Thursday, July 27, 2017

A Few Close-Ups...

When you sit at your desk, surrounded by 1/2 high gray cubicle walls during a ten-hour shift, sometimes you've got to look at things differently, or you'll go a little nuts. That's what I did at work today. On a break, I broke out my telephoto lenses for my phone and took some pictures.

Some turned out pretty good.

I thought it would be cool to see what my geode owl looked like close up.

And here's the normal shot.

Of course, I like things that are red and white, a Coca-Cola logo, the Danish Flag, colors of the University of Utah. Personally, it's my favorite color combination.

Sure, it's kind of a pain to dig into my backpack and find the pouch that has my iPhone lenses then attach them to the phone, but every once in a while, you get a cool view. It makes life a little more interesting. I should do it more often.

While on my breaks, of course.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Pretty Sure It's Not Supposed To Do That...

I wasn't sure what I was seeing, because the machine was acting in a way it's not supposed to act. It took me a second to realize that. 

Our break room has four microwaves in the "Microwave Alcove" (that's what I've named it...). Three work--the one with the teal post-it note doesn't, hence the note. I usually use the black one. I don't know why. Maybe because it's different, like the way lions and other predators attack the victims that are unusual. 

But, yesterday I chose the microwave in the upper right-hand corner. I walked up to it, pushed the button that opened the door and took a step back. Opening the door started up the oven. It's not supposed to do that. I'm no microwave oven engineer, but I think the only thing that's supposed to do is turn on the little light. But this time, the inner tray began to turn and the sound that the ovens make when nuking the food kicked in, too.

I closed the door closed as I figured out it wasn't working right. A co-worker came in and saw me standing there. "Those microwaves are haunted. Some people downstairs said that our microwaves are haunted. I think they're right," she said.

I agreed.

I checked it today. It still acted weird. Is it haunted? I can't say. I'm neither a microwave oven engineer or a microwave oven ghost hunter. Chances are, though. Pretty soon there'll be another post-it note on another machine.


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Just Watched "Footloose"...The Original

A few years ago a group of people met in a theater rehearsal hall. The director asked us what made Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol such a classic, a story that's endured since the mid-1800s. It made me think about why I like that story so much. For me, it's because it's timeless. It speaks to generations of people. Children can understand Tiny Tim and the wonders of Christmas. Young parents can relate to making things special for Christmas--even on a budget. And older readers understand better than most the word "regret" when it comes to decisions made earlier in life.

What does this have to do with the original version of Footloose?

Good question.

Tonight after I got home from work the movie was on. It's been years since I've seen it. I may have not watched the whole thing since I did back in theaters in the early 1980s. Boy--it was corny. Which surprised me. I remember a different movie. I remember a show about teen angst, "us against the world" attitudes, good music, and good dancing.

Well, it did have those things, but it was not the fantastic film I remembered. It hasn't really aged well. I suppose that's why they made a new one (which, I haven't seen...). When I saw it today, I saw it through different eyes, a parent's eyes. A community where people are shunned because they think differently is no longer far-fetched. We're seeing it today. Just try and give a speech on a college campus if your views are not the same as everyone else. People burning books and making acts illegal just because they're unpopular. Sure, it was campy in the movie, but it's human nature.

I was in high school when Footloose hit the theaters. The fact that they filmed it an hour down the road gave all of us Utah teens a kinship to the film. Not that I did what they characters did in the movie (never played "chicken" on tractors, never went to the next town over to drink/smoke/dance/get in fights--in that order--in my life...). Though I don't live where it was filmed, I do travel to the valley from time to time. It's amazing how life has changed. 

But, there's something in the film with which all teens can identify--society telling them what to do when that's the last thing they want, and perhaps something they need.

Watching the film this time, put me back there. Is this a classic? Will people gather in a theater rehearsal hall in 170 years from now and talk about what makes Footloose endure? And I wonder if parents, when they saw it back in the day, thought it was a good film, or did they think it was kind of corny.

Good question.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Oh, Pioneers...

Today, we slept in. We had the day off. We barbecued dinner. We even watched part of a parade.

We celebrated Pioneer Day.

It's our state's holiday, which is weird because it's not the day Utah was officially added to the United States. Our statehood date is in January and no one celebrates it. On this date, July 24th, in 1847, a group of pioneers came through a canyon and declared that the land before them wouldn't be wanted by anyone else.

So they stayed.

And because of the decisions made by men and women long dead, I slept in, didn't go to work, barbecued dead animals, and watched part of a parade. Volumes of books have been written--some stories are even true--about the pioneers. Movies have been made about them, buildings have been named after them, even schools bear the names. It's hard to understand the impact those brave souls have had on the world. I know my life would be completely different without them, same could be said for my wife. Therefore, my kids' lives would be something they wouldn't recognize.

I suppose it's not weird that our state holiday is not the day our state entered the union, but the day the pioneers settled in a valley after leaving it. It's so easy to look back and see how people changed the world. It's harder to look to the future and imagine ourselves doing it. But, in one-hundred and seventy years, will people look back at those of us living today and think we were amazing? Will they write stories about us, name buildings and schools after us?

I don't know, but I'll bet whoever is living here then will make any excuse to sleep in, take off work, and barbecue dinners. Parades, though--I'm sure those will be illegal.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

I Saw The Ad...And Heard The Screams

I'm pretty sure I heard the screams, the anguish of millions of children as the messages permeate the airwaves. The message is simple:

It's time...

Time to shop.

Why is summer the shortest three months of the year? How can three simple words change a child's relatively happy demeanor into something resembling a puddle of sadness? I remember those days, back when I had summers free of responsibility--school or otherwise. The ads would hit in July, when memories of leaving school that last time before summer vacation were still fresh in my mind.

But those three words were a wake-up call, something to slap you around letting you know that the happy days of summer are really an illusion, that life can take away as easily as it can give.

Yes, I saw the ad and heard the screams. The commercial wasn't for the kids--it was for the adults. It was a wake-up call for them as well. Time to go save on those things every child needs. Of course, many parents can't wait for school to begin anew.

And just maybe, some of the screams I heard came from them.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Calling All Sponsors...There's Someone You Should Know About!

My friend Daren posted a request on Facebook. He's looking for sponsors to help his son compete on the world's stage and become the best surfer he can be. He asked, so I'm doing what I can to help.

I've written about this young man before. His name is Jordy Collins and he's a surfer from the San Diego area. He's quickly becoming one of America's best young surfing talents. I don't know much about how people get sponsored, or what exactly that all entails. I only know that traveling all over the world to compete must be an expensive concern. 

I wish I had a company that could help. I suppose I am--in a way--my own businessman. I'm a self-employed writer and I put words together to form stories (and blog posts...). At this point in my career, those words are not generating income to the extent that I can sponsor anyone.

Though, it would be cool to have this on a poster with the caption: 

Jordy Collins: 
Sponsored by Author Scott William Taylor

Maybe one day.

If you'd like more information, let me know by e-mailing me at:, and I'll get you in touch with those involved. You could be sponsoring a world surfing tour participant. You might be sponsoring a future olympian. But I know that if you decide to help, you'll be supporting a good kid from a great family in helping him become the best he can be.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Washing The Car...

A few weeks ago I wrote about how we came to purchase my father-in-law's car. Getting a new car is an interesting experience. You need to get used to it, the way it drives, the size of it on the road, how fast can it overtake a car you're passing on the interstate.

There's one thing, however, that I didn't expect when we brought it home.

The need to keep it clean.

It's not the newest car, but it's in very good shape, thanks mostly to the care and upkeep of my in-laws. They keep their cars well maintained, and clean, inside and out. It's not that we throw piles of garbage in our cars, mind you. We just don't take them to the car wash as often as they do. And since we don't have room for all of our cars to be in a garage, they're subject to the weather and our sprinkler system.

Point is, they get dirty.

I've driven a dirty car around a lot. Heck, I drive a car with one door a different color than the other three. But there was something bugging me about having my father-in-law's old car be dirty. It just didn't feel right--like something was wrong. I ran a few errands this afternoon so I decided to get it washed. It only takes a few bucks.

Even after washing the car, it's still not as clean as it has been the past several years. I didn't wipe it down, but I can see out of the windows. Maybe this is the car that will make me change. Maybe I'll be washing the cars more often.

I suppose, time will tell.