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HB 140 on Child Restraint Devices

February 28, 2008, 9:44 am - James Farrer

Yesterday I found out about a disturbing bill that was enough to cause me to write to my state senator. The reason behind the bill are not so much a concern for me as the fact that I strongly believe this bill crosses the threshold of excessively restricting my freedom to choose.

The bill raises the age on the already restrictive law for child restraint devices from 5 yrs to 8 yrs of age or 57 inches in height whichever comes first.

The bill has already passed in the Utah House of Representatives and is starting to be discussed in the Senate. If you feel as I do about this bill excessively restricting your freedom please write to your senator and let them know. You can find your senator at http://www.le.state.ut.us/maps/amap.html and more information on the bill at http://le.utah.gov/~2008/htmdoc/hbillhtm/hb0140.htm.

Here is the letter I wrote to my senator which more clearly states my position:

Dear Senator Dayton,

While I agree that child safety is important and that child restraints and booster seats can generally make a car a safer environment I oppose this bill because I strongly believe it takes the law too far in requiring that they be used. I believe that it is a parents right to determine what is best for their children for better or worse.

Education is good. I believe that people generally make the best and most logical decision when accurate information is presented to them. I think educating on this topic is important and that people will choose to be as safe as reasonably possible. But I believe that by requiring these changes by law is extreme. All but the final statistic that were presented in the House in support of this bill did not accurately reflect whether or not the deaths and injuries would have been changed by a booster seat. It was shown that booster seats are safer, but the numbers given were misleading.

I believe that given some circumstance I may choose to have my child not sit in a child restraint while riding in the car. I feel it is unjust to make me break the law in acting on this decision. An example of this might be regarding the vehicles that I currently own. I have a small family car and a pickup truck. On rare occasions such as when the car is in use somewhere else or when it is not in working order I have to take the kids in the truck. There is no realistic way for me to have both my children in child restraints and still operate the vehicle. Given the way the seatbelts are arranged in my truck I think that a booster seat would not be reasonably necessary anyways.

Should another child join my family there is not room in the car to fit three child restraints. I could place my oldest child in a regular seat belt; assuming we wait just long enough to have a third child my oldest will likely be 5 years old when that happens, barely meeting the current law. While I am working to be financially prepared to purchase a larger vehicle when that time comes, I would be unreasonably forced to break the law to take my family anywhere if circumstances did not allow the purchase of a larger vehicle.

I ride a motorcycle. I know as well as the next person what the risks of riding a motorcycle are. I have done research to find what information exists about motorcycle injury and death statistics. While the danger is higher on a motorcycle than in a car, I have made the decision to still ride one. I wear a helmet, jacket, gloves, long pants, and protective boots whenever I ride. By driving down the road you can see that this is more than almost all riders wear and by my actions you can see Im more safety minded than most. By progressively increasing motorcycle and seatbelt safety laws the same way child restraint laws are being adjusted it is foreseeable that motorcycles would be made illegal because there are no safety belts. Again, too extreme.

Having children of my own I have read the law on what is required for child restraints. I think the law is already borderline on being excessively restrictive. Thats not to say I do not always have my children in car seats. But I am educated and feel I can make the decision for myself and for my family.

This country is great because of the freedom to choose and to act as one determines is best. I would support a measure to educate on this topic, but not to restrict by law. I oppose this bill because it excessively restricts my freedom.

Thank you for your time,

James and Shauna Farrer


I broke it...

February 22, 2008, 2:10 pm - Shauna Farrer

I broke it ! It didn't post to the other one. I'll copy and paste then.

A busy week

February 22, 2008, 12:25 pm - Shauna Farrer

So I've never posted to our own website. Never felt the urge to, but I thought we would try it today. And in all theory this should post to my blog too. So we'll see if I break it :D

It's been a busy busy week. Monday the girls in James family got together to scrapbook and have fondue. Cheese and chocolate. Yummmm. Here are some recipes that don't call for alcohol that we tried.

Chocolate Fondue

8 oz Semi sweet chocolate pieces
8 oz Milk chocolate pieces
2/3 C + 2 Tbsp Heavy cream (we used heavy whipping cream)
2 tsp vanilla

Chop chocolate up into small pieces if it isn't already. Melt chocolate over low heat (in a double boiler if you have to cook it before you serve it in a fondue pot). Add cream. Stir until chocolate melts and the cream is blended. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Enjoy

Cheddar Cheese Fondue

4 Tbsp Butter
3 Tbsp Flour
3 shakes Dry Mustard
1 shake minced Garlic
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 C Milk
6 C Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Melt butter in saucepan, whisk in flour, mustard and garlic. Gradually add mild, stirring constantly until thickened. Add Worcestershire sauce and blend. Add cheese and stir over low heat until cheese is melted.



The other part of our busy week was potty training. This has been very difficult for us. When Abby was showing us a year ago that she was ready to potty train, I was in my last trimester of pregnancy with William. I wasn't ready to start. Then Crystal was living with us and that was hectic, and then she moved out. So, I figured that now we are getting into our own little routine finally we had better get on it. Especially since Abby now has such a negative attitude about it. So, we had a party. A potty party. The book said you could potty train your child in one day, and I almost hoped. Now I've come to realize that Abby is not that child and we will just keep working on it. But we did take some very important steps on Wednesday. She will sit on the potty. She likes the stickers, and she wants to ice skate and dance. I told her she could have dance lessons if she would learn to use the potty. It actually costs less than the diapers and wipes. So, now we are learning. And she's doing well. I'm glad she's so smart, and I told James the other night after she was fighting us,  that I'm glad she's a fighter. I just hope and pray that we teach her good principles and that she learns to fight for good causes as she grows older. She's my cute girl :D

 

New Links Page

February 18, 2008, 12:57 pm - James Farrer

I have created a new page that lets you add links.

Not feeling so well

February 10, 2008, 6:56 pm - James Farrer

Everybody has times when they're not feeling so well.  For everyone in my family it happened to be this weekend.  Thursday night it started and was bad enough that Shauna had me stay take some sick time Friday to help take care of everybody.  Fortunately I've felt the best of everyone, but I've still been on the edge.

At first I was not very excited to take care of a bunch of sick people.  But as luck would have it, it's been a good weekend.  I was able to help out and spend a lot of time with the kids.  It's kind of ironic, but it took them being sick to slow them down enough to want to cuddle.  I think William has taken over half of his naps this weekend in my arms since that was the place he would sleep the best.

Abby fell asleep several times sitting next to me as well.  I think it surprised Shauna when she got home from an errand to see William sleeping in my arms and Abby asleep right next to me.  Aside from their sleeping, I also got some good play time in with them when they were awake (and feeling good enough to play).  

Good Books

February 10, 2008, 6:55 pm - James Farrer

With all the sleeping going on by everyone I also managed to get quite a bit of reading in.  I read Ender's Game a week or two ago and borrowed the sequel "Speaker for the Dead" from the library.  I was able to finish that yesterday.  They are both really good books.  They are sci-fi books, but if you're not a normal sci-fi fan I wouldn't let that stop you.  They deal in the future and with sci-fi'ish topics, but the real meat of the story (in my opinion) is in how it addresses interactions and relationships.  It brings many opportunities to think outside the box a bit and re-assess how you think about other people and the world.  The books address different levels of relationships and proved to be very insightful to me. 

Theory of Time Comprehension

February 10, 2008, 6:55 pm - James Farrer

I don't remember exactly when the thought occurred to me, but it's been several years now and I thought I would take the time to write it out.  I don't know how ultimately useful it is, but it explains better than anything else I've heard why time feels like it goes faster as we get older.

The basic meat of the theory is that we as individuals can only comprehend a finite amount of time.  That's not to say that we can only grasp a certain number of years, months, or days, but that we have a fixed amount of space that the time we experience fits into.  Let me try to explain.

When a child is five years old they have five years worth of memory (or less if you figure in that memories don't seem to stick for the first few years).  Those memories fill up the amount of space that can be comprehended.  Since each minute takes up a relatively large amount of space, it seems to the child that time passes very slowly.

To contrast that, let's look at someone who is 90 years old.  That is 90 years of time that has to fit into the same amount of space as the five year old.  Each minute takes up a relatively smaller amount of space and because of this as each minute passes it seems to this person that it passes very quickly.  

Overall as a person grows older time seems to pass more quickly as more memories are squished into this comprehendible space.

Super Tuesday, What's that?

February 5, 2008, 11:04 pm - James Farrer

So it's been a busy couple of weeks with some of the recent news I've been following.  The church has gone through a change in leadership with Pres. Hinckley's passing.  "Super Tuesday" and the election debates are causing quite a stir.  Microsoft is trying to take over Yahoo.

A New Prophet

Pres. Hinckley was a great man.  He spent the vast majority of his life in service to others.  I respect that a lot.  I know I still have a long ways to go before I can come close to where he was at when he was my age.  As the various bits of news have come out, the funeral passed, and the press conference where the new first presidency were announced took place I've been quite fascinated to see how people react.  I have seen all sorts of reactions.  Most of them, it seems, are more emotional than my own.  I'm not exactly sure why this is but am not entirely surprised by it either.  Many people have commented on how large a role he played in their life.  Maybe I'm not doing all that I should but I don't think Pres. Hinckley played any more than a minor indirect role in my daily life.  That said, I am happy that he can now be with his wife and will no longer have the pains of old age to slow him down.  

That said, Pres. Monson has had a more significant impact on my life.  I have long enjoyed his talks with the many stories and examples.  While I was in the MTC he came and spoke and one of the phrases that he mentioned many times in that talk (and I have since heard him say it many more times) is that "When you're on the Lord's errand, you're entitled to the Lord's help."  This more than any other talk I think has stuck with me.  Maybe that experience will lend to a more emotional experience when his time comes to pass to the other side of the veil.  Then again, maybe not.  I don't know that I've come up with any more conclusions other than I probably need to try and do at least a little more in the spiritual facets of my life, but it has caused me to stop and muse a bit.

"Super Tuesday"

Where did this name come from anyways? Yesterday while driving down home from work there were a number of people standing on a busy corner with Ron Paul promoting propaganda.  They referenced "freedom" in a few different ways, most of which when combined with their style of dress (unkept and one person significantly similar to a pirate) gave the indication that they really just didn't like being controlled as not quite fully mature individuals.  Tonight Shauna was flipping through a few channels and we saw various supporters standing behind other candidates while they gave speeches.  Many were excited and overly energetic, a few were moderately happy, but they were all clapping and shouting their support at various, all-to-frequent, points in the speech.  This seems odd to me because I cannot see much reason to be excited over a mildly patriotic speech that has little logical flow when it makes sense at all.  I consider myself very patriotic, but some of the individuals seemed fanatical about things that would otherwise put me to sleep.  

Hmmm, I hope all of this has some sort of coherent thought in it.  

In any case, I do not remember any election that has been followed quite this closely, speculated upon quite so heavily, and debated by so many people when not the final election.  I think part of it has to do with the fact that we have several firsts running for president.  Hillary Clinton, to my knowledge, is the first woman to come this close to being president.  Barack Obama, again to my knowledge, is the first black man to get this close to being president. Mitt Romney is the closest Latter-day Saint to being president.  Granted, the significance of Romney is greater for me than the majority of the nation.  It is obvious that this is an unusual presidential race.  I struggle with the validity of the race overall since it is extremely difficult to get complete and accurate representations of how the candidates will actually act in office based on their campaign agendas.  I also question the emphasis on the public voting in the final election since it is not our votes that matter so much as the representatives that, I hope, are significantly more informed than I am.  

Conclusions:
* I think the campaigning system (if you can call it that) is getting out of hand
* I think I should be able to vote online
* I think I should get more involved in letting my representatives know what's on my mind

Microsoft/Yahoo/Google wars

For those of you not familiar with this (I don't expect many non-geeks would care that much about it) Microsoft has offered to acquire Yahoo.  I think the idea of ganging up with your enemies to take out the bigger enemy is the driving force with this.  I also think it's interesting that Yahoo seems more willing (based on the entirely unreliable media) to make a deal with Google than to be assimilated into Microsoft.  Either way it sounds like Yahoo is quickly reaching the end of it's life.  

The biggest question is who will eat up Yahoo's market share and how long will it take.  I'd probably elaborate more but it's late and this is already getting to be a long blog.


A couple other topics that I'd like to blog on more tonight if time would allow are the looming economic recession and public transportation.  Here's a little bit to give an idea of my thoughts:

The economic recession that everyone keeps talking about is, in my opinion, just a by product of the american publics lack of spending control when credit is too easy to come by.  I think we have spent more than we could afford to for too long and it is finally catching up with us.  I don't think any amount of money in the form of stimulus packages from the government will really do much.  We need time and discipline.  Time to spend less then we make so we can emerge from personal debt, and the discipline to stop digging a pit for ourselves.  

Public Transportation needs to be more available to be useful.  We won't fully utilize it until it is.  it won't be implemented widely enough because it is not utilized enough currently.  A self defeating and vicious circle.  I think our housing is rarely compact enough and we have too many cars for public transportation to really catch on in the Wasatch front.  I would like to see myself proven wrong in this.  I think the quickly worsening traffic could significantly change the balance on the scales, but it's not going to be an easy journey.  


What's New

New Recipe

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July 14, 2016

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December 10, 2015

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Highlights from the Almina Slaydon pics


October 9, 2014

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