Within the realm of capturing ideas and acting on them, they fill a niche that notebooks and electronics can’t. What could be...

  • simpler to use
  • easier to shuffle around
  • handier to keep and pull from a pocket
  • more disposable—or lasting—than a simple index card?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What America's Agenda Should Be!

A cousin sent me a request to support a group... I didn't actually like their platform, but... it did make me think about what I do support.

So here is my list of what America's agenda should be.

obama? Are you listening?


This is what I believe we should be working for.

  • Say NO to bailouts
  • Say yes to more coal
  • Say yes to solar
  • Say yes to nuclear
  • Say yes to more drilling
  • Say yes to natural gas
  • Say yes to micro-power
  • Say yes to wind power
  • Say yes to more tar sands
  • Say yes to more R&D Spending
  • Say NO to welfare without work
  • Say yes to a strong military
  • Say yes to PEACE
  • Say NO to Abortion
  • Say NO to Gay Marriage
  • Say yes to Line Item Veto
  • Say NO to pork barrel spending
  • Say NO to entitlements
  • Say NO to teacher's unions
  • Say NO to all unions
  • Say yes to better education
  • Say yes to closing the borders
  • Say yes to controlled immigration
  • Say NO to illegal immigrants
  • Say NO to appeasing Europe
  • Say yes to keep the Bush tax cuts
  • Say yes to a flat tax
  • Say yes to an English Only policy
  • Say yes to free English training for anyone
  • Say NO to the religion of Global Warming
  • Say yes to self-sufficiency
  • Say NO to more government
  • Say NO to professional politicians
  • Say yes to term limits
  • Say NO to farm subsidies
  • Say NO to paying peoples mortgages with our money
  • Say yes to first family, then church, then community for help
  • Say yes to 'faith-based' activities
  • Say NO to community organizations
  • Say yes to Israel
  • Say NO to supporting terrorist countries
Keith Parsons

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Congratulations to obama followers

Congtrats to you on your guy winning.

I know you are both intelligent and thoughtful - and I still don't understand how you could be so mislead.

I'll gladly retract all my statements about the obama phenomenon - if... if he proves me wrong and your belief in him proves correct.

The larger part of me actually hopes to be wrong - I care about this country and the hard-working people in it - it's not worth the pain and loss of progress the country will go through just to prove me correct.

Now we'll just have to wait and see, the "proof is in the pudding"

Again, congratulations on your candidate's win tonight.

(From my comment on my niece Laura's Blog)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Ok... its now pretty much over... obama has been elected our next president.

I really don't think all those folks who voted really understand what they just did. The first arab-american president of the United States just pulled the wool over everyone's eyes.

Not that I was ever enamored with McCain... but though the electoral votes easily put obama on top, it is still very telling that only 3-4% of the population differ between the candidates. Especially when you think of how over-the-top biased the media was towards their 'glamor boy' - He should have had must more support.

So... what are we to do now. I know not what I can do/or have done to make any sort of change in this situation. It's hard to be positive about the situation as our country quickly slips towards socialism. obama and his trainers have slipped one over on the American public.

Part of me wants to just sit back and watch as those who voted for this "man" have to end up living with his results. The quote comes to mind... "by their fruits ye shall know they are mine" - lets see just who's man this mr. obama is and what he really represents.

You can't tell me this wasn't a racially motivated election... over 95% of blacks voted for him... that's NOT racially motivated? Come on...

Others have been much more eloquent online with their statements about obama and his lack of experience and the many many ways he is wrong for I won't waste any time reiteratting those.

But I can see how it would be difficult to vote for McCain as well... if the only reason to vote for McCain is that he ISN'T obama... it's just what the media wanted. obama is our new president it the most part to the liberal media, but also a great big kudos to Huckabee, obama should give him a great big part in his new government for being the one who in great part put him in the white house.

Another part of me just wants to remember Senator Orrin Hatch's prediction today that because of this obama election the "Consitution would hang by a thread"

Sad, sad, sad.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

What's in Your Backpack?

I’ve been a ‘bag’ kind of guy since I was just a little kid. Any bag Dad would bring home from work…

Then in my own business I’ve been through literally 50+ bags that have been ‘mine’. But now I’ve used the same backpack for over three years now… a World’s Record!

I had some time this evening (in Detroit) and I thought I’d document up what is in my Backpack.

I have had many years of travel experience and have honed my packing skills to bring along just the right set of equipment and supplies to support me wherever I might be. I can work, be entertained, read, relax, and generally take pretty good care of myself with just what is in my backpack.

Every item on this list has a specific purpose and reason for being included. This backpack has to fit in the overhead compartments of even the smallest of Regional Jets, or under the airline seat. And… I have to carry it with me and send it through TSA security checkpoints over 100+ times per year!

This combination of equipment is the culmination of thousands of hours of travel and on-the-road work. Work in Hotel rooms, Crown Rooms, Airports, client offices, backs of bouncing pickup trucks, subways, and even at my home and work offices…

Everything can be recharged via USB 5v systems – and I carry two spare 5v batteries and three USB Charging stations so I’m never without power for these devices. Everything is also 110v/220v so I can travel internationally. Depending on the country, I just have to add a small bag of adapters and I’m ready to go.

So here it goes…

Keith Parsons - Backpack Contents

- Brenthaven Expandable Trek Backpack

In Bottom of Front Pocket
- Main Unit – Small case I can pull out and easily setup on a desk
32GB USB Drive - Corsair - Backup and All my install files

USB SD Card Reader

USB Charging Battery - Lennar

USB Charger Cable for iPhone

8GB USB Drive - Temporary Files

16GB USB Drive - Instructor Master

8GB USB Drive - Aruba PTT Course

Flashlight - Surefire Executive Defender

Mini Cable to VGA for MacBook

Red Pen - Bic 5mm

Black Pen - Sharpie Mini
20GB Firefly USB powered Hard Drive

CarryAll - NiteIze Mobile Accessories

- USB Charger w/Dual adapter iPhone and Mini USB

- Apple AirPort Express Extreme - set to WPA to share Wired

- 60Watt Apple Macbook Power Suppy

- Allsop Mouse Beanbag

- Apple Bluetooth 'Mighty Mouse'
- Canon Sureshot Digital Camera

Charging Unit

Tums EX


Tube of Tylenol Extra Strength

Cherry Chapstick

Ceramic Paper Cutter

Fingernail Clippers - A.G. Russell

Fingernail File

Twezzers - L.A. Cross

USB Charger Cable for Kindle

USB Charger Cable for Mini USB

USB Charger Cable for iPhone

USB 4-port Hub - APC

USB AC Charger - Lennar

USB Charging Battery - Lennar

USB Male to Mini USB Cable - Zio Shorty

USB AC Charger - Apple

CarryAll - NiteIze Mobile Accessories

Network Unit
RJ-45 to DB-9 Console Cable Adapter - Aruba

USB to DB-9 Serial Adapter -

USB to Serial Converter w/cord

USB to Serial Drivers Mini CD

RJ-45 Cross Over Adapter

3' Cat-5 Cable

6' Cat-5 Cable - Retractable

4-port USB Hub with Octopus Cable

AirMagnet abgn Wireless LAN Adapter w/AirMagnet Licenses

Ubiquiti abg Wireless LAN Adapter w/2dBi Antenna
w/AirMagnet Licenses
CarryAll - NiteIze Mobile Accessories

Back Main Section
Spare Bifocal Glasses in Protective Case

Spare Computer Glasses in Protective Case

Sunglasses in Protective Case

Package of M&Ms

Package of Salted Peanuts

Monster 'Dr. Dre' Noise Cancelling Headphones

Amazon Kindle in Leather Case

Apple Macbook 13" - Aluminum Unibody 2.4GHz w/320GB HD

Monster Cable - 4-port Portable Power Strip

Passport in Mesh Liner

Wallet 'spare' ID and Credit Cards in Mesh Liner

Cash - $300 in $20s

Right Side Pocket
Garmin Nuvi 250 Portable GPS

w/Suction Mount & USB Charging port

Outside Mesh used for loose change

Ball Speaker - USB Powered

Left Side Pocket

IO Scribe Digital Pen

Portable Microphone

Earbuds w/Airline Adapter

Variety of Medicines in Single Serving Packets

Front Left Zipper Pocket

Car Keys

Ninja' Remote

Eyeglass Cleaner Pads

Pre-moistened Lens Cleaning Tissues

Front Right Zipper Pocket

Tide Stain Remover Pen

Fingernail Buffer Tool

Large Pre-Moisten LCD Cleaning Tissues

Front Zipper Pocket

Spare Mont Blanc Rollerball Pen

Spare Mont Blanc Rollerball Refill

Airline Coupons and Pre-Paid Vouchers

Spare Red Pens and Sharpies

Sleeping Eyemask and Earplugs

First Aid Kit

Front of Backpack

S-Biner Snap-On Caribiners - 10Lb Versions

Altoids Sugar-Free Wintergreen Smalls

Delta Skymiles Platinum Medalion Tag

Top Front Pocket

V-Mode High-Quality Earbuds

Airline Adapter for Headphones

Motorola Bluetooth Earpiece w/USB Charging Port

Spare AAA Batteries

USB Charging Cable for Ailph Jawbone Bluetooth

Aliph Jawbone Slim Bluetooth Adapter

2GB SD Card

Business Cards

3x5 Cards PrePrinted with my Information and Grid Patter

Small Narrow Notepad

2"x2" Yellow Post-It Notes

Spare Mont Blanc Rollerball Refill

Microfiber Cloth

2GB 'Temp' USB Drive

4GB 'Master' WLAN Student USB Drive

Crown Room Card

Delta Airlines Platinum Status Card

United Airlines Gold Premier Status Card

United Red Carpet Lounge Passes

Small Leather Case to Protect Jawbone Bluetooth Adapter

Saturday, November 1, 2008

3-days in Atlanta... and didn't leave the hotel

Monday afternoon I had a bit of a rush traveling to the airport. Waiting for a AAA tow truck to come and help get Alysha's car into the shop... I thought he would tow the car for me, but instead he gave a very temporary fix by hammering the fuel pump into submission... thus Dad couldn't take me to the airport and I had to drive myself. (Not that I mind driving myself, but Alysha wanted to use my car while her's was getting fixed)

Since Atlanta is a Delta Hub (as is Salt Lake City) the cost to fly Delta was horrendous. So I ended up flying on Frontier Airlines. Not bad, they fly Airbus A320s - with TV's in the seat backs.
But the flight out of Denver on the way down to Atlanta was delayed - so I didn't get in until 1:00am... Then taught three days of AirMagnet WLAN Design training. Didn't get rental car, and so stayed in the hotel for three days straight. (Good thing they had a fairly decent restaurant) The flight home was again a bit of a nightmare. I was done with class early enough to catch an earlier flight home. But NOOOOOO... Frontier wouldn't have any of that! They tried to charge $270 MORE for switching out to an earlier flight... that had over 20 empty seats. So instead I went to the Delta Crown room and watched the last of the Sharpe series movies on my laptop.

Then the flight was delayed coming into Atlanta, thus we were late back to Denver, and they had to hold the Salt Lake City flight 30 mintues to get all of us on that flight... so I ended up getting home 5 hours later than if they had just let me do a standby on the earlier flight.

I really like flying on an airline where I have a bit of 'clout' and can get a little respect from the staff. (Platinum on Delta and Gold on United seem to help a bit eh?)

It was nice this week to have a couple of days back in Utah to catch up on work, clean up the office a bit and spend at least a little more time with my family.