Monday, February 27, 2012


Robert E Capron

          Our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and brother.                  
Robert E Capron, 71 passed away on 2/26/2012 at home in the loving arms of his family. He was born on May 28, 1940 in Chicago Illinois, the third child of Ray and Anna Capron. He was raised in the Chicago area until 1957, when he moved to Salt Lake City. There he met and married Eva Larae Fluckiger in the Salt Lake Temple in 1961. They had 6 children; Danny, Mike, Craig, Jeff, Gary and Roberta.
Robert worked for Xerox Corporation for 31 years, retiring in 1995.
Afterward, Robert and Eva served in the Utah Ogden Mission, the Bountiful Temple, and as Service Missionaries at Jordan River Camp near Fairview Utah and Camp Atoka near Huntsville Utah. Robert also held various Church callings.
Hobbies included woodworking, fishing, fly tying, hunting, camping, genealogy and ham radio.
Survived by his sister Mary Borst & brother, Wallace Capron, wife Eva, 5 children, 15 grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter. Preceded in death by his parents and his son Danny.
           Funeral services will be held Friday March 2, 2012 at 11 am at the Farmington Memorial Rock Chapel chapel, 272 North Main Street.  A viewing will be held Thursday evening from 6-8 pm at Russon Brothers Mortuary, 1941 North Main Street, Farmington, Utah and also from 9:45-10:45 am at the church prior to services.  Online guest book at  
           Interment will be in Holladay Memorial Cemetery, 4900 So. Memory Lane, Holladay, Utah. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Death by Taxes

     So I just finished filing my taxes for 2011. Let me tell you, filing taxes yourself isn't nearly as much fun as letting your dad file for you! I filed myself and am still scraping bits of my brain off the ceiling from the spontaneous combustion I suffered.  Luckily I’m still making money somewhere in the range that I get a nice little return on my taxes, and my summer job counted more as a ‘gift exchange’ so I didn't have to add that to my forms. Still, filing taxes is no piece of cake.

     Last year I waited until April 13th to turn my taxes in. (That’s cutting pretty close to the wire) I stressed about them and thought about them and worried starting at the end of February, all through March, and finally I took the time out of my busy schedule to hike to the Albany County Library where they do free taxes for University of Wyoming students. It was a pretty good deal, I just picked up a form, filled out the information I could, waited for an hour and a half for my turn to be helped by an accounting student. (See, the University set it up so the accounting students got extra practice in return for extra credit, and we got free taxes filed by semi-professionals!) It was easy and mostly painless, and it only took about 2 hours, considering waiting time and then the actual filing time.
     This year however, as I’m no longer a student they don’t offer free in-person tax services. You either pay to have someone do your taxes, pay for an online company to do your taxes, or bite the bullet and wade through the paperwork and thick instruction booklets to file yourself. Being the independent person that I am, I decided to wade through the verbiage and do taxes myself. After all, with only $5,200 dollars in adjusted gross income for 2011 how hard could it be?

     Well, pretty dang hard was my answer. I decided I’ve been babied the last four years or so, the first three I was making an income but my Dad filed for me as I was a dependant. Last year I filed my own, with the help of an accountant-in-training, no brainpower required. Filing in all the little boxes and cross-checking everything yourself is difficult, so difficult that I’m pretty sure the sound of my brain exploding was heard in Nebraska.

     I made it through the Federal Income Tax alright. Their forms are pretty simple and I’ve filled out a few W-2 forms that made going through this one a piece of cake. I got a little stuck trying to figure out where to e-file the form, there’s E-file and there’s FreeFile, I finally went with FreeFile, entered all my info, got hung up for 10 minutes trying to find my 2010 adjusted gross income so they could verify my information, finally e-signed it and clicked Submit. Success!

     Filing Utah State Income Tax, now that’s another story. I went to the library hoping to find some paperwork and someone to explain how to do stuff, and the nice librarian told me that all of the Utah Income Tax forms are online and I can either pay $1.20 to have them print off the forms and instruction booklet, or I can just do it online. Being broke, I opted to do it online. I had just scooted through the federal taxes so I happily clicked around on the Utah site, working to find out which tax form I needed and where to put it. I discovered it’s not so simple, I apparently need the TC-40 to fill out, I have to electronically submit both W-2’s, I need the TC-40W worksheet to see how much I actually paid, the TC-40A to make sure I was filling out the TC-40 right, and the instruction book (also available only online) to check my progress.

     So, in the midst of filling out the TC-40 and checking it against the W worksheet and adding line 6 through line 8 and subtracting that from line 4, I discovered Utah taxes are MUCH harder than the federal ones. I could barely keep the information straight! Add lines 16 and 17 then put that number in line 18. Now, times that by 5%, subtract that number from $2775, add some flying unicorns and put the entire answer on line 42. Once I’d entered everything from TC-40W on TC-40 lines 56 through 67, I discovered that the temp company that was paying me was actually registered in Texas, and all the taxes I paid to the state of Utah from my Wayfair job are applicable only in Texas. If that information is correct, I owe both Texas and Utah a hefty chunk of dough instead of getting a little bit of money back. Now does that seem right?

      I don’t know why Wyoming doesn’t have income taxes, maybe they do? If they do I don’t know about them, and I’m not going to see if I should have filed last year, the state government can track me down if they want to, all I know between the spinning rainbows and flying paperwork is that taxes make me sweaty, and I was off to take a shower. Goodbye to income taxes in Utah, I’ll try again later, maybe I’ll discover then that I should have added lines 15 and 16 instead of 19 and 20, and the employer ID is different from the resolution number. Whatever the case, Utah can keep their taxes, next year I’m hiring someone. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Internet Freedom Protest on Saturday, February 11th 2012 against ACTA and TPP, SOPA's Reincarnations

     Guess what, we beat SOPA back a little, and PIPA is pretty much crushed. But the big-name companies are not giving up. There are two new trade agreements on international license that those who supported SOPA and PIPA are trying to put into place (please read Jan 28th's blog for info on those bills), and they are ACTA and TPP. I don't know how to make this shorter for all of you with 2-second attention spans, so bear with me, I'll explain.

     ACTA is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. This will be a multi-national agreement to establish international standards for intellectual property.

     That basically means that ACTA wants to criminalize users for anything that even remotely resembles stealing of intellectual property (no more shares from YouTube videos on your Facebook page, no sir). They want the internet providers to help keep tabs on people to make sure the trade agreements aren't being violated (spying while you browse) and it basically makes it much easier for media companies to sue sites out of existence and to jail their founders. (Think, Megaupload and Kim Dotcom) Did I forget to mention that amatuer works that receive commercial status could be put behind bars? Seriously, if you receive compensation for stuff you post on YouTube, jail time for you, think of all the artists and Vloggers that started as amatuers on YouTube, but are now big names. does that seem right?

     Wow, so we fought and put down SOPA, and the big companies responded by putting into motion a GLOBAL agreement. This thing has actually been in the works since 2008, why may you ask haven't we heard about it before? Because not until Japan and some smaller countries signed the agreement did they even put any of this out there for the public. All meetings and conventions on the subject have been closed to the public and public interest groups, and they've been keeping their mouths shut about it. The other reason that nobody has heard of it is that it's a global trade agreement, meaning that this doesn't even have to go through Congress, it kind of skirts around it.

     The agreement (ACTA) was signed on 1 October 2011 by Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States. In January 2012, the European and 22 of its member states signed as well, bringing the total number of signatories to 31. After ratification by 6 states, the convention will come into force. We have until March 31st, to let them know that we won't stand for this.

Now for the Most Important Stuff:
     There are a bunch of protests tomorrow, Saturday, February 11th 2012 all across Europe, as they haven't ratified the ACTA yet, and we need to lend our voices, let them know this isn't right. All the protests have gotten leaders in Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia to back out of the ACTA, now the protest is planned in over 200 cities in Europe and the US, let's support them! If we do, by sending millions of emails to the key decision makers, we can start tipping the scales like we did on SOPA and beat this.

 Go to to find out more information, and to add your voice to the protest, please go to We are American, we know how to fight for freedom, so let's go out there and win it back!

1. For more information on ACTA, read these excellent articles from Techdirt and La Quadrature du Net. For information on TPP, read this Ars Technica piece. For video, watch this.
2. Obama's signing of ACTA may have been unconstitutional. See Anti-counterfeiting agreement raises constitutional concerns and Techdirt.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Look, a Crazy Runner Person!

When I was in high school I was a crazy runner person. You know the type, they dress for the weather with their headbands, gloves, and under-armor leggings, and they hit the pavement in the wee hours of the morning, afternoon, and sometimes late at night. You see them everywhere, running along step after step, and while you make fun of them you secretly wish that you could be them. My brother and I coined this term after watching a runner struggle through a snowstorm on one particularly forbidding day.

“Look, it’s a runner.”

“Yeah, a crazy runner.

 “Do you think they need a ride?”

“No, they’re probably like Calvin’s dad (from Calvin and Hobbes) they would say no and keep going even if their face froze off.”

 “Yep, that’s probably right... crazy runner person.”

And thus, ‘crazy runner person’ was born. Every time we saw someone running, it was “Look! A crazy runner person!” Both my brother and I did cross-country in high school, so we felt justified in calling them crazy runner persons, after all, weren’t we crazy runner persons ourselves?
But lately I’ve slacked off, and by lately I mean all throughout college. Sure, there’d be two or three weeks once or twice during the semesters that the urge to run would become strong enough that I’d lace up my shoes, pull out my headband, and take off. This would continue until my schedule would put a kink in the running plans, and somehow I’d just never get back around to it.

Today however, I decided to become a crazy runner person once more, and I took off on a 3 mile run. I’m not that out of shape and I only stopped to walk twice so I am quite proud of myself. But there’s something running does to me. For one, my body responds quite well to it and I get random bursts of energy throughout the day. Another effect I have discovered is that now I am unable to sleep, even though it is 1:33 in the morning. I tried for an hour, then got up and wrote a chapter of the book I’m working on, and decided to transform my experience into a blog. Danger, becoming a crazy runner person gives you insane amounts of energy and may make your day super productive. At 1:34 in the morning, I don’t think that’s a good thing.
Still, I think I’ll continue being a crazy runner person; I kind of enjoy the endorphin high it gives me, as well as being part of an elite group that we all stare out the window at and secretly wish to join. So next time you see a crazy runner person, nod and wave, they’ll be glad to wave back at the crazy driver person who decided to notice them after all. (Or you could try and run them down, giving them an extra boost to their workout! I don't believe that's sanctioned by the police though...)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Movie Review: Big Miracle

In the movie world, few movies make you want to see them time and again. Most are highly forgettable chick flicks or action-packed guy’s movies. They come out, they gross about $50 million for their respective studios, and then are quickly relegated to the $5 bargain bin at Wal-Mart. Big Miracle is a wonderful show that makes you want to watch it time and again, albeit with some blankets! It takes place in Alaska, and the snow and winter chill is so accurately portrayed that you begin to feel as if you need to bundle up just to see the movie!

Okay, for those who haven’t seen the movie, here’s a quick rundown of what I liked without giving anything away! The story takes place in Barlow, Alaska, during the month of October 1988. This fact alone endeared the movie to me, as that’s the month and year I was born! This is also a true story, so for those who were alive during that time you may remember the story of the three whales stuck in the ice in Alaska. (My family didn’t when I asked them, but then they had a lot going on!) “Operation Breakthrough” made national news, and as the authentic news clips show, Peter Jennings of and several other famous anchors all were talking about it! This race to save the whales captured the nation’s attention, and has stayed with me long after I left the theatre.
The cast is fantastic, Drew Barrymore as Rachael Kramer, a Greenpeace fanatic, John Krasinski as Adam Carlson, low-level news reporter who breaks the story, and Kristen Bell as Jill Jerard, a feisty news reporter from the mainland. Some scenes may be a little intense for a younger audience, thus the PG rating, but for those parents who think their kids can handle the race against time to save the whales, this is a perfect family movie that is inspiring without being preachy. The politics help provide a good juxtaposition against the cheesiness we have come to expect from ‘save marine life’ movies, so the older audience doesn’t feel gypped!

Now, SPOILER ALERT! If you don’t want to know what happens, don’t read any further, okay! The next bit is just for those who have watched it and want to discuss what happened. I’m even going to put in a great picture from the movie right here to give you a chance to scroll up again.
Okay, you’re still reading. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Wow, I have been waiting 6 months for this movie to come out, pretty much ever since I caught a whiff of the advertisements. It caught my attention because of John Krasinski, who is pretty much my current favorite actor (you may know him as Jim Halpert from The Office), and also because of the story, which for once didn’t throw up red cliché flags.

When I watched Big Miracle, I was so excited because for once, a movie lived up to my expectations! Sure it was a little mushy around the edges, but the true-story aspect solved that issue for the most part, and the humor helped keep things light. I was so sad when Bamm-Bamm, the baby whale died. I have to admit, I knew that was coming before I saw the movie (I read past a spoiler alert, just like you are doing now) but I kept hoping that the review was mistaken. The bravery shown by Rachael jumping in the arctic water was beautiful, the humor shown by the characters kept things light, and wthe two remaining whales finally raced into the open ocean the entire audience clapped!
My absolute favorite humor bit happened on the helicopter. What do you do when you’re driving a helicopter in 50 below temperatures with the doors open at 100 mph (so the wind chill is pretty much off the charts) and your eye, the one absolutely essential thing you need freezes shut? Well, you get someone to lick your eye of course! The whole audience laughed uproariously when Adam Carlson leans over to the pilot and proceeds to lick his eye open, probably the most bizarre moment but definitely the funniest!

In the end, it was the Russians to the rescue and two of the gray whales saved, thanks to heroic efforts by all involved. I liked that Adam and Rachael got back together, it somehow seemed right. I also secretly enjoyed the fact that Jill Jerard had a career plateau, and for everyone who was wondering what the fade-out was on the lady at Adam Carlson’s new job, that’s actual footage of Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska. The plot was engaging, the storytelling and real footage made it immediate, and the acting sealed the deal, to make this the best movie this winter, at least until The Lorax comes out!

Well, that’s all I got for now. I am definitely planning on buying this wonderful film when it comes out, if for no other reason then it’s nice to have some documentary from the month I was born. I have to give Big Miracle a Big YES in my book!

Sunday, February 5, 2012


I have happily, if by accident discovered the genre of STEAMPUNK. What is this you may ask? Well, it’s a type of fashion and media that describes a setting where steam power is still widely used, usually Victorian Britain or the Wild West  United States, and it incorporates elements of science fiction or fantasy. I think the best term to describe it is ‘retro-futuristic’.
Steampunk is a highly detailed genre that relies on machines and descriptions of a world where gears, leather, and sometimes bulky but always highly detailed inventions are key. Think wooden barrels with gears, goggles, lighter-than-air airships, digitally mechanical devices, modern technology adapted with springs and steam, all attached to a Victorian feel.

I stumbled on this genre by chance, but it's always been lurking around the corners of my vision. Think movies such as Sherlock Holmes (2010 and 2011), Treasure PlanetThe League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and books such as H.G. Well's 'The Time Machine', and Jules Vernes '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea'. I was actually doing research on a book I'm currently trying to write, and I found a name and a thriving sub-culture, complete with pictures and dedicated fans!

 Here’s some of my favorite pictures from the Steampunk genre.
Isn't this just the coolest watch ever!

This girl went to a Dragon Con event dressed as a Steampunk Fairy, you can see the mechanical wings behind her!

 This is a tricyle that my brother would probably get a kick out of, and invent himself if he got the chance!

Of course, a classic Victorian guy costume, streamlined for steampunk fashionistas.

And these shoes, awesome!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Looking Up Your Nose

Have you ever worked in a fast food restaurant? One of those restaurants that place the menu selections directly over the heads of the cashiers so all the patrons come in and then seem to stare vacantly above your head as they make their choice. Okay, now imagine that this fast food restaurant has 20 foot tall ceilings (it's a city, only place to go is up). There's a lot of space up there, so what do the owners do? They move those menus up, until the customers who are literally drooling with hunger must crane their necks to peruse a menu now situated higher than most trees. Now think about the poor cashiers. They work hard all day, they smile, they're polite, they help you make a good if rather unhealthy selection, and they take your money. Now how are we rewarding them? Not with a smile, not with a tip, but with a perfect veiw of the contents of both our nostrils.

Think about it. Your nostils are usually at an angle of approximately 30 degrees out from the vertical line that is you. (There is the odd exception to the rule, but we won't go there.) Most people can't see up your nose unless they are actively looking, or they are standing close enough to embrace you or at least make things very uncomfortable. Even if they are that close, they must be shorter than you and looking up at the same time. Because we tend to go around meeting people in the eye, this usually angles our noses down enough so no one can look up our nose. After all, as Americans, we must keep our boogers hidden.

Now, just picture what happens every time you go into a Dairy Queen or Costa Vida (these are fast food restaurants with taller ceilings). You walk in, throw a fleeting smile to the cashier, and then avidly stare at the menu, wondering how many calories you can get away with this time. You then step up to the cashier, rattle of a list of food, forget halfway through whether you wanted the Double Bacon Bigmouth Burger or the Triple Bacon Heartattack, and pause to squint up through the haze of grease at the menu once more. The poor cashier standing over there is rewarded with a double barrel shot. No wonder most cashiers are slightly grumpy.

I was fortunate to work at one of these fast food places, a wonderful burger and salad joint called Tonyburgers that makes the best burgers in the Salt Lake Valley (it's true, the food magazine said so!) This place had 20 or 25 foot ceilings, so the lowest part of the menu was at least 12 feet up. I was unfortunately presented with a beautiful view of everyone's nose, inside and out, as they came up to order. It was, as they say, not a pretty sight.

So please, keep this in mind as you go to order at your next restaurant. For the sake of the cashier, that poor, acne-ridden person who keeps you from starvation, keep your face level and use your eyes, not your neck to see the menu. Happy Eating!

SOPA and PIPA, crushing America one bit at a time

For those of you who haven't been following the SOPA and PIPA debacle, you should. If you don't know what they are, you can read all about what's going on at Gizmodo, just click on the link I've included.
Here's the shortened version from Gizmodo, in case the article is too long for you to read.

  • SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) is an anti-piracy bill working its way through Congress that would grant content creators extraordinary power over the internet which would go almost comedically unchecked to the point of potentially creating an "Internet Blacklist" while exacting a huge cost from nearly every site you use daily and potentially disappearing your entire digital life while still managing to be both unnecessary and ineffective but stands a shockingly good chance of passing unless we do something about it.
If you want a less opinionated version that's harder to understand but has more facts, please check out the news article from C-Net here.

SOPA contains anti-circumvention language that would essentially allow for government control over essential privacy software such as VPNs, proxies, and even something as fundamental as SSH. SOPA also provides for an incredibly broad right of private action that would allow content owners to interfere with the operations of payment processors and social media services such as Twitter.

The basic theory behind this is that users of the internet and creators of sharing websites are illegally stealing media and information, as well as helping to distribute payment info, and and are distributing it to the public. The creators of SOPA think that everyone needs to pay for the information and entertainment they are getting, and want this bill to help them shut down the 'rogue websites'. Good right? Everyone gets what they deserve?

Yes, it theory. The ugly side to it is that the content creators get to shut down ANYTHING that they think is infringement, including links, pictures, fan sites, most stuff on YouTube, and then severely limiting everything else that comes through. Too bad we can't get the creators of this bill to focus on shutting down the porn industry instead. We'd have a 100% cleaner America in no time! Instead, they have to try and get rid of all free entertainment and most of the information, something that the internet is known for.

Here's my theory, all purchases of media jumps by 150% in the next few months as people rush out to buy all their favorite videos and TV shows they can no longer access for free. Then, as that spike wears off, media and entertainment purchases drop by 100-250% from what they are NOW, severely damaging the entertainment industry. How many of us have gone to uploading sites to watch our favorite videos or catch the latest episodes of some TV show? I know I have, several times. Now think about how that free sharing of information has actually boosted the amount you've spent on media and entertainment. I would never have started watching British Comedy, I've spent over $100 on stuff that I probably illegally saw first, but then poured that money back into the entertainment industry. It's like free advertising! Why would they get rid of that?

Here's some things I think everyone should know about this stuff.

  • PIPA wanted to introduce something called the Internet Death Penalty, that would basically kill off any websites that PIPA deems as having any infringment whatsoever
  • The infringement includes everything from links to references, meaning that in the future, this blog may get banned just because I am mentioning news articles and illegal sites
  • An awesome Senator,  Senator Ron Wyden was instrumental in stopping this bill from going forward, please read the news article on how he managed to acheive this.
  • This is the same bill that is currently in effect in China, Iran, and Syria. Wow, we really want to imitate those countries right (think sarcasm here)?
So if you're against censorship, please go to to stop this, I just have an opinion, but 24+ million internet users can't be wrong, lets keep America and the Internet free.