Saturday, December 25, 2004

The following is a collection of Christmas memories, as captured by my wee electronic photoreception recorder. The photos need no explanations or captions, so they are presented to you in their thumbnail form, open to your interpretation and free association pleasure as you click away on each.

There ya go, a complete rotogravure of Burningham Christmas merriment!

We hope today brings you peace and true joy, and that it continues well into the new year quickly coming.


Wednesday, December 8, 2004

On the heels of IBM's announcement that they will sell the controlling interest in their PC division to a Chinese company, here is an account of what happens to to that which falls within the domination of the Dragon of the East.

I don't reckon that it'll bother them too much, but I've bought my last ThinkPad. Though most of the componentry was made in China even when I bought mine, it just makes me feel even more powerless in the world marketplace to think of buying an IBM made and profited from, for the overwhelming majority, in China.

Only five years ago I made every effort to buy nothing made in China, and it was still very possible. I've pretty much given up on that now, it's getting pretty difficult to find anything that we can afford that's not.

What an age we live in...

Tuesday, December 7, 2004

An article about English, a favorite obsession of English teachers everywhere. Sometimes I really loath what the advances made in instant and near-instant communications have done to people's written intercourse.

Just look at the example of business email cited. Good grief. That's really not much better than what comes out of some of my first-year students here at the Academy, fer heaven's sake.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Though through all times

and a few minds

be after ides a freshened pace,

we know not when

or really how

the sun will show anew sublime,

the flow'r of song

and wakened hour

gainsay and require a passion'd step.

past the poisoned,

dusky water

and questions shown the dawn's cold glow

what grace will clear

Autumn face appear

and a milder climate show?

(Bad poetry courtesy of Adam's winter mind. Thanks for your patience)

Monday, November 29, 2004

We had a great snowstorm over the last couple of days. Accumulating over a foot of snow from heavy, slushy mush to the lightest of January-style powder, we went to bed to a blizzard and woke up to this.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Just where did I go? Well, the blog seems to be a victim of my current psycology. As I grind on through each day, I have precious little to write about from my dark little holes. Now that I've identified the problem, it'll be a snap to fix it!

"That's the spirit," I tell myself.

But no, really, I can feel some sort of momentum building; some dam will surely burst tomorrow. I'm beginning to feel a twinge of guilt and that's usually a good sign when rel"ated to this little journal.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

This is the way today ended, not with a whimper, but a burst of color.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

This weekend's quest was to lower calf creek falls. Ryan and I took some flyrods and hiked to the falls, getting to the cascade at around, oh, nightfall.

It was a dandy hike, with all of the shadows and pink glow that one could ever hope for. All the fish were under eight inches, but if we wanted fish that bad, that's we could have gone any one of a number of other places much closer. The temperature was perfect, the ambibiance spectacular,and though we could have done with a few more stars or even a moon to walk out with, the whole trip was wonderful.

The south end of the Boulder, with new snow and crystalized spruces on top.

We had to get out and walk a bit in our sandals, the redrock is just out beyond the snow, looking south

On the hike, as the sun made it's last bold strokes of the day.

A holey rock on the hike, a well-photographed feature on the trail. It's nice to have the area all to ourselves this time of year.

A small desert holly coming out from a rock, still clinging to raindrops from earlier in the day.

(Remember, you can click to enlarge these photos.)

Friday, November 12, 2004

It was a beautiful morning, this. What more, it's Friday, the day I have worked pretty hard in my life not to have to look forward to. But now I do.

Like I said, a beautiful morning.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

To all veterans, those who have given that we might continue to try, a fine person has pages dedicated to each branch of the American military's hymn.

Tuesday, November 9, 2004

Parents came to visit us this evening at our school, I think the grand total was around seven parents out of a studentbody of sixty. Oh well, parent-teacher conference hasn't ever been a really inspiring event at the Alt-Ed programs I've been associated with before. I'm pretty sure there are those out there that do great with the concept, spending great amounts of resources on parent-teacher interaction and reaping fine rewards from the effort, but I'm just trying to keep all our heads above the water encroaching from all sides.

The sky was beautiful today, bringing bulbous clouds pendent with rain, letting in some sunlight now and then. The rain didn't really stop all day, and by the end, my Toyota was washed clean of all the mud brought in from our trip to the Henries.

I was happy with all that dry muck on the 'Runner, and now it's in puddles and mounds between home and the school. I guess that's good in a way; my truck looks cleaner and a little more respectable, but it was sure nice to see it splattered with good desert bentonite of all different colors for the past week and a half.

Most good things have to come to an end of some kind sometime.

Monday, November 8, 2004

Here's a small sample of the wild and zany meanderings that came from my head during an especially long and useless faculty meeting this afternoon:

Staring bleakly into the distance between him and the lectern, Logan listened to the presenter’s opinions of at-risk education. These addresses hadn't always been this vacuous to him, but in the past few years something had changed.

“Gordam, this is getting old,” Logan cursed under his breath, glancing around to gauge the volume of the unintentionally out-loud grumble. With this break in his concentration, he typed a flyfishing site's address into the browser on his laptop, but the lobby's WiFi couldn't penetrate these thick, energy-sucking convention-hall walls.

As he cursed the weak network and his seat too far inside the row, the evening before came back to him in a misty stream. He’d been on the Lone Peak Trail to investigate how high the snow pack had melted to. The air was quite crisp, even though it was the end of April, and sounds carried from afar in the clear air from all around. As the snow retreated up the mountain, it was bringing spring and its rites.

Most of the resident deer and elk had calved. Coyotes and foxes had their litters in the same period and the pups and kits were leaving off their parent’s lessons for the day. Hares and grouse were busy heading to their shelters, and other birds called as they settled in their places for the night. The few nighthawks returning from their migration to these high valleys were making their last dives and swoops for early insects before darkness fell.

Logan continued up the hill, with the snow showing in patches more and more frequent along the side of the trail and on the northern exposures of the canyon.

Glancing up, he thought he heard something descending the hill. At this elevation and hour, Logan wasn’t sure what to expect. He’d heard nothing in that direction but the chattering of birds, so as the quiet padding came closer in the moist debris of the path, Logan intuitively stepped off the trail and into the encroaching trees and brush, with a clear view of the approach.

With his heart racing and mind searching, the sound came still closer…

Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Things are a bit fridgid here in the morning. This was taken as the sun peeked over the east mountains, 19 degrees farenheit, seven twenty in the am.

Monday, November 1, 2004

It's been a day of much to do with too little time to spare, so I offer you some images without the promised stories and in-depth commentary.

Please accept my humble captions until tomorrow, 'til then, adieu.

Taken toward Fishlake Mountain, the rise has been taken by winter.

From Notom Bench, the Henry Mountains in the distance.

A Cottonwood near the trough in Deadman's Gulch.

A color version of Tarantula Mesa, looking to the south.

A corral to the north of Apple Bush Bench, Henries in the background.

Those two desperadoes for the divine, true vagabonds for beauty, Myself and Ryan, looking toward Thousand Lakes.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Yesterday was a day of fishing, driving and a Haloween party.

Today is a day of unseasonably cold temperatures, stupid time changes, and headaches.

All in all a very nice weekend, though marked by a rather large disparity between the two days, one inspiring and insightful, the other glum and marred by water-torture like conflicts.

Here's a teaser for what's to come, as energy permits.

I'll write yesterday longhand and write further tomorrow, I lack initiative and the creative spark to reach through today's fog of war to yesterday's beauty, but I shall.


Friday, October 29, 2004

We're not in Yellowstone for UEA weekend this year, as is the long-standing tradition. This is partially because I've not gotten the Suburban fixed to our satisfaction yet after six months, partially (well, mostly, for many reasons and consequenses) because of financial difficulty, and to tell the truth, because even if we'd gone, it'd be the most freezing trip up there imaginable because of these crazy cold temps. So it's actually good we didn't try this year, the kids, and therefore we all, would have been pretty miserable.

The days are getting really short and the cold has arrived really suddenly this year. These combine to create a stunning amount of apathy and angst in my little mind, and I don't predict any breakthough treatments or environmental changes to alter the season's prognosis of hard times for my moods.

Beware, dear reader, we're probably in for a bumpy ride this winter. My full-spectrum lights and positive outlook are already fading into the same vortex that the sun's light and warmth seems to be disappearing into.

It'll be just fine though. It always is.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

With a twinge of regret for the past week unblogged and the memories a wispy tangle, I write, though without much sense of purpose or aim.

Mondaytuesdaywednesdaythurdayfriday, that's how it seems to go. The combination of low energy and a rather constant low-grade anxiety attack seems to aggravate my seasonal tendency to begin a psychological descent at this time of the solar year. Thus, I haven't written in the midst of this busy week of grading and winter preparation.

We've been to the local pumpkin-patch this week, I've been on a daddy-daughter date put on by our LDS ward, I've been in the foothills and the mountaintops looking for grouse and snowshoes, had the principal dujour while the real thing was out at meetings for a couple of days this week, we've cleaned the house and re-created chaos numerous times, and I've bought a pickup for a thousand bones that I'm having serious second thoughts about. It sounds busy, but I only remember a color-washed whiteout blur.

There are those who don't have this sort of self-wrought challenge, those who are well and fine with the weekly march of events that parade in and out of their days and ways, but perhaps I'm wiring it wrong.

I've been noticing again that my web log isn't much of a journal, more of the proverbial mask that I put on to entertain my dear friends and family (oh, how I dislike that word, mask.) Not that this account isn't a true one, but that it only recounts the pleasant and the paradeable, leaving a terrible body count of my less-than-photogenic thoughts, perceptions and everyday struggles left off the pretty page and scattered in the back of my crowded heart.

What can I do about that? I can keep a journal aside from this, one more inclusive to keep track of the necessary spaces and holes in this blog, I could beg from the cosmos a greater helping of creativity so that I can return to my true love, poetry, and therein encode both my too-basal and elevated experiences, or I could just write the whole thing down here in the blog.

Neh. I don't think the latter will be the solution.

It's an interesting idea, though far too public in scope for my liking. Besides, I want you to be happy when you come here, don't I? If I rant and mourn all the time, operant conditioning dictates that you'll grow rather weary of the reward and not come back to this humble website nearly as often as you do.

So I'll try to balance this out, a wee microcosm of my own oddball psyche, and show you a more honest portrait of my life and times, especially as the winter comes on and SADD or whateverthehell it is increases its tug on my inner space. It's much easier to control words than it is to control cortical impulses, serotonin levels and questionable perceptions, after all.

Friday, October 22, 2004

My muse has been up to her ears with kids and family logistics, while I've been nutty trying to get the quarter wrapped up and winter prepped for. I'm still working on both, hopefully tomorrow I'll find some time to catch up and let you know the progress that has been made.

That wouldn't take long, that's for sure.

But seriously, watch for some new stuff tomorree.

It's gotta happen.

Friday, October 15, 2004

I've been thinking quite a bit today, going through old stuff and getting ready for the winter. It amazes me how little I know, and how much I learn about even myself on a day like today.

People are detached from one another, I don't know if that was ever different in the history of mankind, but it seems to be something that has gotten more chronic in recent times. Transience and the need for economic mobility seems to have done the trick to this generation.

It's just Drie and I, through the past thirteen or fourteen years, and the rest seem to have gone on to bigger things instead of staying. We haven't been able to stay in many physical places for long either, exascerbating the situation. I don't really know what I think of that, only what I feel.

And it ain't good.

Nevertheless, we have been blessed with great friends to pass the days we find ourselves in, and for that I am grateful. The past doesn't make a very good prognosis for the present or future though, so it's a good thing I hang on to a shred of my old stubborn idealism, and I'll just let things happen as they will. I believe they'll be all the better for that, and this is my hope and an article of faith regarding all my friends, both those here and some departed.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

My mother is up at my sister's house this week, sister and brother-in-law have a getaway planned ans my mom's going to watch their kids for the duration. My mom's away from her computer, and that explains the absense of her comments for you who follow her commentary as much or more than mine.

The temperature is still nice here in Springtowne, with the days staying within sandal limits. Most of the Aspens have dropped their leaves, all of the maple and oak have done their show and cast theirs down at the higher altitudes, and we're just waiting for the other shoe to drop down here in the valley. Snow will fall, the coal stove will be stoked, and the long, cold winter will be here untill March or so.

Since I finished some drywalling in the upper story here in the house, it seems like things have stayed a bit warmer later into the night than it used to, so it may be a little easier to keep the house warm this winter. The little things bring hope to me, and though they don't bring much, I can still amplify them to do the good I need.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

After a half a day of housework, there was an irresistable call from Thousand Lakes Mountain. That call was heeded, and this scene was one of the blessed results.

Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Things have been going well as ever they go, though nothing of great note or import has passed through our life's stories this week.

All I have to report is the usual ups and downs of my soft conditions, a certain ambivalence toward life's entrances and exits. I wake, I do the regular actions of waking and dressing for the day, I eat, I drive, I teach and edit and tutor and record, I shop for groceries, I fix plumbing, I eat, I edit and record, I blather, and I return to the bed from whence I came.

There are irregularities and changes in response on my part as well as others', but in my current humor, I feel not much passion for the description and day's record.

But what of the clock, of the sun's travel from our Colorado Plateau to the West Mountains? The speed of Helios' chariot from hence to thence quickens my awareness of the same, though the events played out under that same sun bring the opposite to my mind and effect.

Why am I writing thus? Hell if I know. I simply enjoy it, even if I don't feel a great need or spirit to write anything.

I like to write. I like to share my thoughts and observations, just as so many others seem to on this goodly planet, and I hope that my thought's aspirations have something to do with those of other idealistic and hopeful people. As I've said before, I hope these thoughts have some concordance with some of you, dear reader, and at least awaken some sort of harmonic response in your heart. Hopefully a response that would bring you to an awareness of connection between all of us, at some level.

Things ebb and wane, according to all manner of variation and forces whithin each of us. Sometimes those variations have great import to that around us, others it would seem that nothing comes of our daily effort and walk.

The point is to stay in whatever helps to keep us happy in our days and ways. And to share, to some extent, that which does the same.

Sunday, October 3, 2004

I went up to Southfork with Ryan this morning, and though our original intent was to make it to the Skyline and down Reader ridge and wherever we might find ourselves inbetween, but Ryan's battery got jarred over by the nasty road, ripping some jerry-rigged wires out of the fuseblock and killing the engine.

We had no idea where they came from until we figured out that the battery was in fact, out of place. The new positioning of the objectives made it pretty clear where the wire had come from, although the snow and relatively light clothing on our backs was making it rough to make constructive decisions at the point we found that out. Things were progressing rather slowly on the electrical diagnosing front, so Ryan called his Dad to have him pull us down with his truck.

At about the point where hypothermia was becoming a serious consideration, we were fixing to get a fire going and aggressively diagnose the problem and get it jerry-rigged back together.

At about that same time, Ryan's dad finally arrived to help us drag the thing off the mountain. That was an adventure as well, with exploding tow-chains and overheated brakes, borrowed operable chains, switching from pulling the dead Toyota to following it down with the chain behind for braking, and painfully slow headway down the hill.

We made it though, and later on in the afternoon after warm showers and hearty lunches, we tackled the problem anew, with the sun shining and ample tools and material, over at Ryan's house.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Diedre and I were out driving around as the clouds were gathering and the rain marching in from across the valley in the west when we saw a curious sight. We saw what we thought was a flock of ravens or perhaps buzzards riding a couple of thermals around the town. We thought we'd ought to investigate, so we rode toward one column and got out the binoculars.

I was seeing eagles, a few buzzards, and one or two hawks flying in and amongst each other. I've not seen so many goldens flying one with the other, and much less have I seen so many different raptors and scavengers amongst each other in such a profusion.

They flew from one side of town to the other, broke up into odd bunches before coming together again on in the center of town, until they all started together just west of the town church. Diedre and I got out of the car again as eagles, buzzards and hawks swooped and hovered from no more than twenty feet above our heads to over three hundred feet in the air. It's really too bad I only had the 1998 Olympus d-220L with a sporadic shutter delay and crummy quality, but here're a couple of samples of the sight.

It was an absolutely amazing experience, one that we're still trying to figure out the physical reasons and metaphysical meanings thereto.

Friday, September 24, 2004

The summer has slipped away, the year is already preparing to wind down. There's still a peck of adventures to follow to their conclusions, but I can feel the steady draining of light and warmth from the air in the evening. If you have it, break out the Chuck Mangione,listen to "Feels So Good," and watch the sun go down.

This is the essence of each day done right, I'd say.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

It's hard to fathom, but it's that time of the year again. The seasons turn like a big ferris wheel, never really stopping for the new passengers trying to get on. You just have to pay good attention and jump.

The sheep are coming down from the mountain here in Ephraim already,and these just trooped down the street in front of our school.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Wow. Online ordering and free shipping on Sen-Sen. That's near the coolest thing I've seen today.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Remember the fire by Manti a couple of weeks ago? It's still going.

The last couple of days have been pretty gusty and warm, stirring the embers back up to a bit of a blaze. The forest service is treating it as a "controlled burn."

Humans like to act authoritative and as if they know what's going on.

Friday, September 17, 2004

The rest of the trip was rather matter-of-fact, cruising down the road to get home as quickly as we could without making ourselves any more crazy than we had become.

We stopped once or twice in the park, we can hardly help ourselves when there's an elk herd just sitting there, not running away from our merest sight or scent. This one was counted by Jerusha to be twenty one, twenty nine or thirty something members. She loved the shifting qualities of the animals, and began guessing at the presence of animals by any extra legs or ears poking up or down from the bunch.

It was hard to leave the park. It always seems wrong to leave a place so soon that we had worked so hard to get to. In spite of the fact that we were, in effect, going in the wrong direction, the joy of the return to hearth and home soon grew to eclipse the incongruity of our direction.

We stopped only in West Yellowstone for a couple of gallons of gas and again in Malad to fill up the tank and our stomachs. If you're ever in Malad, go to the Chevron/Burger King. Not the TacoTime/whatever the heck it is across the street. Bleah.

I even spent a half an hour in Layton, trying to fix the dern brakelights to no avail. I cursed and changed the brake signal switch up under the dash, but couldn't get a change.

We drove the rest of the way home, without a stop. It took about forty five minutes before I could speak civilly to my fellow tripmates, but I cooled down eventually after the time spent scraping knuckles and banging my head under the dash for absolutely nothing.

After that, everything was fine. We enjoyed the last couple of hours talking about our adventures and planning new ones. Hopefully the next trip up there will be longer, but to tell you the truth, I would have a hard time holding back running up there this afternoon if the month's money weren't almost completely drained by last week's trip.

Oh yeah. The day after we got home, I got this email from Ryan:

Hey, before you spend money, may-haps you should check the other bulb,

we only checked the driver's side bulb, and if the other one is toast

it may not complete electricity's path.

And it may be wise and cheap just to try replacing both bulbs anyway,

those things could be toast with their toastiness hidden from human


Just a suggestion.

And that's just what it was. We never got around to checking the other lamp. It never occurred to me that my Toyota operated under the same principals of electrical wiring as a string of cheap sixties or earlier string of Christmas lights. Thank goodness for Ryan. No thanks to all the shops and autoparts stores!

Thursday, September 16, 2004

A single gentle rain makes the grass many shades greener.

-H.D. Thoreau
Just over the ridges on either side of camp, the bull elk shouted their intentions and warnings to each other. A better way to awaken as the first light of morning sifted into the air, I cannot think of.

Their calls didn't last very long in our neck of the woods, but I was glad of their portent of a new season and hopefully, fresh perspective.

After a hearty breakfast of whatever we could scrounge up from the grocery bags scattered throughout the truck and breaking camp, we headed down the hill to check out Tower Falls in peace, with neither cars nor crowds.

Little Kota, Ryan's younger son, loves waterfalls, so he was eager to make the quick walk down the hill to get closer.

Unfortunately, there had been a washout of the trail the previous spring and the approach to the falls' bottom was inaccessible. Our intended way blocked, we chose to go down to the side of Yellowstone River. Jerusha led the way down, excited to be by as large a body of moving water as she has ever encountered.

We enjoyed the time by the river, scoping out the runs and holes. There are some future days at that river, and any time there will be well-spent even if there is no fishing involved.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

As we drove, we did the normal Yellowstone thing, stopping here and there to see the sights just off the road. The number of elk, bison, deer, and other less numerous fauna that one sees just within a few hundred yards from the road boggle the mind as one thinks of all the miles and miles of land inaccessible by the road system. Granted, the roads for the most part follow major rivers which are always important to the animals for food, water and line of sight predator avoidance, but there's lots out there that is very seldom seen.

When I was there the summer after high school graduation, I got out to Yellowstone's backcountry more than I have ever been able to since. I saw geothermal features, lakes, and other wonders that I've not seen since. There were trails, animals, and sights that are precious but not used very often by humans. I reckon that's just fine, but I miss them all the same.

There is something to be said about walking off the beaten path for a day or two, returning to a grand old lodge in the evening after a second day of beauty and hard hiking for a splendid meal of steak and shrimp and recollection of the past days events.

We saw a herd of bison, and though they are by no means rare in Yellowstone, they just look like they belong and where they belong is pretty beautiful.

Further along the road, we saw a pretty big group of gawkers off to the side. Though we were pretty keen on getting to Tower falls so we could secure a campsite for the night (we'd had enough of the 4-Runner the night before),we thought we'd better stop for this big an event.

We were glad we did. A mother black bear and her two cubs were foraging on the hill just below the road. As the group moved along the hillside, the crowd of people accompanied by a nervous ranger and adjunct moved too. "Stay in your cars or with the crowd," was the repeated phrase of the poor authority figures, attempting to mesh visitor safety, curiosity and the bear's space to move about freely. Ryan and I thought it rather ironic, though I've at least a hunch the irony was lost on the poor ranger.

We continued up the road, passing Tower Falls, toward the closed-for-repairs Dunraven Pass, if just for a short view of the northeastern area of the park. This was the area i had seen wolves once, and where I know there is plenty of activity in the Lamar Valley. The view was as good as ever, though it afforded no animal activity that our eyes could see. I'll be happy when the pass and road is open again. For some reason, when it's closed, I don't' get into that area of the park as much as I'd like.

We finally got back down to the campsite just as the sun started to go down. We spoke with the host, who said there was one space left. With that bit of providence, the evening's trials began. Upon parking and getting a bit of food out to keep our own two ravenous wolfcubs happy, I popped the hood after noticing a bit of oil where it oughtn't have been. Upon opening the hood, there was quite a bit of oil where it oughtn't have been at all. No cap was to be found either. None would be had throughout the trip, in fact, until we reached Layton the next evening, adding to the car stress already mounting with the silly brakelight folly.

Perhaps brought on at least in part by a lack of sleep, the stress from the brakelights, and the latest silliness I had brought upon myself, it took Ryan and I five tries and the help of two seasoned camp hosts to get our little three man dome tent up. It's been stored in the suburban for the last three years without use, but for heaven's sake, we were getting worse as it went on until the other two got involved.

It wasn't really necessary, since we were planning to sleep out anyway, but by the time we had tried in vain the third time, it had turned into a principle thing. We needed to succeed, and succeed we finally did.

After we finished, we ate, took a walk or two, and retired to the campfire of an adjacent camp, where a gentleman and his wife, camphosts of the recently closed for the year Slough Creek Campground, were playing guitar and talking. (Great comma-riddled sentence, neh? Almost Faulknerian.) They got Jerusha singing along, making animal noises, and spreading a generally dandy spirit. When I figure out how to upload the QuickTime movie, I'll post a link to his song, "Star of Yellowstone." 'Twas a perfect ending to a perfect, in spite of its imperfections, day.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

As we got into the Old Faithful area, I was pretty sick of watching my back for mounties and flicking my lights on and off to simulate brakelights. I pulled into the former Hamilton Store, and seeing no one within one hundred feet behind me, I didn't do my light trick.

As soon as I got out of the 'Runner, a somewhat disgruntled man approached me with the proclamation that "You don't have any brakelights. I was behind you and saw no brakelights. You have no brakelights!" I assured him that I was painfully aware of the situation, and that there was no remedy for the problem aside from taking up permanent residence at Old Faithful unless I drove at least forty miles and waited for two days until Monday when something could feasably be done, and I'd still be driving there without brakelights. I was very cheerful and tried to act grateful for his information, but he seemed unsatisfied with my speech. So I just went back to the task at hand.

Admiring a '79 p200e in the space beside us.

Wow. Quite a clean little wasp. I ogled and took a few photos, leaving a short note of camaraderie and admiration while Ryan complained that I was straying from the established course of focusing on the acquisition of a couple of BMW bikes before the close of the coming winter.

I am a fickle biker, sometimes.

Anyway, we made it into the store/cafe in due time, and although we were a bit disappointed in the changes in the menu made by the current proprietors (no extensive kid's menu served on frisbees and no Bison Burger being the most egregious), we ate and were satisfied indeed.

Walking over to The Geyser, we were struck by how many people there were. Ryan doesn't like crowds any less than I do, but he has probably had less opportunity (or cursed impositions, as the case may be) to have to learn to deal with the same. We went to a few of my favorite old spots, watched the Geyser blow, payed our respects to the Inn and Lodge, and left for less populated climes.

Leaving the put-in at seven thirty, our spirits buoyant and our eyes feasting on the sights of the Snake, our first speedbump toward joy was about to present itself.

Not far from the put-in was a flagger and detour on highway 89, about twenty miles before Jackson. While waiting for the pilot car to lead us closer to our promised land, the friendly motorist directly behind us approached us with bad news. He said we had no brake lights at all.

We broke out the Leatherman and checked the driver's side brakelights, they were alright. The next order was to look at the fuses, they were just dandy. I looked for some sort of relay, there was none, so we concluded that the problem was to be found in the switch in front of the brake pedal.

After adjusting to the worry associated with brakelight absence while on the road, we stopped in at the grocery in Jackson to buy our stores for the trip. Apples for 1.89 a pound was the highlight of our purchases, the rest was pretty close in line to our prices here in Sanpete County.

We set ourselves to find a garage to diagnose and fix our problem as quickly as possible, but finding none (besides a chap at a Big O who suggested that we check the brake fluid level, stating confidently that such would affect the functioning of brakelights. Hm.), we scoured the three open autoparts stores for a brakelight switch. None would be had in the town until Monday morning, so after an hour of time wasted to the pursuit of vehicular repair, we headed out of Jackson after a stop at the glorious Jackson Thrift Shop and purchases of cheap shoes, fleece caps, a jacket and a 1947 hardbound copy of The Upanishads purchased for only a dollar.

The next mistake was soon upon us, it too brought upon by a flagger and a brief stop to wait for passage.

While stopped for a resurfacing crew on the shores of Jackson Lake, I got out of the truck to stretch and check the oil level. While I expected a long wait, before I had time to get anything done but unscrew the cap and find the oil to begin pouring, the cars ahead began to start and move out.

In my haste to get going, I must have forgotten to secure the oil cap. I put what I thought was everything back and jumped in the truck and drove off. I remember vaguely hearing a clatter behind me not long after leaving, but my only thought was that I knew for a fact that I hadn't left anything on top of the truck, so I hadn't to worry about it at all. Silly me, I'll learn someday.

The rest of the trip into Yellowstone was uneventful, beautiful and marred only by all of the people riding their BMW motorcycles all over the place. To Ryan and I, it seemed as though they were mocking our old truck, flaunting their speed, freedom and panache as they whizzed by on short grades.

The day was beautiful. I've not been in Yellowstone this early in the season for a long time. The colors were beginning to come out, so the contrasts were stunning and a reward for the troubles of getting out and on the road so late the day before.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Time? What time. No amenable time has presented itself until now for this log, so do I now put forth an account of our weekend...

Friday was the day of decision and vehicular hijinx, with lots of last-minute tweaks and checks on the 4-Runner and a reluctant decision to put the top back on. That was solidified by the admission that if we didn't take at least one kid with us, the trip would be a waste of time in a karmic sense. After much dithering around and frustration with various aspects of our poor planning regime, we left town at around 7:45 at night, as the last light of the day fled from before my pitted windshield.

The long drive through the Utah and Salt Lake Valleys in the late evening reminded us again why we do not live up there anymore. The freeway at nine and ten o'clock pm was as I remember it at six pm when I was a youth.

The rest of the way was an pleasant path, punctuated by deer on the roadside and Claude Challe & Ravin over the loudspeakers.

Our beds were made near Station Creek on the Snake River, parking at a boat put-in and sleeping in the truck.

After a good, solid two hours of sleep, we roused and took our nourishment from bottles and a few packages.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Jerusha and I just got back from a splendid trip to Yellowstone. More as soon as I get all the stuff done that I put off to get out of town as quickly as we did.

Monday, September 6, 2004

Today; a quick trip to U.M. Creek. We got some Tiger trout, sunburn and great photos. Twas a resplendent day, I'll leave you with this:

One for tonight, we'll see what I get done tomorree.

Saturday, September 4, 2004

That, my friends, is the first snow of the season. On the Horseshoe this evening, there is a dusting of snow from today's intermittent storms.

Thursday, September 2, 2004

Another fire on the mountain, just southeast of Manti this time. Been going since yesterday sometime. With record temperatures and gusty south winds for the last couple of days, we've had temps typical of mid-summer. I've been looking for something like this with all of the bowhunters on the mountain, high temperatures and low humidity.

The wind and temperature should change pretty drastically this evening, a strong cold front is supposed to come through dropping the temperatures by as much as forty degrees. The fire shouldn't last very long with that.

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Sometimes it seems that my ability to think and process information in the midst of the action rises and falls like a tsunami tide.

It's doesn't seem contingent upon how much I’m doing of what is on my mind, it seems more connected to what I ate three days ago than anything right now in the moment.

There are vitamins, chelated supplements, blue-green algaes, juiced sprouts and all manner of foodstuffs advertised to be cure-ills and cure-alls for every fatigue and insufficiency known to modern people, but I've not found anything that matches something to look forward to in sheer ability to keep one energized and happy to be alive.

When there is something present in my life sufficient to get me energized, something that I actually want to get out of bed early in the morning for, I seem to have that sought-after ability to think on my feet, a wit and edge to my person and interactions.

That doesn't happen very often.

If you know me, perhaps you might have noticed my slurred speech and stuttering reply. One upside is that I'm noticing this, or that I have the wherewithal to stand back and see how my mind and psyche are operating and interacting. I can see that there are woeful inadequacies, and that there are things that affect the severity of my day-to-day moods and interactions with others, well, I must include myself in those interactions. My interactions with myself are a bit up and down as well.

So, I'm on a quest to document and analyze this odd amalgam of stressors, additives, stimuli, lack of stimuli, etc. to raise my level of hope and bright outlook.

Bright outlook. That in itself might be enough to spur me on to success in this project. That would be nice to have more often.

Monday, August 30, 2004

As an English teacher, I can relate in some way to this Borgman cartoon from yesterday's paper.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

We had a shindig over at the park on Saturdee with Diedre's sister and brother's family. We bought what we thought was way too much food, but ended up eating about all of it plus half a cake that was bestowed upon us by a neighboring baby shower party. The annual water fight between the Auntie and Uncle and all the little cousins was a complete success, with only a little water being splashed on the camera and only one collateral casualty, that being one sweet lady from the baby shower.

It's just about migrane time here in my head, it seems that Sundays for me are open-season for all manner of headache. I hope this entry made some sense and isn't all written backwards or something. I'll check on that tomorrow.

Here's a photo from Friday's trip, photos do very little justice to the scene, but I hope you get the idea, nevertheless.