Saturday, February 11, 2012

What's another trillion... that is not that much, is it?

Today, Debra and I went to OMSI to view the Body Worlds exhibit (well worth your time if you have not seen it yet).  We then spent some time in a science exhibit, where I stumbled across this exhibit that was designed to demonstrate nanoscale.  I have been searching for some way to demonstrate the magnitude of our national debt, and ironically, this exhibit that was designed to impress us with the smallness of something will also work quite nicely to demonstrate the extreme hugeness of our national debt.

Deb is standing next to three tubes that contain very small beads (smaller than grains of sand).  In fact, each bead is only 300 micrometers across. 

 The tube on the left has 1-thousand beads, barely covering the bottom of the tube.  The tube in the middle has 1-million beads.

The large tube on the right has 1-billion beads!  This is a close-up of the top couple inches of the large tube to show the size and number of beads that we are talking about (Deb is 70 inches tall).

The difference between the volume of the 1-million bead tube and the 1-billion bead tube is very impressive and significantly greater.

Now consider this... if they were going to display 1-trillion beads in this exhibit, they would have to install 1000 of the large 1-billion bead tubes!

Finally, (and this should make every tax-payer in America sick to their stomachs), if they tried to demonstrate the number of beads it would take to represent our national debt ceiling as of 09 Feb 2011, they would have to install 15,400 of the large 1-billion bead tubes!  I seriously doubt if the huge exhibit room that we were standing in could even hold that many tubes.

Six-thousand of those large tubes have been filled in just the last three years (how is this even possible?)  Sadly, every one of the dollars represented by each of those little beads in those 15,400 tubes must be paid back by our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren,.. you get the picture.

Another display gave me yet another way to explain the unthinkably huge number that 15.4 trillion represents:  Light travels at the speed of 187,000 miles per second... that is 5.89-million million miles or 5.89 trillion miles a year.  At the speed of light, it would take 2.6 years to travel 15.4 trillion miles!

So when you hear the media throwing around numbers like $1-trillion like it is pocket change... it would take you about two years to spend that amount at the rate of $187,000 ever single second!

And when congress says they are going to cut the budget by 1-billion dollars, that is only one tube of beads... there are still 15,399 left to pay back!  Even if they cut $1 trillion, (1000 tubes, which would be great), there are still 14,400 more to go!

It is so past the time to fix the problem!  Choose wisely.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Like hitting a concrete wall at 80 mph!

Before I begin, I want to say happy "12th" birthday to our son Brandyn... it was on this day in 1999 that he had the terrible crash that almost claimed his life... we are so glad you are here Brandyn and we are proud of you and what you have accomplished since that tragic day!

Wednesday, 19 October

Wow.  Coming back to reality is tough...  The pile of mail was incredible (thanks Cindy), and getting used to our own house was kind of weird.  I went to Chang's with Tyler and dad today... then I spent some time visiting with mom and dad... Jack and Ty came too.  Jack still is warming back up... when he came over to our house for a few minutes today, it seemed to stimulate his memories... I think grandma is OK now.  I had to spend some time on the phone today straightening out some insurance issues... really Safeco... you think it would take $515K to rebuild my house on the same piece of ground!!!  Tonight I spent a couple hours looking through a large box of old photos that my dad had... it is awesome now that I know who these folks are!

Well, speaking of people and names, we promised you a fun blog tonight... during our road trip, we started taking photos of signs, buildings, and structures that had names that matched, (or were close enough to a match), to family members and our special friends... we could not find everyone, so if your name is not here, it is not because we don't love you!  We will try it again on the next trip.  This turned out to be quite fun.

Good Luck...

Something ironic about this...


My sister's name...

 Close enough...

 A little gratuitous...

Watch out Jessi... he has been watching you...

There you have it... see how much fun you can have on a road trip if you really try!  We love all of you and we can't wait to hit the road again as the Excellent Adventure continues to unfold!

Scotty and Deb

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day 57 - The journey is over... for now.

Tuesday, 18 October

We slept in this morning because we knew we only had five hours to travel today.  We had a great lunch in the Swan Dining Room of the Grand Geiser Hotel before starting the final leg of our journey.  The hotel is amazing and we highly recommend it to anyone who wants a romantic turn-of-the-century experience... and they treat you like royalty the whole time you are there... and it is inexpensive!

As we drove up the Columbia River Gorge, we began to marvel again at how beautiful Oregon is and it started to feel good to be coming home...

 We took the scenic loop of Highway 30 to the Rowena Overlook...

 This is an HDR composite comprised of nine separate exposures, looking north to Washington.

Debra took this photo of the beautiful fall colors in the gorge.

Before we finished the last mile to our home, we stopped to see if Jack still remembers his grandparents... he would not come to us at first, but he warmed up to grandma pretty quick... grandpa will need more time.  However, seeing him meant that we saw everyone of our nine grandkids while on this road trip!  Jessica and Tyler invited us for dinner and we ate a wonderful Italian dish before heading home.

As we pulled into our driveway tonight, our neighbor Katelyn was waiting in her window to greet us as we got out of the car.  She was so excited to see us, so we went and visited with her and her mom for a few minutes before going inside.

Deb and I both said that this was probably the best road trip we have had so far... we had so much fun visiting family, and researching our family history.  We have many stories to tell and look forward to sharing them with our kids.

It is hard to believe it is over, but it is great to be home in our own bed and able to take our things out of a drawer, instead of a suitcase!  Tomorrow we have a special blog treat... keep watching.

Day 56 - Destination - Grand Geiser Hotel

Monday, 17 October

We left Lehi this morning about 11:30 Utah time and headed towards Idaho.  We decided to take the usual route home because the alternate route would have taken too long.

Along the way, we decided to take a side trip through Rupert, Idaho. They have a great museum and an historic town square.  The theater on the left is an Art-Deco style buildiing and was just completely restored.

Keeping a road trip tradition alive, we decided to stop in Baker City, Oregon for the night.  We stayed at the awesome Grand Geiser Hotel.  We had a wonderful Prime Rib dinner in the dining room (under the largest stained glass window in the Pacific Northwest.  Then we stayed in one of the Grand King Suites... #314.