Wednesday, March 31, 2004

On a much lighter note of human endeavor, the NASA Scramjet project experienced its first testflight last saturday, flying at mach 7, or almost 5,000 miles per hour. Pretty danged cool.

What is wrong with people? What is the answer to humanity's condition of cruelty to one another in the most heinous fashions? Power and the loss thereof produce some incredibly terrible reactions.

Some of the consequences of the Iraq incursion have been overwhelmingly positive and I maintain hope that the whole thing was inspired by altruistic purposes. The preponderance of information and first-hand testimony says that the majority have had their lives and futures improved by the actions of the US military. I also know that people have been wronged and others have had their security jeopardized by the new conditions.

But when I read of and see images like the one below (linked to the Times article), I wonder if these people are still human? I wonder if they understand that if our government saw fit, they could excercise any one of a number of options and obliterate entire neigborhoods or cities of population from the landscape, thus eliminating such resistance from the picture, if such was truly their overarching goal. Sheesh.

Agence France-Presse

The whole situation stinks. I would feel equally repulsed, horrified and depressed if this were a photo of US Servicemen exulting over killing in the same manner. Probably moreso, because I know personally that most wouldn't even think of such a thing.

But then again, their families and country aren't under foreign occupation or dominion. I wish people could just stop and think about something besides themselves before setting events in action that would hurt others. That is awfully simplistic, though. Basic morals are very, very simple, afterall.

And some people are never taught those simple moral rules.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

A couple of photos of Ephraim, I took them this afternoon while out on a after-school program refreshment run.

The poor elk are domesticated at a ranch just east of town, while the building is the Noyes Administration at Snow College. 'Tis a beautiful day out there.

Monday, March 29, 2004

Why write in this weblog? There are so many blogs out there now. When I began this thing back in 2001, all one had to do was write most every day and the hits would roll right in. There wasn't a huge mass out there mashing away at the keys about everything from politics to solipsistic meanderings to shopping tallies. The numbers of people making weblogs has exploded, and if you are reading this, you are probably well aware of said explosion. The readers have a huge selection to choose from now, and the hits are harder to come by. Sometimes the only figurative sound around this blog is the sound of crickets and listless electrons.

My own daily grind involves reading a steady stream of high school writing, editing it and reading it again as it comes back. I feel that writing is hugely important to the human condition, as it enables the soul to find a voice and to process the inner monologue into a sort of dialogue that can make adjustments to course as that dialogue progresses.

I am getting to the point of being able to teach my own kids about the beauty and importance of writing. My nine year old is reading a novel every three or four days now, and writes better than most of my first-year students. It's amazing what a mind can do when passion takes hold. I hope I never really have to teach any of my kids that beauty, if Bryn is any indicator, they will find that themselves and I can just sit back and give technical pointers.

As for my web-writing, I enjoy the occasional response I get from this blog, but it provides more of a place to put my thoughts and hopes for the world. There is a self-generated responsibility to write and express my heart, if only a little each day, so that my own inner dialogue stays that way and doesn't digress into a monologue to stagnate and vortex into true solipsism. I don't reckon that would be a good situation, and I can't imagine my dear wife letting me degenerate so. She's too fun to talk to, anyway.

At any rate, I know not many see this thing, and that isn't likely to change. I see it as my door to the greater world. I'm glad to welcome those who see fit to enter, and look forward to furthering this inner dialogue toward a discourse between us, whatever we see out there in the world worthy of discussion.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

The mercury didn't get much above fifty degrees today, just about normal. But with a north wind a whistling down the valley, it didn't get very warm compared to the last couple of weeks of unseasonably warm.

I'm drawing a blank on anything else to report, so all I have to say now is 'night and we'll try again soon...

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Appuh Japan. You know, I have tried writing, but you know, I'm so mean.

I had a superlative Kindergarten teacher who taught me Japanese Kanji and some conversational Japanese back when I was a wee lad of six years old. She would come over to our house and work with me in my dad's study. I think she was impressed with my attention span. Either that or my efforts to share my peanut butter sandwiches with her, I remember her relenting a few times to my offers. Some teachers make a great impression on kids, I know a few did so with me. Both very good and not so.

Snow fell and the sun shined today; sometimes in conjunction, I bought a used lawnmower at a flea market and got it working so I could cut the hay from last year out in the front yard, and I bought some very expensive gas. It's inching up over a buck ninety here, what a rotten thing for a poor country boy who would like to travel a bit more. Ain't gonna happen very much at this price. At least until I get used to it or something.

Tapioca Pudding after a long, cool day working in the yard is a delightful way to put the cap on. Blessings to Drie for her willingness to cook after a day at very least as tiring as my own.


Friday, March 26, 2004

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Gliding through the day, handing out World Geography assignments and testing as if it were a stylish new fad, that's what my day was like.

I know I should be stupid with glabrous joy at the prospect of spring with summer just around the corner, but I am truly and compleatly stale in my day to day life.

Master's degrees and possible career revamps are being ogled like the outta sight sexy summits that they are, and I reckon I'd better git on the stick pretty darned soon if I'm to maintain any sanity or dignity at all.

an old photo I took in a mirror more than a decade ago, developed the film a year ago, and look what I got? art of a sort.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004


Teaching, talking, sitting and watching kids play on bicycles and in autos.

A thundershower, being glad to be home, Koyaanisqattsi, skateboards and harmonicas, excellent eats, and memories of Tad Clayton and Job Matusow.

At the core, life is much more than delicious.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

mora the same.

feh. what's the use? mebbe tomorrah.

go check some simple humor, in the meantime, neh?

Monday, March 22, 2004

Warring ideaologies seem to be ratcheting up their screeds and impassioned protests.

I speak of world issues, national issues and local issues. I wonder when it will all break. It seems that though there is much strife in the world, there are still pockets where it is kept at bay. I wonder how strong the illusions are that keep that strife at bay?

Not much else today, my psyche is not taking this world and my perceptions very well right now. P'raps later?

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Sometimes one must put up with the slightly silly to be able to see things through to the superlative sunsets.

Anyway- Ryan and I were able to head down to Wayne County to check out the fishing scene. It doesn't look like there was enough water down there, the reservoirs are not up to their peak and there is not a whole lot of snow left in the high country. I could be very wrong, and I hope I am, but this winter seems to have left a hole in the precipitation totals down in those blessed mountains.

We did have a bit of luck in U.M. Creek, and though the water is just trickling after a very cold winter, there are quite a few fish to be caught still.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Happy Vernal Equinox. Not a bad first day, I might add.

The kids came up to me in a big tizzy this afternoon. They said they had talked to their mom about getting out the big inflatable pool on this warm March day. They said they needed to "cool off."

This is truly amazing weather for March. Our temperatures were in the mid-seventies, usually we struggle for the fifties during this part of the year. It was actually hot today. Sheesh.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Those few seeds I planted just the other day were wanting for water when I checked on them yesterday. It sure has been warm, suddenly warm and dry for the brand of winter we had for what seemed for so long. I'll have to be more attentive to temperature, fans and water in the greenhouse if I want anything to come of my efforts besides dry, stiff peat in melty black trays.

I'll be danged if yesterday wasn't a day of irrational reactions to stress and normal frustration for me. I felt as if I had to restrain myself within an emotional iron maiden all day, each instance of restraint increasing the pressure and angst within the spiked coffin wherein my passions were kept from the vulnerable world.

Sometimes I don't know why my sensibilities are so counterproductive to this very explicit society. Things are fairly predictable in their outcomes, people conventional in their actions and reactions in the public sphere, but my mind persists in seeking out the extraordinary, paranormal and undercurrent within the game we're all familiar with. And that from within the very sensitive and overtaxed psychological framework of my own mind.

I know that my terms are not realistic and have been adjusted much, and that I am continuing in that course. Nevertheless, my interior compass remains the same, and days like yesterday are hard to get through. The duality that I must practice in order to step into each new day can be a burden, but that's really what enables me to do what I have to do and still remain authentic to my inner voice.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

I was stricken by a muse this morning, so to you I send this wee poem. It just worked to help me see some things a bit more plainly, I wish the same to you; though as I often say, we shall see. Sometimes, as in the case of the Hubble Telescope (and me!), one must put on some pretty odd lenses to be able to see clearly if your original eye is almost fatally flawed.

Hope was different when I was younger-

words I read seemed toward a different purpose

red dawns I’d seen were portents of a brighter day,

not of storms fast on their way.

the eyes of man to me were seeking some improvement

for themselves and the rest of us surrounding

as swimmers seek not mostly for air, but for better form and speed

I had not yet learned that most sought only to win.

Reading of wars, jealousy and power,

my green mind and hot heart felt something amiss

in those around me, shuffling as though blind to all this,

I did not see the walls between ideal and man.

Running in place, setting my face to meet my own challenge

not only on terms agreed, but on those I felt should be;

the ordinary, the plain. and those high on some Olympus Mons.

The eyes of man to me darkened as I persisted, as the storms coming on.

Now, people seem in a sort of separate peace, having faced their own toothy reality,

some still run, some walk and others have relented to just sit,

While most race for what they have learned to see

and I feel tired before my time, hope was different when I was younger.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

I went to the store at lunch to get some soil and seeds for the greenhouse. I got some herb seeds, some flower seed and the like and hopefully they'll have a long and productive life.

There was a day when I would save my own seed and go to the greenhouse supply to get the ingredients needed to make my own power-soil, but now time and money are short. So I just buy last year's seeds and some cheap bagged soil to mix with stuff from the yard. It still works, though.

The problem is that I am getting ahead of myself. I need to finish off the greenhouse insulation and pipe some water over to it. But the growing is the fun part, and the rest will be done in good time, right?

Promises, promises.

Best wishes for St. Patrick's day, and may your traditions always be illuminated brightly.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Yeah, anyway.

Tuesday usually elicits either a bland response or a grimace of resignation. Today looks like a bland response day.

There is something besides interminable adolescent and young adult education today, the Times has an article on the wolves of Wisconsin. Apparently they are repopulating some areas in close vicinity to humans. From the article, a quote:

No decision was needed to bring them back. They just came back.

Darned humans seem to have lost the complete control we think we deserve over some wildlands . Shall we charge the wolves with trespass?

Some will; perhaps with good rational. There is some great irony in the wolf's ongoing and often unassisted 'reconquista' all over the country.

Monday, March 15, 2004

On a walk to the top of Pyramid Peak, the only noise aside from the music of a breeze was the impact of my feet to the top layer of snow, and as the snow compacted, the sound of my foot finding purchase about two and a half feet lower and closer to the ground.

Nights are still cold above seven thousand feet, and though the snow on most southern faces had melted off to a remaining foot or so, the north slopes were quite well endowed with white. The approach I most often take is from the north, hence the elongated double-impact of my stride. I do use the word stride rather loosely, to boot.

The prevailing wind blows from the south, and that night was no exception. As I made my way to the ridge, I could hear the wind rustling the leafless branches in the hollow beneath the peak. The hollow is a little bowl on the western face of Pyramid Peak, with exposed limestone strata near the top and oak brush and serviceberry toward the less sloped and more sheltered bottom.

Reaching the ridge, the view to the south unfolded with the lights of Salt Lake City and the peak's west face shrouded in shadow as the moon emerged from behind. The mountain's muted, almost black and white texture in the starlight clashed starkly with the harsh city lights on either side of the ridge.

In that valley to the west, people on the freeway sped past from the Point of the Mountain to the extreme south to Willard Bay to the north. An unbroken snake of light, it stretches like a conduit from one horizon to the other. The people caught in the belly of that serpent had no concept of what was happening on either side of them, from the expansive Great Salt Lake on one hand to the sprawl of suburbia and finally the mountains in which I found myself on the other. They just needed to get somewhere.

As I climbed the ridge in the crisp breeze, I found myself thinking about the summer nights spent up here, camped just off of the summit. Sheltered from whatever wind was blowing, I would stay the night and build a small fire to signal my presence to God and man. Amongst the shale, shadscale and exposed wormwood on the peak, I would sit and watch the stars wheel above and humanity toil along below for hours. Those nights would pass quickly.

But I had little time and this night was a bit cold. Very little wood was left uncovered by this season's ample snow, so my visit would be brief and without fire.

At the summit, I was not disappointed by brevity or lack of flame. The stars as an unbroken ceiling above were brighter than I could remember them ever being, and the warmth lent by their beauty warmed better than fire. The moon's glow outlined the snowy ranges all around and gave a lustre like mercury to the lake in the valley. Only the city between lake and ranges was relatively untouched by the moon, the glaring electric lights competing with the moon's reflected sunlight in such a way as to cheat the eye of any glimpse of what lay underneath the lights and that same moon.

I stayed atop only a little while, happy in feelings felt and sights seen. The memories of past trips and companions worked their magic as well, and as I descended, my heart was glad and my eye shed only a few tears.

To me, there is nothing quite like sky and mountain coming together in my heart.

I gave a lesson in quorum-meeting on Sunday on the consolation that the Gospel can give us regarding death. I took that to mean both physical and spiritual death; the lesson was a pleasure indeed because of the input from the class members.

The nature of this life is such that consciousness yearns for reassurance before the black maw of the unknown. The blank space before and in front of life lends themselves to hope and despair, depending upon the outlook and culture of the person relating themselves to those unknowns.

Some have a great deal of faith or even a certainty about what is on the other side, and that there is in fact something on the other side.

Those who wrestle with death and those who have passed on provide the most poignant observations and can touch the heart in a way that others often can't. They have plumbed the depths and sought the heights; they have stories unfinished and write them upon their own hearts.

Christ can bring much to those who seek beyond what is said and feel what the Spirit has to teach. That's what my faith says, at least.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

I'm listening to This American Life on KUER. They have a way of presenting the foibles of humanity in such a way that they are permeable to new insight. I like to listen when I can.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

A day of fixing things and finding things.

I lost my keys for perhaps the sixth time this month. Bryn found them outside on one of my sheet metal brakes where I had been looking for a bottle of glue. Why did my keys come out of my pocket and get put on the brake? Only the shadow knows.

I went over to my friend Roberto's house to see if we could fix the seat release on the 4Runner so that people can actually get in the rear seat without feats of acrobatics and contortion. We spent some three hours disassembling and fabricating stuff that we thought might work, but to no avail. We finally gave up, decided to start combing the wrecking yards, and jerry-rigged the seat so that it would go forward.

I was pretty frustrated that I had wasted our, well, especially Roberto's time. But he said, in typical Roberto fashion, "No te preocupes, es todo parte del Juego." Don't worry yourself, it's all part of the game. We figured out lots so it can be fixed right and quickly when we get the right part. That's wisdom, and an insight into the friggin' Tao.

Little lessons, good reminders.

Friday, March 12, 2004

A couple of contrails in the sky this evening, made beautiful by the setting sun and shadows in the high clouds.


From El Periodico, in Catalunya, Espania
I've been tying flies with my students for the last few days. A few of them are really eating it up, tying gobs of Coachmen and Hoppers. A few are even getting very good.

One is working on a Black Widow design in spite of the obvious logistical problems behind such a project. No one really knows the reasoning, its just creativity running a course, that's all.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Going further with the story from January on the MATRIX, here is some more news that points out Utah as not just a participant, but a key player in the plan.
I had the opportunity yesterday to tend a fire for a couple of friends' sweat lodge last night. It was a well-spent evening. The conversation was lively, the company excellent, and I do love to tend fires and be involved in the sweatlodge.

I had time to sit and stare into a fire, to take care of people and try to be alert to the other side. There is not much more fun than that.

At one point as the sun went down, the heat waves cast a beautiful shadow on the house. As the breeze picked up, the trees swayed and the fire gained momentum, sending sparks high into the air. I watched the sun disappear and the birds pick up their evening pace, picking off insects in the time between twilight and darkness, for some birds, the best time to find a flying insect.

The stars were intense, with the Milky Way as bright as it has been from the valley all winter. Even the Pleiades shone clear, even as they begin their descent toward the horizon until next fall's ascent.

The whole thing lasted about five hours, from lighting the fire to the last door, and a better five hours could not have been spent last night.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Yestereve, a co-worker explained to me his outlook on life and relationships. He said in no uncertain terms that he adhered to Aesop's moral that "familiarity breeds contempt." At first this disturbed me. I tried to discuss my views on human nature and the nature of relationships, but he was adamant. He said that one should work on nothing but relationships between spouse and children, keep friends within group confines where it's easy to go along with the herd or get out, and keep distance with all other people. I was unconvinced, but the whole experince of the last few days has been another redeye for me with regard to relationships.

The Fox and the Lion

When first the Fox saw the Lion he was terribly frightened,

and ran away and hid himself in the wood. Next time however he

came near the King of Beasts he stopped at a safe distance and

watched him pass by. The third time they came near one another

the Fox went straight up to the Lion and passed the time of day

with him, asking him how his family were, and when he should have

the pleasure of seeing him again; then turning his tail, he parted

from the Lion without much ceremony.

Familiarity breeds contempt.

I disagree still with Aesop's moral, though as with this essayist, I believe that familiarity engenders a certain level of 'taking for granted.' Unfortunately, this is very true, though if a person strives for gratitude and consciousness, even that shouldn't be so hard to overcome.

Communication is a grand way to foil problems and unclear expectations within relationships, but even when there is communication, there can be mixed signals and unequal frames of reference to screw things up.

Eh, for that matter, certain personalities can be or become repellant, so perhaps that is what Aesop meant. And what can be done about that? Perhaps Christ-like charity is all that can be done for these. I hope people will allow me the benefit of that blessing, at least. It may be my only hope for others wanting to interact with me for very long!

Tuesday, March 9, 2004

I went outside during lunch and practiced casting for a few minutes. When faced with a large lawn, free of obstructions and overhangs, one is faced down hard by the inadequacies of one's cast. Holy crap, mine is mighty inadequate for much besides our small fish brooks.

Yesterday was my dear brother. Ryan David's birthday. He and his wife got to spend their day together, it's a good thing because this will be the last birthday they'll spend alone for a while. They've a baby on the way in April.

I was able to catch up with Lost Coyote and his brother yesterday at their parent's house. They were over there working on their Fords, too. Tim has an old '78 4x4 (it used to belong to their dad!) that he was changing out battery cables on and Ryan was on his second day of puttering on his Explorer. Tim is one of those amazingly mechanical people who have lots of talent in other areas, too.

It seems that this area has an astonishing amount of passed-down knowledge and skills. Back a few years ago, there was a lot less money and people had to do things for themselves. Specialization was less widespread, and a jack of all trades could save some money and store up a good amount of social collateral by helping others in his spare time.

Tim seems to be of that ilk, and I am glad to see people like him around.

Monday, March 8, 2004

A thing of beauty, a mechanical fuel pump that costs under thirty dollars and installs in under ten minutes. What is wrong with simplicity?

Well, emissions are a problem, but come on. I had an electric in-tank pump go out in an Isuzu Trooper once, and that one took two afternoons, four or five new cusswords (and countless more common), and three trips to the autoparts store to replace. The emissions from my language probably cancelled out all the gadgetry, vacuum hoses and other smog reducers combined. Besides that, there were the three trips to the part store ten miles away, fer crying out loud.

It was another beautiful day today, t-shirt and shorts to fix the Ford in. I hope you're enjoying a bit of Spring yourself.
Glorious day yesterday. The mercury topped out at around 56 degrees, drying out a good deal of ground around our homestead and setting me to work getting things back in order again.

I got my new anvil out finally, setting it temporarily on the bench, next to the old twenty pounder. If I could remember anything past two minutes, I could have bought a few railroad spikes and set it on top of the stump I've been saving for this purpose for a couple of years. I also rounded up a few tools that got left out in the black-shed and the greenhouse all winter. It's nice to see old friends after such a long winter.

I even moved the storage-van from the frontage to the back quarter, under the tree, where hopefully it won't attract the attention of the beautification committee enforcement squads too quickly. Luckily it's brown and unobtrusive.

The crowning glory was the sunburn on my somewhat extended brow, it feels nice to walk out to bluer skies for a change.

Sunday, March 7, 2004

Hey, remember my little outburst about water and rural water issues last week? Here's another community's latest news on the subject. Beware, little guy, the world is biggering.

This is a beautiful sight after a long, cold winter. The window in our bedroom faces south, and is only about a footand a half wide and three feet tall. Old houses. Nevertheless, it's nice to have light and blue sky early in the morning.

We all went out last night to icecream in Mt Pleasant, the large scruffy family out on the town. It makes me crazy when my kids all order bubblegum icecream. So many wonderful flavours, and they get pink bubblegum. Good grief.

Saturday, March 6, 2004

This was another move-morning, we had another person in town move to another house close by. Lots of little stuff and a hugemongous chest freezer from the early sixties or fifties. It was heavy.

I went out to Mt. Pleasant to wash out the bed of my old Ford and to our local fruit-winery, Native Wines. I talked with Winnie for quite a while about her life at Wasatch Academy. She had lots of great stories to tell about the school, activities and her production of 'Much Ado About Nothing" next month. It's always fun to talk to Winnie and Bob, they have made a good world for themselves.

Friday, March 5, 2004

Dichotomy- This morning, I left for work a little late. I found myself behind one of those large sixteen-wheeled cement mixers, and started thinking about passing, as time was at a premium. Just then, the sun came up over the mountain, casting light into the cloud of powdery snow that the truck was stirring up its rather substantial wake. It was stunning. If you've ever seen a powder snow rainbow while skiing, you know what I mean. It was like the air itself was sparkling in iridescent, billowing shivers. I was for a few minutes transfixed and oblivious to my tardiness.

But as suddenly as the rainbows appeared, they were replaced by a brown, almost impossible to see through mist. The road had been salted and sanded from a crossroads, and the tires that had previously tossed virgin snow skyward were now kicking mud and dirty, salty water all over my windshield.

As I realized that I was, in fact, even more behind schedule than I was at the start of my commute, I flicked my windshield wipers on. They pushed the brown ooze off so I could peer through the concrete truck's mucky wake to the road ahead. Speeding to seventy to avoid oncoming obstructions more substantial than the dirty mist, I pulled around the truck, back into clean air, and onward to my destination.

From one can come both beauty and the bestial, you just have to know when to stay around and when to move on.

Thursday, March 4, 2004

There will be those who poke fun at people, making money from their subject's situation because they think differently or have less capital or interest in it. No matter how open or "diversity" minded our society proclaims to be. Silly pop entertainment, anyway.
The drive over the mountain yesterday was out of the ordinary. I haven't been up over that pass in the dead of winter for years, and I had forgotten how much snow can fall up there.

We live in a high desert valley. We receive around 13 inches of rain in a good year, much less during a drought.

The mountains we went over yesterday give our valley's life blood. The water that trickles down through the soil and rocks feeds our wells, and the runoff provides habitat for wildlife and fish and waters our farms and gardens. One can never know how much we will have for our needs, because the snowfall amount varies so much from year to year.

Another variable that doesn't get as much discussion is how fast the spring warms and how high the temperature gets. If it gets too warm too quickly, most of the runoff goes downstream to places like Delta and other communities on the Sevier river.

In the west, most of the water rights, or amount of acre-feet or cubic feet per second, were legally and not-so-legally wrangled many years before my grandfather was born. For example, Delta gets the full flow of the runoff from our local creek, Canal Creek, for a specified amount of time into the spring. That means that we couldn't catch much of the extra runoff of a quick spring even if we wanted to in our wee reservoirs.

At the same time, there exists an interesting little engineering marvel called the Spring City Tunnel. It runs water collected from the lee side of the mountains to our side, providing water for irrigation of farms, mostly growing feed for livestock and denying it to the people in Emory County, naturally downstream had the tunnel not been constructed.

Water is an interesting and sometimes convoluted issue in the west, well illustrated by my little community here in Northern Sanpete County. The battles go on even now with regard to water, and I will probably comment on a few more situations as time goes by.

Humans do crazy things to survive, and I freely admit that I'm human, to the quick.

At any rate, I reckon we'll survive. We're pretty apt at jerry-rigging things until we fix them, though.

Yeah, me too.

Wednesday, March 3, 2004

Ryan and I made it over the mountain this afternoon to the Huntington to see what we could see, and what we saw was still lots of snow.

These two shots were right around the summit, and there is a good amount of glace up there. As we passed, the temperature was right around 29 degrees f at 4:30 pm. Spring has not sprung up on the mountain, folks.

I'm afraid there's not much melting going on around Endowment Run either, a favorite little stream of ours not much more than six hundred feet below the Skyline, on the east face.

We got some good casting in down toward the end of Huntington Canyon, near the Co-op Mine. Alas, we had nary a bite. It was a fun trip and good to feel the current again.

By the time this shot was taken,

it was getting dark, the air temp was around 24 degrees, and the rod guides were icing up so as to prevent casting much past a foot in front of the tip.

It will be nice to have spring.
My first class went short today because of dentist appointments and an extracurricular activity, so I dashed up to Snow College to get some videos for my classes and a smackerel to eat. It's really odd how much I enjoy sitting next to a window, enjoying the morning sun as much or more than the french toast I'm eating.

Sometimes I wonder why we have chosen to live in the country, with some lack of culture and in many ways a general lack of interest in that which has brought humanity to where we are now. I enjoy architecture, I love music and performance, and I enjoy discussion of philosophy and the ideal.

On the other hand, I love open space and the smell of hay or wheat fields in the spring. I love the smell of a field as it is plowed, and the sight of a flock of geese coming in to light on an irrigation pond.

I enjoy being able to get to the hills in five minutes and seeing no one at all while there.

I am not cut out for the competition of the city, or the almost omnipresent rat race in some aspects of city-life.

Contrasts mean a lot. They provide texture and counterpoint to my life, and though it is difficult at times to keep looking for the beauty that's everywhere, especially when pressured by the mundane to stick to the nosey grindstone, it is worth it to stay.

And when I get the chance to sit in the sun and eat breakfast while listening to some music, it makes up for a few of the annoyances of not really belonging in either place.

Tuesday, March 2, 2004

Whewhoo! The watermongers have numerical backup for what the oldtimers have been saying for a month or so, we are having as good a snowpack in the mountains around the state as we've had for at least six years.

Of course it will take a few years of normal to more than normal snowpack to raise the groundwater and the like, but it should be easier to keep this year's darned garden from rattling prematurely in the dry desert wind.

A farmer in the still less-than-normal-snowpacked north of the state, Charles Holmgren, had an interesting perspective on all of the charts, data and analysis available on the web, "I think I'm better off living in ignorance than having all this technology available to me." While it's nice to know exactly what's going on sometimes, too much grist for the worry-mill can drive one batty. All this electronic numerology still can't coax water from the sky for an anxious farmer.
Dedicated to Vietnam Veterans: Check it out, begin your own investigation.
Ryan David pointed out a surprise referral from a good person over at Slings and Arrows. They seem to be working hard on some political goals in California.

It's nice to be noticed.
Tuesday. I am looking into the maw of my Longest Day; Girl's Home, regular school, after-school day reporting program, Adult Education and then back home at around 8:30 pm. For an introspective type like myself, my Tuesday schedule can send one into spastic fits in a dark corner. Luckily, the people I work with are a fine bunch, and the students are, as a general rule, good human beings. I make it through each Tuesday, and each new week brings another to stare down. Grrr.

My poor ThinkPad is still enjoying the spring weather in Memphis. The IBM people called me late last week to inform me that the repair wasn't under warranty and would cost $925. Yeah, that’s pert close to a grand. My first reaction was somewhat dramatic, to the tune of "um, well, uh, THAT"S NOT ACCEPTABLE." and I trailed off into some fumble ramble about being an educator and a charity case and it really shouldn't have broken fer crying out loud, blah and blah. I have been working my way around the customer service infrastructure trying to get satisfaction (or at least an understanding bloke who will cut me some slack) so I can get back to my mobile ways and back into sync between work and home. I do get used to my technology terribly fast, I'm afraid. Wahmbulance? Yeah.

Besides, I'd like to see if the return package smells like dogwood blossoms.

Jet exhaust would be ok if I could just get it back, though!

Monday, March 1, 2004

My wintered-over gypsy heart is withering under a load of freeze-thawed mud. I have been perusing the MLS sites for a few places, fantasizing over houses that would fit our family a bit better. What will come of it? Probably nothing at this point, we've not much money for home improvements to make our dear little house better for our situation.

Fer crying out loud, I really should get my Master's over with, besides. That would preclude getting anything better around here, right now.

Real estate here is at best, stagnant and at the worst, stagnant. Nothing is selling, 'cept for cute little restored weekend homes and dilapidtated bargains that are 'just so neat.' So what shall I do? Investigate and do something, anything, for grief's sake.

Woot! This one's only $785,000 and located in Park City. Hmmmm.... Yeah. I have a reality problem.