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There’s No Upside...

Michael Leavitt shares his innermost thoughts as they relate to his personal and family life. He can be heard to say often to his kids... “There’s no upside!”


NOTE: If you are interested in Michael’s business inspection related blog, then click on Bloggers in the left column and select Michael - Inspector.

Michael Leavitt came into mortality on August 3, 1961 in the small town of Brigham City, Utah. He was immediately deemed healthy and his Mom and Dad took him home to the nearby, but much smaller town of Bear River, Utah. 6 months later the family was on the move to Southern California with some time spent in Florida and then Southern California...

Michael Leavitt came into mortality on August 3, 1961 in the small town of Brigham City, Utah. He was immediately deemed healthy and his Mom and Dad took him home to the nearby, but much smaller town of Bear River, Utah. 6 months later the family was on the move to Southern California with some time spent in Florida and then Southern California again. After a crazy upbringing in the middle of gang banger central, Michael caught the vision and decided to serve two years as a proselyting missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints in Southern Brasil. “That was an incredible experience that allowed me to devout all my time, talent, and energies serving the Lord” said Michael about his missionary service. Returning home and quickly turning 27 Michael found the love of his life and married Shelly Webb from Claremont, California. Jessica came along within 9 months of their marriage, later followed by Adam, Haily, and Aaron. The time has flown by and Michael now finds Jessica married and making him a Grandpa 3 times over.

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1973 Irving JHS Mother & Son Breakfast W/Al Downing - Part XI of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”

1973 Irving JHS Mother & Son Breakfast W/Al Downing - Part XI of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”
IRVING MOTHER & SON BREAKFAST W/AL DOWNING - 1973-74 - The following is part of a series of articles written by Michael Leavitt about his real life experiences at Washington Irving Junior High School in Los Angeles, California from 1974-1976. The events are true and have been documented to help Michael's family better understand the racial tensions he endured during that era. And even amidst the turmoil, good times were plentiful and proof that even when you are given the sourest of lemons you can still make a great lemonade. If you haven't read the previous  entries, then I invite you to enjoy them when you have time.CH. 1 * CH. 2 * CH. 3 * CH. 4 * CH. 5 * CH. 6 * CH. 7 * CH. 8 * CH. 9 * CH. 10 * Ch. 11 *“DAD, WHAT WAS IT REA...
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KNICKERBOCKER 1974 - NOW ONLINE

KNICKERBOCKER 1974 - NOW ONLINE
KNICKERBOCKER 1974 - At the request of several members of the Washington Irving Junior High alumni Facebook group, I put the scanning on project of the 1974 Knickerbocker on the front burner and I made it a priority to complete.It has been yet another labor of love scanning the 1974 Washington Irving Knickerbocker yearbook and then formatting it for easy viewing on the internet. I have two versions available and both require registering for my website to access. This is easy to do and helps control and monitor who is viewing the content.STANDARD VERSION - I took the time to create a version that is free from all added autographs and best wishes. This version is available to all Irving alumni.MICHAEL'S EDITION - I also uploaded a very person...
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I'm Going For A Walk....

I'm Going For A Walk....
After enjoying some Sweet Fire Chicken, for some reason I am prompted to take a walk this afternoon and then come back and take a look around the corner... I know I know, I sometimes get my priorities a little mixed up. Thos that know me well know that I am constantly pleading with my lovely wife Shelly to have more patience with me... I'm excited about my prospects on the walk.What is the best fortune cookie fortune you have ever received?Make it a great day!!! Michael Leavitt - Orem, Utah
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KNICKERBOCKER 1976 - NOW ONLINE

KNICKERBOCKER 1976 - NOW ONLINE
KNICKERBOCKER 1976 - It has been yet another labor of love scanning the 1976 Washington Irving Knickerbocker yearbook and then formatting it for easy viewing on the internet. I have two versions available and both require registering for my website to access. This is easy to do and helps control and monitor who is viewing the content.STANDARD VERSION - I took the time to create a version that is free from all added autographs and best wishes. This version is available to all Irving alumni.MICHAEL'S EDITION - I also uploaded a very personal version that includes all the signatures and writings from my own personal yearbook.  This is available to those who are interested in seeing what they authored so many years ago... "Have a great sum...
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Yvette Burton - Rest In Peace - 2012 - Part X of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”

Yvette Burton - Rest In Peace - 2012 - Part X of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”
YVETTE BURTON - REST IN PEACE - 2012 - The following is part of a series of articles written by Michael Leavitt about his real life experiences at Washington Irving Junior High School in Los Angeles, California from 1974-1976. The events are true and have been documented to help Michael's family better understand the racial tensions he endured during that era. If you haven't read the previous 9 entries, then I invite you to enjoy them when you have time.CH. 1 * CH. 2 * CH. 3 * CH. 4 * CH. 5 * CH. 6 * CH. 7 * CH. 8 * CH. 9 * CH. 10“DAD, WHAT WAS IT REALLY LIKE FOR YOU IN JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL?”CHAPTER 10 - YVETTE BURTON - REST IN PEACE - 2012As I look back on my junior high school years, there are a handful of smiles that made my younger y...
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Tasty Irving JHS Cinnamon Rolls

Tasty Irving JHS Cinnamon Rolls
Is there anybody craving the wonderful cinnamon rolls from Washington Irving Junior High School? I am sitting here working on an early morning inspection report and would love to bite into one of those square, warm, and iced delights right now. In fact, my stomach is growling as I type this blog entry. It was one of the best times of each morning to stand in line and wait my turn to bite into the delicious treat. I'm sure it was the "delicious part of a nutritious breakfast." When eaten alone I doubt their was much nutritional value, but they were certainly delicious. I have found many great cinnamon rolls since, but the Washington Irving Junior High treats from my Southern California past were incredibly tasty... Make it a great day!Michae...
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1832 Hits
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Black & Blue Umpire Camp - I'm Bruised But Healing

Black & Blue Umpire Camp - I'm Bruised But Healing
Whew! When Billy Haze and his cohorts with the Black & Blue Umpire Camps (BBUC) were done with me, I was bruised and battered. And when I say bruised, I an referring to my ego. I was heard to say more than once in the past three days, "I haven't felt like this much of a rookie in decades!" It was very humbling, but the information was extremely valuable to me as a baseball umpire.Yes, I have been looking forward to these last three days for the last three months since I first heard the training was being organized and that the BBUC trainers were going to travel to Northern Utah to put on the camp. I was never quite sure what was going to be taught in this advanced umpire training, but I knew that the training staff was going to be top n...
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Poppy Speed Blinking - Grandkids Are Wonderful!!!

Poppy Speed Blinking - Grandkids Are Wonderful!!!
There is nothing more entertaining than a 4 year old granddaughter doing her best to stay awake during a very slow late night BYU football game. If your team is going to finally lose at about midnight, then I recommend that you watch the game with three young grandkids that are much more interested in playing than sitting quietly and watching the football game on the field. Poppy (4) is a very active child and together with her brother Rolf (4) and Tommy (2) they had a blast in the perfect late night air of the large stadium. Yes, once Poppy gets going, she is a pure joy to play silly games. Her laugh is infectious and her smile lights up everything around her as she makes sure everybody is having a good time. Check out this video and espec...
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Brasulista - New Issue Published - LDS Missionaries

Brasulista - New Issue Published - LDS Missionaries
The latest issue of the Brasulista is now online. The Brasulista is an online newsletter created by Alf  Gunn from Gig Harbor, Washington especially for early LDS Missionaries that served in Brazil. It is a great read for anybody wondering about the missionary work in Brazil. Alf produces his version and sends it out via email to several thousand subscribers. I get the privilege of taking the email and bringing it to life via HTML formatting on the internet. This latest issue shares Brazil missionary opportunities, 9-11 tribute, an entertaining video of wing-suiters soaring over Rio, info about Alf's biking tour of Europe, and more. Here is the direct link to the latest issue: http://brasulista.com/sud/177-10-14-14Make it a great ...
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27th Day in Sao Borja - LDS Brazilian Mission Reflections

27th Day in Sao Borja - LDS Brazilian Mission Reflections
The following is the actual missionary journal entry I posted August 31, 1986. I was still adjusting to the people and culture of Southern Brazil and had yet to receive any mail from the good 'ol USA. The two year experience had life changing influences on my life. I'm sharing the actual images of the journal pages followed by the English transcript and then the Google translation into Portuguese. I wrote my thoughts at the end of the calendar month, but I drew the picture a couple of days earlier on a journal sheet while sitting by the Sao Borja. Brazil train station. I have always loved to sketch. You will also notice that my hair in the photo is still down. It wasn't for another week or so that I finally asked Elder Udo Muzeka if I could...
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I'm a Mormon! - Would you like to know more?

I'm a Mormon! - Would you like to know more?
I'M A MORMON!Yes, my name is Michael Leavitt and I am a Mormon. "Mormon" is just a nickname for members of "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints". As a member of the church, I am a Christian and I have been born again as I have attempted to shake off the natural man desires of my earlier years. I am thankful for the "Plan of Happiness" that places Jesus Christ in the key role as our Savior and Redeemer. This plan allows a sinner like myself the ability to turn to him by making changes in my life. His atoning sacrifice allows me the ability to repent and change. As I ask others for forgiveness for my actions against them, I am equally touched to offer them forgiveness for their actions towards me. As a Mormon I believe that we are...
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Braving The Elements - BSA Fall Camporee 2014

Braving The Elements - BSA Fall Camporee 2014
Five Scouts, four men, and a Bishop were brave enough to tackle the elements and find great enjoyment at the Orem District 2014 Fall Camporee. As a group from the Windsor Third Ward sponsired Troop 596, we became very bonded in the electrifying lightening, thunder, and wind blown rain filled night. And even though this could have been miserable, we all seemed to be having a blast.RAIN - Did I mention that it rained? In fact, of the 17 hours we were there, it rained about 13 of them. The other 4 were under constant threat of more. After nearly 3 decades of doing this type of campout, I am convinced that it does not matter what Friday/Saturday they pick on the calendar, if they call it a Fall Camporee, then bad weather will happen.MILD TEMPS ...
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2193 Hits
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Life Changing Events - Thank You Lost Boys

Life Changing Events - Thank You Lost Boys
There are certain moments in life that change the direction one takes. The four pictures I will share in this blog entry document just such an event in my life. Instead of my sharing my feelings and memories,  I am going to throw it out to my friends to see if they know anything about this 2 hours that forever changed my life.  CHALLENGEWho knows any of the details of this event? Either by hearing me relate the experience or because you were there, please share any all all details that you may remember.DATE: Approximately 1994WHERE?HOW HAS THE LOCATION CHANGED?WHAT VEHICLE DID I DRIVE?WHO WAS THERE?WHY DID THEY MAKE IT HAPPEN?: WHY WAS IT SO SPECIAL IN MY LIFE?WHAT WERE MY FEELINGS THEN?HOW DID IT CHANGE THE COURSE OF MY LIFE?It w...
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Cookies - Do A Good Turn Daily!

Cookies - Do A Good Turn Daily!
Originally shared on www.UtahScouting.comI walked in the door from a long night of umpiring girl's tournament softball when my son Aaron said, "Hey Dad, you have every man's vision of loveliness sitting on your desk.""What are you talking about?" I responded, and with that Aaron bounded down the stairs to come back with a plate of cookies wrapped in cellophane and a note written on lined school paper.I was flushed with feelings of love and appreciation as I handed the note to Aaron and asked him to read it to me...Kade - Bacon Boys' Patrol LeaderWow! Such an act of kindness from an 11 year-old young man. The Boy Scouts of America have a tried and true slogan, "Do a good turn daily!" Young men learn and repeat this slogan in their weekly mee...
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Fishermen, NOT!!!... Swimmermen, YES!!! - Varsity Team 596

Fishermen, NOT!!!... Swimmermen, YES!!! - Varsity Team 596
Originally shared on www.UtahScouting.comSATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2014 - 5:30 AM came early as the Varsity Team 596 from the Windsor Stake in Orem, Utah gathered by the flagpole at the Windsor Chapel. The time was enough to trim the number of boys from 12 down to the 4 that arrived. In fact, most of the others had other commitments, but this select group of young men were looking forward to hiking up to Silver Lake with the hopes of catching lots of fish.Brother Burr, Brother Humphries, my son Adam Leavitt, and myself were to be the leaders, while Alex, Bryson, Bradley, and Riley were the enthusiastic boys attending.... Wait a minute, Bryson showed up with anything but an enthusiastic smile on his face.  He would have much rather prefer...
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OHS Homecoming 2014 - Aaron and Kate

OHS Homecoming 2014 - Aaron and Kate
It was a pleasure taking Homecoming 2014 pictures for my son Aaron and his group of 8. Enjoy the photos.HIGH RES PHOTOS - DROPBOX LINK - 28MBAaron & Kate Derek & Amanda Hunter & Sierra Bronson & Rebecca 
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BYU Cross Country Race - #ohscc

BYU Cross Country Race - #ohscc
 This morning was the second time I have attended the huge Brigham Young University cross country race.  This event features both college and high school races and there are over a thousand runners. Our son Aaron ran for the Orem High School Varsity team and he came in fourth from his school. As a junior he has shown incredible improvement from the same time last year and he really loves to run.  The following 98 photos feature all of the Orem runner except the Fresh/Soph boys because I arrived just as they finished... Sorry! Click on any of the photos and open up the larger view... Enjoy!  
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Brent Lambert - We Just Lost One of the Good Guys!!!

Brent Lambert - We Just Lost One of the Good Guys!!!
I am still in shock from hearing the news that my good friend Brent Lambert has just passwed away. Why? Well Brent was one of the good guys. Yes, he was younger than me. Yes, he has kids scattered through the entire spectrum of the public school system. Yes, it was of natural causes and not do to a blameable accident. And yes, he was just too young and still in the prime of his life.The news came last night at about 10PM while I was sitting at the drive-up window at Weinerschnitzel. First off, I rarely go there for late night food, and I had just called my wife Shelly, to which she did not answer so I left a message.  When the phone rang, I just knew it was her calling back so I did not even look at my phone when I answered. But on the...
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Southern Brazil... Saudades, I Miss My Gaucho Friends!

Southern Brazil... Saudades, I Miss My Gaucho Friends!
Saudades translated means to look back with fond memories. I spent two years of my young life proselyting amongst the Gauchos (cowboys) in the southern most portion of Brazil in the state, Rio Grande do Sul. I landed in the modern city of Porto Alegre and after just a couple of days I boarded a bus for 9 hours that took me to the small city Sao Borja which ends on the Uruguay River with Argentina on the opposite shore.I liked to think that it was due to my Mission President's ability to trust in me that I was sent so far away from his offices in Porto Alegre.  But my hindsight has confirmed that I was sent so far away because the he knew that I needed to be humbled. As a result, President Pedro Brassanini sent me to a far off place wit...
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AF Grass Relays 2014 - Fresh/Soph Girls

AF Grass Relays 2014 - Fresh/Soph Girls
The Orem High School Fresh/Soph team ran very strong throughout each leg. Check out my other posts with photos of the other teams. Just click on "X-Country" on the left navigation bar and select the division. 
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AF Grass Relays 2014 Fresh/Soph Boys

AF Grass Relays 2014 Fresh/Soph Boys
The Orem High School Fresh/Soph Boys team ran very strong throughout each leg. Check out my other posts with photos of the other teams. Just click on "X-Country" on the left navigation bar and select the division. 
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1768 Hits
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AF Grass Relays 2014 - JV Girls

AF Grass Relays 2014 - JV Girls
The Orem High School JV Girls team ran very well. Check out my other posts with photos of the other teams. Just click on "X-Country" on the left navigation bar and select the division. 
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AF Grass Relays - JV Boys

AF Grass Relays - JV Boys
The Orem High School JV Boys team ran very strong throughout each leg. Check out my other posts with photos of the other teams. Just click on "X-Country" on the left navigation bar and select the division. 
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AF Grass Relays 2014 - Varsity Girls

AF Grass Relays 2014 - Varsity Girls
 The Orem High School Varisty girls team ran very strong throughout each leg.Check out my other posts with photos of the other teams. Just click on "X-Country" on the left navigation bar and select the division.
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X-Country, Hay Bales & Face Plants - VARSITY BOYS

X-Country, Hay Bales & Face Plants - VARSITY BOYS
This past Saturday I snapped over 4,000 photos at my favorite sporting event of the year.  American Fork High School hosted their annual "Grass Relays" which I always refer to as the "AF Hay Bale Relays". The two mile course features several locations where they place rows of hay bales that must be navigated to finish the course. About 30 schools attend, with about 1,500 runners competing in any of the 7 races. For Freshmen, Sophomore and Juniopr Varsity teams all of the boys run at one time and the girls at one time within their divisions. But for the Varsity teams they each have five runners that run twice around the track before handing off their baton to the next runner on their squad. My son Aaron ran for the Orem High School Vars...
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Teach to Learn - Scott Knecht's New Blog

Teach to Learn - Scott Knecht's New Blog
It was a nice surprise this morning to receive notification from Scott Knecht's new blog.  It is living proof that even old dogs can learn new tricks. This man holds a special place of reverence in my heart, because it was while he served as my LDS Bishop, that his weekly teachings in young adult Sunday School helped inspire me to turn my life around. I encourage you visit his blog and subscribe... http://teachtolearn1.blogspot.com/Here is his first entry,http://teachtolearn1.blogspot.com/2014/09/i-love-process-of-teaching.htmlTeach To Learn ...because if you don't, you're just teaching to teach.Monday, September 1, 2014I love the process of teaching.  I love to think about teaching, to prepare lessons, to stand in front of a clas...
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2744 Hits
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Out of Small Things... My Brazil Missionary Journals

Out of Small Things... My Brazil Missionary Journals
Tradução Português - veja abaixoFellow LDS missionaries, family and friends, I look back so fondly on the two years of my mission that helped shape the way I have spent the last 27 years since I have returned home. Some of you know that I turned 25 the last day of my stay in the MTC and I was so thankful to be able to serve the Lord as a missionary. I wrote at least one full page in my journal almost every day for those two years. About 5 months in, my companion developed walking pneumonia and we spent a couple weeks indoors and I took the time to integrate my photos into the journal and then had the first two volumes bound in leather and titled, "O Livro de Miky" or "The Book of Miky".The idea for leather binding came when I visited the mi...
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3178 Hits
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Billy #$%#$% - Humor Kept Me Safe - Part IX of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”

Billy #$%#$% - Humor Kept Me Safe  - Part IX of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”
BILLY #$%#$% - HUMOR KEPT ME SAFE - The following is part of a series of articles written by Michael Leavitt about his real life experiences at Washington Irving Junior High School in Los Angeles, California from 1974-1976. The events are true and have been documented to help Michael's family better understand the racial tensions he endured during that era. If you haven't read the previous 8 entries, then I invite you to enjoy them when you have time.CH. 1 * CH. 2 * CH. 3 * CH. 4 * CH. 5 * CH. 6 * CH. 7 * CH. 8 * CH. 9“DAD, WHAT WAS IT REALLY LIKE FOR YOU IN JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL?”NOTE: 7/28/14 - This entry was authored and posted pending the approval of "Billy". I have removed all references to his last name. If he reads this entry, likes it,...
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3124 Hits
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"Fielder's Balk"... Is there such a violation?

"Fielder's Balk"... Is there such a violation?
I just finished another umpiring write-up, this time dealing with where a first baseman can stand when he is holding a runner on first base.SCENARIO: Runner on first and the first baseman is holding him on with his foot in foul territory before and throughout the pitch. The coach wants a balk called because the defensive player was in foul territory. Is there such a thing as a "Fielder's Balk"?READ MORE AT http://comeonblue.com/ump/umpire-blog/entry/fielder-s-balk-is-there-such-a-violation
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2103 Hits
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Obstruction - "You guys have been calling it wrong around here for years!"

Obstruction - "You guys have been calling it wrong around here for years!"
I have just written a new blog entry for my umpiring website, www.ComeOnBlue.com, titledObstruction - "You guys have been calling it wrong around here for years!"SCENARIO: R2, 1 out. Ball hit and runner rounds third as the catcher receives the throw. The runner turns to head back to third with the third baseman in front of the bag clearly blocking the base as the throw is coming his way. He catches the throw high as the returning runner comes in crouched and barrels into the third baseman's thigh with his shoulder as the tag is brought down hard on top of him for a clear out. The third base coach complains loudly about the call as he tried to comfort his son (tagged out runner) who reportedly, by the coach, has broken his shoulder from the ...
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1999 Hits
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LIVID - You Are The Worst Umpire Ever

LIVID - You Are The Worst Umpire Ever
"You are the worst umpire ever!" Pretty strong words from and irate third base coach as his runner slid into the tag right in front of him to end what would have been an incredible comeback win after tournament game time had already expired. What he saw was different than what I saw as i came down the baseline from home to make the call.Check out my ComeOnBlue.com umpire blog for the full account...http://comeonblue.com/ump/umpire-blog/entry/livid-you-are-the-worst-umpire-ever
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3AM Longboarding Road Rash

3AM Longboarding Road Rash
Adam fell that men might be...The phone rang, and as I listened to Shelly on the other end, it was not good. Apparently our 20 year old son Adam was  long boarding down Skyline Drive in Orem and he took a horrific crash."I need to go pick up Adam. He has crashed on a long board and is really hurt," say Shelly. I was sooooo groggy that she asked if I couldn't watch 1-year-old Max while she went to make the rescue. Yes, max was staying the night and attempting to sleep in our bed. That is interesting, to say the very least.So many questions came to my mind...Why was Adam riding a long board at 3 AM?Why was Adam shooting down a major hill?How could he have suffered such a fall without breaking major bones?But maybe it was the adrenalin ma...
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Haily - Stitch By Stitch - Incredible!

Haily - Stitch By Stitch - Incredible!
My daughter Haily has just submitted work in the North America Artist Showcase contest and I would love it if you would visit the Facebook page and vote for her piece titled, “Stitch by Stitch.” I don’t know all the contest details, but they allow a vote per day and any votes you could offer would really mean a lot to both myself and to Haily.LINK TO CONTESTThanks so much!Michael Leavitt - Orem, Utah - www.TheHomeInspector.com - Michael Leavitt & Co Inspections, Inc.
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Dillon Erickson - The Mild Mannered Caving Beast!

Dillon Erickson - The Mild Mannered Caving Beast!
Take a 25 year old man from Beaver Dam, Utah and assign him the calling of an Assistant Varsity Coach in Boy Scouting, and what you end up with is an enthusiastic leader that loves to shoot geese and ducks one day, and then rappel into the depths of the earth the next. But what you really have to respect is that on Sunday he faithfully attends his church meetings and fulfills his callings as a Young Men's leader in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. So who is capable of this? Why it is Dillon Erickson.All of this comes after being married just a couple of years with a lovely wife Courtney and a cute little almost one year old, fourth teeth and counting, young son named Easton... Yes, he is named after the baseball bat. It is t...
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2333 Hits
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BlowholeCave - Rabbit Traps, Flaming Torches & Navajo Blankets

BlowholeCave - Rabbit Traps, Flaming Torches & Navajo Blankets
What a great experience it was to lead a group of excited new cavers through Northern Utah'’ Blowhole Cave.5 of the members of our group had never been in a wild cave before and they were excited with the prospect of heading subterranean.As a group of Boy Scouts, you can’t just say, “Hey let’s go explore a cave next Saturday that includes a vertical 80 ft. rappel into the earth.” The BSA has wise put into place special restrictions and guidelines to ensure that only experienced participants take on these great risks. I was contacted by this local Varsity Team a few months back with their goal of being able to cave and we started the training wheels in motion. They already had done canyoneering which included lots of bouldering, climbing and...
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3865 Hits
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Aaron's 16th Bday - Our Youngest is Dating

Aaron's 16th Bday - Our Youngest is Dating
Yes, to day is the day that our youngest child officially became older enough to date. We have a family rule that there is no dating before 16 and then only in group dates until at least 18. It has been a good family policy with our older three kids, and tonight Jessica, Adam, and Haily all decided to group date with Aaron to get him started on the right track.Aaron asked Vanessa Kirkby to be his first date, and she gladly accepted. She is a little bit older, which is good because our family policy also means that you can't date anybody younger than 16.  So for a little while many of Aaron's friends will be off limits until they too become of age.I was fortunate because I was able to head over to the Riverwoods and take pictures of the...
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My Wood Badge Beading Ceremony - 11/24/2013

My Wood Badge Beading Ceremony - 11/24/2013
After 28 years of adult leadership in the Boy Scouts of America, I finally was awarded my own personal beads from Wood Badge. How cool is that?Wood Badge is advanced Boy Scouts of America leadership training that helps an adult leader better understand the roles of young men as they progress through scouting. The six day course culminates with the participant creating a Wood Badge Ticket that features 5 goals that must be completed within an 18 month period in order to receive your beads. After 14 months, I am happy to report that I completed my goals and was ready to be awarded.Bob Church was our Buffalo Patrol Guide and he gladly arranged his schedule to be at the meeting and conduct the ceremony. Bob has been a great example to me and he...
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6648 Hits
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Family, Vows, & Snitching to Get Out of Solitary Confinement - Part VIII of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”

Family, Vows, & Snitching to Get Out of Solitary Confinement - Part VIII of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”
FAMILY, VOWS, & SNITCHING TO GET OUT OF SOLITARY CONFINEMENT - The following is part of a series of articles written by Michael Leavitt about his real life experiences at Washington Irving Junior High School in Los Angeles, California from 1974-1976. The events are true and have been documented to help Michael's family better understand the racial tensions he endured during that era.CH. 1 * CH. 2 * CH. 3 * CH. 4 * CH. 5 * CH. 6 * CH. 7 * CH. 8 * CH. 9 *“DAD, WHAT WAS IT REALLY LIKE FOR YOU IN JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL?”CHAPTER 8 - FAMILY, VOWS, & SNITCHING TO GET OUT OF SOLITARY CONFINEMENTI am absolutely amazed at how destructive a prison sentence can be for the remaining family members who remain long after the gang member is imprisoned....
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Gang Mentality - Part VII of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”

Gang Mentality - Part VII of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”
GANG MENTALITY - DOCUMENTARIES - The following is part of a series of articles written by Michael Leavitt about his real life experiences at Washington Irving Junior High School in Los Angeles, California from 1974-1976. The events are true and have been documented to help Michael's family better understand the racial tensions he endured during that era.CH. 1 * CH. 2 * CH. 3 * CH. 4 * CH. 5 * CH. 6 * CH. 7 * CH. 8 *“DAD, WHAT WAS IT REALLY LIKE FOR YOU IN JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL?”CHAPTER 7 - GANG MENTALITY - DOCUMENTARIESIn putting all of this latest research together this past week regarding Frank Reyna, it is obvious that when you train up a child to become a gang member, then it is a pathway through life that is ingrained into their soul and ...
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Solitary Confinement - Part VI of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”

Solitary Confinement - Part VI of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”
FRANK REYNA’S SOLITARY CONFINEMENT - The following is part of a series of articles written by Michael Leavitt about his real life experiences at Washington Irving Junior High School in Los Angeles, California from 1974-1976. The events are true and have been documented to help Michael's family better understand the racial tensions he endured during that era.CH. 1 * CH. 2 * CH. 3 * CH. 4 * CH. 5 * CH. 6 * CH. 7 * CH. 8 *“DAD, WHAT WAS IT REALLY LIKE FOR YOU IN JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL?”CHAPTER 6 - RANK REYNA’S SOLITARY CONFINEMENTIt is Thanksgiving Eve 2013 and I am faced with sadness as I sit here at my computer having performed research into the internet presence of Frank Reyna. If you haven’t read any of the last five blog posts dedicated to li...
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My Response to Frank Reyna - Part V of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”

My Response to Frank Reyna - Part V of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”
MY RESPONSE TO THE UNEXPECTED LETTER - The following is part of a series of articles written by Michael Leavitt about his real life experiences at Washington Irving Junior High School in Los Angeles, California from 1974-1976. The events are true and have been documented to help Michael's family better understand the racial tensions he endured during that era.CH. 1 * CH. 2 * CH. 3 * CH. 4 * CH. 5 * CH. 6 * CH. 7 * CH. 8 *“DAD, WHAT WAS IT REALLY LIKE FOR YOU IN JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL?”CHAPTER 5 - MY RESPONSE TO RANK REYNAWow! Frank Reyna... I am so impressed to receive the letter from you. I came into my home office and my wife of 24 years, Shelly, had propped it up on my computer keyboard. I picked it up and immediately read the red stamp that...
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The Unexpected Letter - Part IV of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”

The Unexpected Letter - Part IV of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”
THE UNEXPECTED LETTER - The following is part of a series of articles written by Michael Leavitt about his real life experiences at Washington Irving Junior High School in Los Angeles, California from 1974-1976. The events are true and have been documented to help Michael's family better understand the racial tensions he endured during that era.CH. 1 * CH. 2 * CH. 3 * CH. 4 * CH. 5 * CH. 6 * CH. 7 * CH. 8 *“DAD, WHAT WAS IT REALLY LIKE FOR YOU IN JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL?”CHAPTER 4 - THE UNEXPECTED LETTERMichael Leavitt We need to fast forward 37 years to November 25, 2013. It was a cold and clear winter day in Northern Utah when I walked into my home office from a difficult afternoon of inspecting, only to see a letter propped up on my comp...
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The 9th Grade Wall - Part III of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”

The 9th Grade Wall - Part III of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”
THE LONG WALK OF SHAME - The following is part of a series of articles written by Michael Leavitt about his real life experiences at Washington Irving Junior High School in Los Angeles, California from 1974-1976. The events are true and have been documented to help Michael's family better understand the racial tensions he endured during that era.CH. 1 * CH. 2 * CH. 3 * CH. 4 * CH. 5 * CH. 6 * CH. 7 * CH. 8 *“DAD, WHAT WAS IT REALLY LIKE FOR YOU IN JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL?”CHAPTER 3 - THE 9TH GRADE WALLMichael Leavitt1976 was 36 years ago and “The Dreamers” bi-centennial graduating class from Washington Irving Junior High School was enjoying their last year together before the great divide that would send all of the student body at least three cl...
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The Long Walk of Shame - Part II of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”

The Long Walk of Shame - Part II of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”
THE LONG WALK OF SHAME - The following is part of a series of articles written by Michael Leavitt about his real life experiences at Washington Irving Junior High School in Los Angeles, California from 1974-1976. The events are true and have been documented to help Michael's family better understand the racial tensions he endured during that era.CH. 1 * CH. 2 * CH. 3 * CH. 4 * CH. 5 * CH. 6 * CH. 7 * CH. 8 *“DAD, WHAT WAS IT REALLY LIKE FOR YOU IN JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL?”CHAPTER 2 - THE LONG WALK OF SHAMEMichael Leavitt1976 brought us the bi-centennial celebration of our country as the Viet Nam war was fading into past memories. My Dad was a depression baby who had lived with the scars of living through a tornado that exploded the house where h...
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Fear & Survival - Part I of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”

Fear & Survival - Part I of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”
THE LONG WALK OF SHAME - The following is part of a series of articles written by Michael Leavitt about his real life experiences at Washington Irving Junior High School in Los Angeles, California from 1974-1976. The events are true and have been documented to help Michael's family better understand the racial tensions he endured during that era.CH. 1 * CH. 2 * CH. 3 * CH. 4 * CH. 5 * CH. 6 * CH. 7 * CH. 8 *“DAD, WHAT WAS IT REALLY LIKE FOR YOU IN JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL?”CHAPTER 1 - FEAR & SURVIVALMichael LeavittI often think about my survival from Washington Irving Junior High School. Survived is the key word in an era and environment that was anything but conducive to academic learning. Set in the heart of East Los Angeles with young aspi...
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Michael Leavitt
Augie shared... "Wow, Washington Irving JHS. I was a 7th grader when you were in ninth. I moved in with my aunt and uncle. Their k... Read More
Monday, 28 December 2015 14:23
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Tommy Conquers The Dinosaurs

Tommy Conquers The Dinosaurs
It was so much fun watching Tommy climb up and conquer the dinosaur that resides less than 30 feet outside his front door. To say that he is the master of his domain is an understatement. Love ya, Kido!!!
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Who’s Driving This Crazy Train?

Who’s Driving This Crazy Train?
There is nothing funnier than placing Rolf & Poppy in the control seat of a kiddy train. From the moment they enter the battle for control ensues. Don’t think Rolf is a pushover to Poppy’s assertiveness. Quite the contrary. He may not be as vocal, but Rolf definitely has desires to take control. In the meantime the train continues to speed down the tracks. All I could think of was Ozzy shrieking... “I’m going off the rails on a crazy train!” LOCATION: Mama Shelly wanted to take the twins to see Monster University at the Water Gardens in Pleasant Grove, Utah.
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Father's Day 2013 - Thanks Dad!

Father's Day 2013 - Thanks Dad!
It is my 52nd year here in mortality and I am left to ponder how I have become the man that I am. What factors contributed to my character and whose prayers were answered on my behalf hundreds of time that has allowed me to still be enjoying life as I know it?At age 25 I spent Father’s Day in the LDS Missionary Training Center preparing to head to Brazil as a Mormon Missionary. Prior to my entry my Dad told me I was a fool for that decision and wasting my life. He reasoned that there was so much more I could accomplish by staying and applying my focus to higher education and employment. This advice came as he expressed his disgust in my progress here in mortality just before the funeral of his only sibling, Uncle Harley. Then he drove off b...
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Tommy’s Birthday - Rubber Ducky

Tommy’s Birthday - Rubber Ducky
What a great day today is. The only way it could be better was if I was in Cape Cod in person to celebrate my Grandson Tommy’s birthday. Skype is good, but I want to eat one of those delicious cupcakes baked and decorated by Jessica. As a special request I was asked to prepare an MP3 file featuring various versions of Rubber Ducky. The final mix is an entertaining and mixes Ernie, Adam, Little Richard, and others doing various versions including and Israeli version and a German Techno-pop version. It ends with Ernie losing his Rubber Ducky, but you can then start the 23 minute audio all over again.Make it a great day and enjoy “Rubber Ducky!”RUBBER DUCKY - MP3Make it a great day!Michael Leavitt - Orem, Utah - www.TheHomeInspector.com -...
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Happy Mother’s Day 2013

Happy Mother’s Day 2013
Happy Mother’s Day!I don’t know if my Mom is like the others in the world, I only know that I love her dearly and her loving way has helped nurture me into the man I am today. Yes I am full of imperfections and warts, but there are some really great qualities that I can directly attribute to her loving care. I want everyone to know that I love her for her ability to always love me, in spite of what I was doing, as well as during those times I made it easy for her to stand back and beam with pride.I am really fortunate to still have her here in mortality to share my latest success and failures. She is currently back at my sister’s, so I don’t get to give here a loving kiss and hug in person this year on this special tribute day. Instead, I w...
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