Making a Mockery

Friday, September 30, 2005

I am telling MOM!!!!!
So we have a winner in the who tattled about “making a mockery” to the Sundance brass contest… Recently three independent sources have verified our winner.

And the winner is ____ ______.

So I must really apologize to the Sundance HR Staff for falsely accusing them of this malfeasance.

Maybe I should have tattled on the following things like bending, breaking or ignoring of Sundance policy. Things like:

Normal 2 hour lunch breaks
Free meals on Sundance
Using Sundance Computers for personal business like shopping, ebay or chat
Using Sundance Telecom for personal business including long distance
Leaving early or taking days off when the boss was out of town

However I am not about tattling or nit picking or revenge, but I bet the new Sheriff in town takes care of these issues… especially if he gets wind of this… or maybe if Sundance staff start tattling on Mari.

I should have guessed that it was she but I didn’t think she was computer savvy enough to find my site. I learned early that she was not a person to have an altercation with, as someone once told me, “she would like to get you fired rather than see you succeed.”

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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Sundance Cans One of its Best Creative Minds…

Today I was saddened to read in the Salt Lake Tribune that Sundance Resort has “streamlined” Ray Grant Director of Programming. I must admit that for the most part I was a big fan of Ray’s. I think Ray brought some creativity to a place that has little creativity but claimed to be the center of the creative universe (Just read their own press). I find it amusing the spin that Sundance put on this. Salt Lake Tribunes headline reads “Sundance's programming director leaves due to cuts” and the Deseret News reads “Departing Sundance chief blames $$$” Since hiring Eric Sather as the Director of Operations over a year ago, Ray has been a marked man. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that Sundance cannot have two masters. Ray was a huge target because he was bold and brash and his programming was losing money. Despite some of my differences with Ray’s ideas I thought he did a tremendous job and I have nothing but the utmost respect for him. Grant passionately tried to make Sundance a high-class resort. Ray was instrumental in my success at Sundance. I wish Ray all the best…

So questions abound after this event.
1. Is Robert Redford going broke? Since when has he been concerned about wasting money at Sundance? This is an unusual step to fire top level management but isn’t unprecedented since the average executive staff member lasts about one and half years anyway. It just doesn’t usually come out that it is about cost savings.
2. Does this mean that Eric Sather has become the darling of Sundance and might actually stay on at Sundance instead of going to Zermatt in Heber City when its completed? Did he get a pay raise?
3. How will the changes affect HR? Will they need to hire more staff? Or will someone in management come to their senses and break up The Vanderlunden Cartel?
4. Will plays and outdoor concerts return to the Sundance Resort Outdoor Theater?

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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Is Bacon the ultimate Weapon for Terrorists?

I returned to my office today to the smell of bacon. It instantly made me crave bacon despite just eating a very large lunch. Has bacon become the weapon of choice for worldwide terrorists? Imagine being on an airplane tired and hungry with no peanuts left and suddenly it hits you…the smell of cooking bacon, the ultimate terror. For centuries, Muslims and Jews have been warning mankind of the perils of bacon. Have the terrorist finally found a way to cause Americans to change their policies abroad? Probably not but the smell of bacon in my office is killing me.

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Monday, September 12, 2005

When my wife and I mention to our well-intentioned friends that we are strongly considering home schooling our children, we are without fail asked, “But what about socialization?” Fortunately, we found a proven method by which our kids can receive the same socialization that government schools provide.

On Mondays and Wednesdays, I will personally corner my son in the bathroom, give him a wedgie, and take his lunch money. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, my wife will make sure to tease our children for not being in the “in” crowd, taking special care to poke fun of any physical abnormalities.

Fridays will be “Fad and Peer Pressure Day,” in which we will all compete to see who has the coolest toys, most expensive clothes, and the loudest, fastest, and most dangerous car—all while dyeing our hair the same color and ripping our jeans.

However, every day, my wife and I will adhere to a routine of cursing and swearing in the hallways and mentioning our weekend exploits with alcohol and immorality. If our kids attempt to use the bathroom without permission, we will punish them immediately; and have asked them to hold us to a similar standard by reporting us to the authorities in the event we mention God or try to bring up morals and values.

And just think—all these benefits without a dime of taxpayers’ money!

Alan Brymer
Fredericksburg, Virginia
From BYUNewsNet

It is letters to the editor like these that scares the hell out of me. These letters make me fear other people in my community. This letter’s writer should have considered the proverb of “It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid, than to open it and remove all doubt.” Mr. Brymer is now going to have 8 kids (my guess of how many kids home schoolers usually have) who are socially awkward, don’t know how to deal with any of the following: conflict, peer pressure, poor choices by friends or even how to choose their own path. Is being subject to cursing in the hall by classmates detrimental? Possible but if kids are never exposed to it how can they protect themselves from it? Can we know what joy is if we never experience sorrow? Can you be vaccinated against polio without having the polio virus injected to create antibodies for immunization?

There are bullies everywhere not just in school but in business, in church, in social activities. Keeping your child from bullies will never teach him how to deal with the problem.

Teasing is a part of life, is it cruel? It can be. Can it be life altering? Yes if not properly dealt with but anything that doesn’t kill you will make you stronger. Being Politically Correct has made us a country of crybabies. We no longer know how to deal with it so we go tattling to our lawyers.

Peer pressure is also everywhere. What will happen when little Johnny finally makes it to college and he suddenly cannot take the pressures of competing, or drugs, or alcohol because he was sheltered from peer pressure. Never experiencing the good or bad of peer pressure will not help your child deal with it and make the right choices.

The last paragraph is the scariest. What happens to little Johnny when he hears about the lives of non-LDS? This is why non-LDS people hate Utah Mormons. I am sorry but little Johnny can’t come over and play because you aren’t members and thus are evil. I hear that you have beer in your fridge and this could prevent little Johnny from feeling the spirit while in your house. What a bunch of elitist bastards? I see the depths of hell filled with elitist Utah Mormons but that is a rant for another day. While it is important to watch what influences your family, not all people are evil. Just because someone isn’t LDS does not make them a threat to all that is holy. You can still be a good person, a productive member of society and not be LDS. Remember that little thing called free agency… it wasn’t just given to the LDS faithful (with the exception of BYU students who don’t play football).

Kids today are way too over protected. Don’t get me wrong, protecting children is important but more important is that children learn whether through others experience or through their own. My mom tried to protect me by warning me that something was hot but it didn’t clearly sink in until I burned myself on it then it became crystal clear to me. I bet Mr. Brymer’s kids don’t get to ride a bike (oooh way to dangerous), no trampoline (evil, evil device) or popcorn at the movies due to the excessive fat in the butter but then again they probably aren't allowed to go to movies not produced by the church. It didn’t take too many falls to realize that skin does heal or that jumping off the trampoline hurts and shouldn’t be done. If children don’t experience the lows of life how will they ever enjoy the highs? Children who are never disappointed won’t handle disappointment later in life and life certainly has its ups and downs. By not seeing the effects of dishonesty how will little Johnny learn about honesty and integrity. I believe that pain and scars are as important as rewards and happiness. There is opposition in all things. Sheltering a child from the perils of life is not as successful as pointing out lifes pitfalls and explaining why one should avoid it and letting kids experience life. It’s part of a lifetime of learning. So in my humble little opinion if you are thinking about home schooling maybe you should do it after public school.

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Friday, September 09, 2005

Looking for an IT job

Here is the job description of my former position at Sundance minus the web stuff. I heard they outsourced the web to Axis41. I think my quitting secretly fulfilled some of the wishes of upper management to introduce their cronies into the Sundance family. I just don't think Sundance understands the power of the web to do business, nor do they understand the value I provided to them. It is their loss and my gain.

For example, I created a very large and very successful link exchange using my personal sites and business sites to promote Sundance. This network has/had over 1500 pages that linked directly to Sundance web pages using keywords that drove visitors to Sundance. I created important keyword rich pages that passed Google PR and Search Engine Ranking to other sites and then multiplied back PR to the Sundance site. (Sundance gives a pr of 4 and the link back from a network site would give a pr of 6 or 7.) PR is used to rank sites for keywords. It is the method I used to promote Sundance to the first page of Google. After I quit and became a pariah of the Sundance family (a.k.a. a left turn) Sundance removed the hidden links on their site to my network of Sundance boosting sites. I can understand why if since the management staff didn’t understand the process. What Sundance managers failed to realize is that I had created links so that 80+% of the time the out going link (Sundance Site Map) from Sundance would link returned users to the Sundance site instead of the network of sites I built. This meant if they clicked on a link to it would use an elaborate scheme to redirect them to the Sundance site. The end user would never leave the Sundance site. I had to have the links really work 4 or 5 days a month, IE the link actually left the Sundance site to a network site. These non-Sundance pages would include text and links to Sundance to keep the user focused on Sundance. One of the major pieces of this was a site I bought and built using my own money with no help from Sundance was Anyway the reason I share this information is to point out that even after leaving Sundance and being labeled a left turn I still have a large network that boosts Sundance search engine rankings. The funny part is Sundance removed a key element to this system working and that is out going links to the network of sites. I guess Sundance thought I was profiting from these links; not true it was the contrary I didn’t make a dime. I received less than 25 actual clicks a year from a small link in an obscure area of the Sundance website. Sundance received a boost in pr of +1 and sometimes +2 depending on the page and keyword. This boost was enough to gain approximately 1k to 2k of search engine traffic per month on valuable travel keywords.

I don’t believe that Sundance understands the power of the web or to what extent my work boosted their efforts. Any way here is the job description.

Information Systems Support Technician
SHIFT:Full time, year round positionShift: Monday – Friday 8 am – 5 pmOccasional weekends, holidays, or evenings due to business needs and/or special events

RATE: (DOE) Rumored to be in the $26000 a year

SUMMARY: Responsible for, assists in directing and coordinating development and production activities of computerized management of Sundance information systems. Able to effectively manage IS department in the absence of the IS Manager.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the following. Other duties may be assigned.
Must be able to process large volumes of information and implement this information in an accurate and timely manner.

Assists in consulting with management to analyze computer system needs for management information and functional operations, to determine scope and priorities of projects, and to discuss system capacity and equipment acquisitions.
Assists in recommending and developing plans for systems development and operations, hardware and software purchases.
Assists in managing the development, implementation, installation, and operation of information and functional systems for the organization.
Assists IS Manager in Developing, implementing, training appropriate staff members and monitoring management information systems policies and controls to ensure data accuracy, security, and legal and regulatory compliance.
Provides support to end users in the selection, procurement, usage and maintenance of software programs and hardware.
Assists in managing computer operation scheduling, backup, storage, and retrieval functions as well as maintaining, in good operating condition, all computer systems.
Assists IS Manger in developing, maintaining, and testing disaster recovery plans.
Becomes familiar with all Sundance departments to understand and meet their IS needs.
Assists in programming and maintaining point-of-sale software and hardware and coordinating with retail department heads regarding changing needs and patterns to provide a more seamless and trouble-free experience for our guests.
Assists guests with their technical issues and problems.

Assists in monitoring PBX systems performance to assure dependable and uninterrupted operation of telephone communications.
Translates customer needs into business solutions.
Coordinates with other departments/employees to understand and meet their requirements.
Assists in determining if problem is telephone hardware, cable, or programming then ensures the systems are fixed in a timely manner.
Assists in installation of PBX hardware.
Able to set up new users and relocate existing users with telephone extensions, calling features, voice-mail, and access codes.
Provides training for new users.
The incumbent must embrace and promote all facets of the Sundance Guiding Principles: vision, mission, service guidelines, and values.
The incumbent must exhibit job and product knowledge to accurately support and promote all Sundance departments, amenities and programming ventures.
The incumbent must strategically balance customer, business, and employee needs.
The incumbent must be able to work a flexible schedule, work well under pressure, meet multiple and sometimes competing deadlines.
The incumbent must possess the necessary social skills to work with a broad based constituency and provide excellent service to all internal and external guests.
The incumbent shall at all times demonstrate cooperative behavior with colleagues and supervisors.
The incumbent must keep information confidential as directed in the confidentiality agreement and furthermore support and comply with all Sundance policies, procedures, and standards.
The incumbent is responsible for protecting Sundance assets.

Support and participate in environmental programs associated with position: minimizing waste, recycling, energy conservation, purchase and use of sustainable products, education on environmental ethic, support vendors with similar ethic, decrease pollution levels, minimize the use of toxic chemicals, restore wild life habitats.
DISCLAIMER This is a general description of this job. All employees of SUNDANCE PARTNERS LTD. will be required to perform any task that is asked of him/her within legal and ethical parameters and company policy.

QUALIFICATIONS To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Must have excellent overall computer and telephone maintenance skill, must be able to adapt quickly to changing needs of the resort, must be solutions-oriented and must be able to troubleshoot computer hardware, software, networks, security issues, and telephone needs quickly and efficiently. Must be able to maximize the utilization of computer and telephone hardware in order to minimize the costs involved with the need for continual upgrades to hardware and software.
1. Must be capable of supporting and maintaining the following network operating systems:
a. Novell Netware (3 servers, Netware 4.11 to 5.2)
b. Microsoft NT (1 server)
c. Microsoft 2000 Server (2 servers)
d. Microsoft 2003 Server (3 server)
2. Must have an excellent understanding of the features and options of, and be capable of installing, supporting, and maintaining the following computer operating systems:
a. Windows 2000
b. Window XP
3. Must be capable of supporting and maintaining the following applications software:
a. Microsoft Office 2000
b. Microsoft Office XP
4. Must be capable of installing, supporting and maintaining the following hardware components:
a. HP ProCurve Switches
b. Telephone and network (copper) cabling systems
c. Fiber-optic network cabling system
d. HP LaserJet and DeskJet Printers
e. HP JetDirect Ethernet Print Servers (Netware)
5. Must have an excellent understanding of computer (PC) hardware components and must be able to troubleshoot and repair out-of-warranty computers quickly and efficiently.

Ability to read, analyze, and interpret the most complex documents. Ability to respond effectively to the most sensitive inquiries or complaints. Ability to write speeches and articles using original or innovative techniques or style. Ability to make effective and persuasive speeches and presentations on controversial or complex topics to top management, public groups, and/or boards of directors. Must be able to explain technical issues in lay language to end-users.

Associate's degree (A. A.) or equivalent from two-year college or technical school; and six months to one year related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience of 2-3 years full-time experience in network/PC management. Must have either CNE or MCSE (preferably both) or the equivalent in work experience. Must be conversant in HTML and other web-based programming languages.

Must have experience working with database queries and lookups, must understand and be able to implement logical workflows for programming issues.

Must be able to make quick decisions regarding the programming, repair and maintenance of computer and telecommunication systems. Ability to apply principles of logical or scientific thinking to a wide range of intellectual and practical problems. Ability to deal with nonverbal symbolism (formulas, scientific equations, graphs, musical notes, etc.,) in its most difficult phases. Ability to deal with a variety of abstract and concrete variables.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear; stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; and reach with hands and arms. The employee frequently is required to climb or balance and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee is occasionally required to taste or smell. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 100 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; climb or balance; stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl; talk or hear; and taste or smell. The employee must frequently lift and/or move more than 100 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.

WORK ENVIRONMENT The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly exposed to outside weather conditions and risk of electrical shock. The employee is frequently exposed to fumes or airborne particles. The employee is occasionally exposed to moving mechanical parts; high, precarious places; extreme heat; and vibration. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

To Apply
In person: You may apply at Human Resources, which is located in the back half of the ticket office at the resort. We are open Monday-Friday 9 am – 5 pm.
Download Employment Application (Requires Adobe Acrobat)
Fax/Mail: After downloading and completing the Sundance application, you may fax it to (801) 223-4534 or mail it to Human ResourcesRR#3 Box A-1Sundance, UT 84604
Email us: only an idiot would send it here I would send it to or call him at 801-223-4538
Job hotline: 801-223-4562
Full-time Employee Benefits
Medical, dental, 401K
Year-round season pass
Generous Restaurant, Lodging, & Retail discounts (This is not true)
Sundance is an equal opportunity employer, a drug-free work place, and environmentally responsible work force.

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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

So its football season once again…
and once again I am enticed by the Sirens of BYU football. I once was a season ticket holder albeit a student season ticket holder even though I haven’t been a BYU student in a decade or more but a season ticket holder nonetheless. I have attended probably close to 90% of all the home games in the 90’s. I was once a rabid fan of the BYU; in fact it was hard not to be a fan. BYU Football used to have very affordable prices on everything from tickets to food and produced quite competitive teams. A few years ago things began to change… During the Crowton era, prices rose, the heart of the student section was cut out to allow for $1000 a seat season tickets, food prices shot up and out side food was forbidden. Before entering the stadium you are now frisked like criminals. The searches were done under the guise of protecting the fans from terrorists but I think it was to protect anemic football teams from the fans and/or to protect the new found bilking of wealth from the faithful at the refreshment stand. It seemed that the BYU or “The Lords University” has gotten greedy. A visit to the concessions stand was comparable to visiting the moneychangers at the Temple during the time of Jesus. It just didn’t seem right. Being an active LDS member I understand a few things about how the church uses its funds and how important it is to do what is right with the Lord’s money. What the new BYU was doing was going against all that I had been taught. I guess that is why at the pearly gates of the BYU it says “Enter to Learn Go Forth to be Hypocrites”. Now add on to the misery just the right amount of poor coaching, poor play and poor execution mixed with a few high profile criminals on the team and just like magic I lost interest. Actually it wasn’t that I lost interest it was that I was repulsed by the whole thing. BYU has standards and a strict honor code that rules the lives of students but somehow if you are attached to BYU Football you are exempt. I love the double standard.

It’s a new year, new coach and new team even a new broadcast channel. Being a recovering BYU fan; it is hard some times not to lapse into past bad habits at the start of a new season. On Saturday I tuned in to the game and yet again I am disappointed with the same pathetic play. Bronco Mendenhall promised us a return to the tradition of BYU Football but I didn’t see it. I saw a team that gave up on third down and poor play calling at crucial times but mostly I saw the same repackaged piece of dookie that BYU football has become.

I think maybe some things should change…
Lets rededicate the new practice facility to the students… because using it for only football has made the team soft. It seems a waste of $50 million bucks.

Reduce the amount of non-LDS players to the ratio of students through out the university.

Enforce the honor code 100%. If a player violates it they are gone. I am sure most of the BYU faithful would be happy to lose every game if all players followed the code like the rest of the student body.

Let’s reduce penalties by players by making them pay for penalties in a game. I vote a dollar a yard to start.

No more punting in the 4th quarter when inside the opponent’s 30-yard line and losing by more than 10. NO Risk NO Reward.

Allow customers of the concessions stands to keep the lids to their soda and water bottles.

And One more thing...
I would just like to tell my ex-coworkers how awesome my three day weekend was... I almost came for a visit just to rub it in but I hear I might be considered a left turn. Can any Sundance employee confirm this? If someone wants to email me the truth as I am considering purchasing a Season Pass.

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