A Place to Call Home

August 13, 2009

Well it finally happened. My daughter and I closed on our new home this week. We got a new realtor who helped us with twice daily emails to show us every house that came on the market that fit our exact specifications. With the see it fast service he provided, we were able to find our perfect home and make an offer just a few days after it hit the market.

If you are looking for a home in Utah contact Nathan T. Olpin www.FindUTHomes.com  801-506-3166 or email Nathan@NathanOlpin.com You’ll be glad you did. He helped us do in a few weeks what we were not able to do in seven months. His superb customer service, custom MLS searches and immediate responses to our requests to view properties was beyond extraordinary.  Thanks Nathan!

Now on to the move – then the projects…  Hum… What color for the Venetian Plaster??? Yes!  We will have a library with room for thousands of books and a conference table. A cozy chair to read in by the fire place… yep, got that too:) What, a dojo and climbing gym in the 30′ x 40′ fully insulated RV garage? You’d better believe it! And the yard… what can I say? Half acre with mature trees including cherry, apple, walnut, maples and pine. A garden, actually several gardens.

DARE TO DREAM! We did and occasionally dreams do come true:)

P.S. – I will try to be better at posting after we get settled in to our new home.

Thanksgiving & Thankfulness

November 30, 2008

For too long, greedy corporations, power hungry individuals and brazen crowds have petitioned, tantrumed, bribed and threaten corrupt and cowardly politicians to destroy the Constitutional liberties of a refined moral society to promote their own selfish agendas. So, I have found something that I am really grateful for this Thanksgiving. I’m not very happy about the change that is coming, but I am certainly grateful for that which is leaving.

Why Rachel Maddow is ‘thankful’ Bush administration is ending

What is it about the Bush administration that makes people so thankful it’s ending?

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow put together a list of Bush officials that have been indicted or resigned abruptly in order to recall “just how bad the bad old times have been.”

Former assistant to the President Felipe Sixto was charged with stealing from a Cuba-related nonprofit organization. Edgar Johnson, who worked for the Department of the Interior, was charged with taking bribes. Julia McDonald, deputy assistant secretary at the Department of the Interior, resigned after an investigation found she gave government documents to lobbyists.

The number two person at the department of the interior, Steven Griles, was sentenced to 10 months as a part of the Jack Abramoff Scandal. Abramoff was also responsible for taking down Roger Stillwell from the Office of Insular Affairs, Robert Coughlin, who was chief of the criminal division at the Justice Department, and David Safavian, who was chief of staff in the General Services Administration.

Lester Crawford, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, who resigned and pled guilty to holding stock in companies that he was regulating. Claude Allen was the assistant to the president for domestic policy. He resigned for a scheme of defrauding Target stores.

Brian Doyle was deputy press secretary for Homeland Security. He went to prison for child porn. Frank Figueroa also worked for Homeland Security as head of Operation Predator and got in trouble for exposing himself to a girl in a mall.

John Korsmo, chairman of the Federal Housing Board, was convicted of lying about inviting banks that he was supposed to be regulating to a fundraiser for a Congressional candidate. His wife — deputy chief of staff at the Labor Department — also lost her job in the scandal.

Head of the ATF, Charles Truscott, resigned for ordering employees to help his child with a school project.

Ken Tomlinson was chairman for public broadcasting and resigned after he was exposed for running a horse racing operation out of his office.

The executive director of the CIA, Dusty Foggo, pleaded guilty in the Duke Cunningham bribery scandal.

Janet Rehnquist, who is daughter of the late Supreme Court Justice, resigned from her position as Inspector General after it was learned she delayed an audit of Florida’s pension fund at the request of Jeb Bush.

Deputy assistant secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks David Smith, resigned after killing a buffalo and accepting the corpse as a gift.

Philip Cooney was chief of staff at the White House Council on Environmental Quality and resigned when it was discovered that he revised scientific reports on global warming. A press aide at NASA, George Deutsch, resigned for keeping the governments’ top scientist from talking about climate change.

The administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Thomas Scully, resigned after pressuring employees to say the medicare drug bill would costs less than it really would. Sean Tunnis, also of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, faked documentation about his medical education.

Bernie Kerik was going to be head of Homeland Security before he was indicted. Scooter Libby, the vice presidents chief of staff, was convicted on four felony counts of lying in the CIA leak case. And finally, Alberto Gonzales, who resigned from his position as Attorney General after being accused of lying to Congress about the firing of nine U.S. Attorneys.

Beijing Olympic Winners and Losers

August 19, 2008

By Janet Walgren
Like most folks, my eyes have been glued to the television set ever since the Olympics began. Having been a national caliber athlete myself, it amazes me when someone who gets a silver or bronze medal is talked about as if they were a loser. It is laughable in a sad sort of way.

Although I won or placed in every tournament I ever competed in and mostly took first place, I never felt like a loser when I took second. Heck, when it comes to the Olympics, an athlete is a winner to even get to the opening ceremonies as a competitor.

Another thing that I have found amusing is the astonishment that the reporters express when they describe friendships amongst athletes who are competitors back home. Well this is another ‘NEWS FLASH,’ competition ends and long standing friendships continue after the game or the match. Heck, I loved the tournament parties and the weekend stays at the tournament host’s house.

It has been my experience that rivalry is the stuff that news is made of, not the stuff that athletes are imbued with when the day is done. In all my years of experience, I was never aware of any animosity between athletes off the mat.

I wish I could be a mouse in an athlete’s pocket in the Olympic Village and watch as all the new friendships that are being forged while the world’s best athletes celebrate together.

Anyway, I hope that you are enjoying the games as much as I am.

I’ll get back to regular posting after the Olympics.

Beijing Olympics

August 10, 2008

By Janet Walgren
My eyes will be glued to the Olympics for the next several days. Here is the link to the official Beijing Olympic website. I think my favorite thing about the opening ceremony was everything. The scope was incredible, the precision and execution amazing, the artistry exquisite, the numbers of ordinary people involved – very, very heart warming to say the least. I appreciate the cooperation, discipline, vision and countless hours that it took to put on such a performance. Wow!

My favorite style – the beautiful red dresses worn by the Chinese women leading each country’s athletes into the stadium. The dresses were elegant, refined, stunning and modest. (I hope that the pattern and fabric will be made available to the world. Perhaps they will sell them online:))

My favorite part of the opening ceremony was the lighting of the torch. It was amazing. I think it is and will remain my all time favorite Olympic torch ever.

My favorite image – the tall basketball player holding the nine year old boy who knew his duty.

I hope that each of you will take a little time out from blogging and your other everyday activities to celebrate with the world during the Olympics.


Judo, my favorite sport

July 1, 2008

By Janet Walgren
I’ve been compiling some histories, both personal and family, during my down time. Perhaps you would be interested in learning a little about, and seeing, my favorite sport which is Judo.

Yep, that’s me throwing Jim Harrison in a women’s self-defense demonstration

I did lots of demonstrations in front of thousands of people for about ten years. Most of the self-defense routines consisted of karate and jujitsu techniques followed by a judo throw.

I broke my first board in front of thousands of people during a demonstration.  Jim sprung it on me; it was a surprise. I had never tried to break a board before. I was so nervous that I missed the boards he was holding on the first try and caught him hard with a back kick in the chest. Man did he ever deserve it. Thankfully, I broke the board on my second try or he would have broken my … when we got back to the dojo.

You don’t really hear much about Judo because judo doesn’t pay big profits like the other martial arts.  Jim Harrison promoted my karate tournament wins like crazy because it was good for business.

I was in in TV commercials,  newspaper articles, Karate Magazines, home shows, tournament half-time shows, and even featured at the 1968 World Fair because my karate accomplishments were good for everybody’s business.

In 1975 author, Bob Wall, listed me in the very first Who’s Who in the Martial Arts. Well known karate greats like Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee were also listed in that same edition.

When I was going through some of the newspaper clippings last Sunday, I found an interesting clipping detailing the tournament standings for a karate tournament. Check out the name of the winners. Chuck Norris was the lightweight finalist in the men’s black belt division.

Here is a photo of my winning back kick. I won every match with this powerful kick. Note the bend that is still in my leg. By the time my leg was straight, my opponent was out of the ring on her back side.

So why do I prefer judo to karate when I was so good at karate? Well for starters, Judo doesn’t involve knives.

For years when Jim was developing his knife defenses, he would appear suddenly and hand me a big wicked looking knife and say, “Come at me hard with a thrust!” Or, “Try to stab me with an overhand or lunge at me holding the knife like so.”

I knew if I didn’t come full force, I would get beaten up as he demonstrated what he wanted me to do. And, if I did come at him full force, I was still in for a bruising.

When people read his magazine articles about knife defenses, they said wow! They never stopped to ask, “How did he figure that out?” but I could have told them.

I like judo because it is relaxing. It is cool to throw someone and know that you really did it. It is also relaxing to be thrown. It is kind of like a nice relaxing full body massage.

Judo is a sport that requires self-discipline.

It is a great sport for young kids because they have to develop self-discipline to be able to use it. In order to learn the throws, you have to cooperate with your partner. Judo teaches cooperation.

Judo translates “the gentle way” because you use your opponents strength and momentum to throw them, and it is a life sport that doesn’t take a huge toll on your body.

My favorite judo player was a man named Paul. He was an old, tall, skinny, Ichabod Crane type of fellow who would come to our dojo to work out about twice a week.

Paul would just stand there, hardly moving a muscle as the young bucks attacked him furiously. Then there would be a slight move of his hand and a quick sweep of his foot and the young muscle head he had partnered with found himself on the mat. Paul would help the guy to his feet, but that would only last for a second before he found himself on the mat again.

The young guys had a hard workout but Paul seldom broke a sweat. I don’t think I ever saw anyone throw Paul. He was simply marvelous.

Check out this link on youtube to see a quick demonstration of the classic judo throws. This is a great credit card commercial:

I did a lot of women’s self-defense demonstrations in the 60’s and 70’s to promote the martial arts and women’s participation in them. Judo wasn’t introduced into the Olympics until 1964 and women didn’t participate until 1988 as a demonstration sport. The first women’s Olympic Judo medals were awarded in 1992. I guess that makes me a woman pioneer in women’s judo. Those who trained me were Jim Harrison, Jim Lindell, guest resident sensei Kim Jong Woo and guest sensei Dr. Park Sung Jae.

Cents and Sensibility

March 19, 2008

By Janet Walgren
An old Marine Corp Commandant once said, “It ain’t what you don’t know that hurts you, it’s what you know for sure that ain’t so.” Well, I half agree and half disagree with his statement especially when it comes to money. What you don’t know about money can hurt you, and what you know about money that just ain’t so only makes matters worse. When politicians and the FED talk about money, their cents don’t add up to sensibility.

Imagine not knowing how to tread water. If you fell into a swimming pool without a life vest, you would probably drown. If you did know how to tread water, and you fell into a swimming pool, your chances for survival would improve significantly…agreed? Well it depends on whether the swimming pool was in your back yard or on the deck of the Titanic. Knowing how to tread water (or even being an Olympic swimmer) wouldn’t help you survive if you were in a pool on a sinking ship.

Knowing how to earn money, even very large amounts of money, will not make you rich if your money boat leaks. You have to stop the leaks. Our [America’s] money boat is taking on water. The bottom of our boat is riddled with holes. If we don’t immediately demand fiscal responsibility and good money management practices from our government, our collective and individual  money boats are going to sink just like the Titanic! 

The government can change laws, print money, raise taxes and sell bonds. They can issue guarantees backed by a powerful printing press and reduced interest rates on your savings, but all these measures just add more holes in the bottom of our financial boat. We need to stop treading water in the pool on the deck of a sinking ship. We need to begin the hard work of patching the holes in the bottom of our money boat before the hole takes on Titanic proportions. We need to demand fiscal responsibility from our politicians. We need to demand sensibility with our collective cents.

The Price of Knowledge

February 27, 2008

By Janet Walgren
There is a certain responsibility and accountability that comes with knowledge. William Wilberforce (1759-1833), a British statesman and member of Parliament who toiled out his days fighting to abolish the slave trade said, “Having heard all of this, you may choose to look the other way… but you can never say again that you did not know.”

In the D&C, Section 123: 13-17, the Prophet Joseph Smith instructed the saints on their duty in relation to the persecution that had been heaped upon them:

Therefore, that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven –

These should then be attended to with great earnestness.

 Let no man count them as small things; for there is much which lieth in futurity, pertaining to the saints, which depends upon these things.

You know, brethren, that a very large ship is benefited very much by a very small helm in the time of a storm, by being kept workways with the wind and the waves.

Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.

The Mormons were suffering severe persecution at the time of this proclamation. The prophet Joseph Smith was imprisoned in the Liberty, Missouri jail. The jailers had given him human flesh from a slave for a meal (that he didn’t eat) and were boasting of raping the Mormon women. The Mormons had been driven from state to state and Governor Boggs, of the state of Missouri, issued an extermination order against the Mormons. (The political power of a voting block that was against slavery was considered a threat to swing states and others, especially those in the clergy of other churches, didn’t like Joseph Smith’s claim of having a vision where he saw God the father of our spirits and Jesus Christ, his son.)

Today physical slavery still exists in many parts of the world including the United States. Works of darkness and evil still prevail around the globe. Governments are bribed and corrupted. Voters are lied to. Consumers are defrauded. Financial slavery has reached pandemic proportions with no government that dares to check the power of the global financial elite. There is a war of evil against all that is good among men. A secret combination here and silence there enables the enemy of righteousness to conduct this clandestine war which results in carnage and havoc among all the nations of the earth.

So, what do you know? Knowledge is never free.