Friday, April 30, 2004

Have you ever noticed that when you swallowing Gatorade really slowly, as when one isn't parched and running around or something, that it tastes really yucky, especially on the front of the tongue? If you swallow it fast, tasteing it only on the middle and back of your tongue, it tastes pretty darned good. There are definitely two different sensations, and I wonder if it was designed to appeal especially to that part because it is for especially for gulping atheletes.

I went to an ADHD symposium today down in Salina. Clare Jones, a renown expert in the field, came up from Scottsdale to enlighten us to proper methodology and identification. It was a very good presentation, though I noticed that I was one of three men among at least sixty women in the hall, and I was the only one that I could see who was tapping my foot, doodling on my paper, and looking around. I was probably one of a precious very few humming unidentifiable snatches of seventies-era cartoon themes and eighties new-wave in my mind and to myself.

It's a bit rough when one is abnormal for the abnormal norm and finds one's self amongst ultra-normals.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Here's a shot of the downed tree at our friend's house. They're in town, assessing the damage. We're all amazed at the house and the lack of real damage to the structure. Here's to old-time engineering.



The storm came and did its thing, shaking loose limbs, chimney pipes, barrels, and entire trees, in some cases. Some friends of ours had a Doug Fir with a five foot base fall on their house. The tree had dry rotted so much from the inside that there was only four inches of live wood holding it up on the northeast side. It’s an amazing sight.

Fortunately, they work up in Salt Lake and weren’t home at the time. Thought the house itself wasn’t damaged heavily, the roof took a hit and some damage and it would have been pretty scary to hear all that falling and impact action.

Their home was built around the same time as ours, so it was built with some huge old-growth timbers. If that tree had fallen on a modern truss-built house, it would have shivered from one end to the next, I’m sure. As it is, it will probably need a bit of repairing and perhaps only a very small amount of structural review and shoring.

It’ll take a crane to lift the behemoth off of the roof, so we couldn’t do much else yesterday besides watch someone else from the neighborhood nail a tarp to the roof and tree to keep snow out of the unbelievably small hole made by the huge tree’s unfortunate demise.

Life is going on pretty routinely, otherwise. Tragedy happens while small miracles accompany, and chances are we’ll see how we handle both.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

I’m bracing myself for a coming storm. The Weather Meisters say there’s a big blow headed our way, a sort of springtime Polar Express straight from the Gulf of Alaska. The warnings have toned down somewhat since a couple of days ago, but there are still high wind warnings and plunging temps and exclamation points here and there. So I’ll just prepare for an increase in airborne pollen and carry on, hoping that not too many tumble weeds wander into my fence at home. They’re a pain to untangle and get rid of.

Meanwhile, I’m here at the school monitoring students taking the Utah Criterion Refrence Test. What fun this is. It’s one of the activities that makes me feel like ‘another brick in the wall,’ the very sort of thing that made me crazy when I was a young’un. Busy work for the machine, grinding numbers and data out of unique human beings. I know it’s for the common good and all, but wall building is still wall building, no matter what the benevolent purpose is.

Geeze, I need to go out and smell some roses. Maybe if I change the color scheme to pink and baby blue? That might make things a bit more cheerful around here.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Testing for the kids for at least half the day. That's what the feds mandate around this time of year. Lots of bubblesheet filling and grumpy looks from teachers to not-perfectly-quiet test-takers.

It's a rite of spring and a necessary speedbump before summer. In fact, it kinda makes me giddy, even though it's perfectly annoying.

Monday, April 26, 2004

You know what? I lost my second set of keys when I got home from work, but I found them an hour later. I've gotten the clue, I'm trying to keep my wits around me, trying to not go onto autopilot at times. That should help.

I've been trying to get a handle on CSS coding so I can just make my own blog template, this is as far as I've gotten this evening. Progress is the evening star, afterall.
It's hard to wake up on a Monday morning and get going. Losing one's keys doesn't lube the machine, either. Going to bed depressed and waking up grumpy seems to throw sand in the gastank, now that I think of it.

What can one do? PMI, so far, has been a failed experiment. To think about things positively, it seems to require a source of energy to keep the brain working in a positive direction. It would be good to have a mental aspect of well-being to begin and draw momentum from. Something more than a dull ache in the cranium, at least. I'll keep working with positivity, though, because I agree with it in principal and it should at least help.

Eat right. I do. I really, do, for the most part. With a cook like Drie around the house, who wouldn't? I suppose it would help if I woke up in time to eat more breakfast than a mushy apple, though.

I could stop worrying about things I can do nothing about. I wouldn't want to just about stop thinking completely, now, would I?

With just this quick survey of my state of affairs, It looks like I'd better just straighten up and fly right. I'll do that just as soon as I figure out a destination good enough to fly straight to, I reckon.

Yeah. Somebody better call the Wahmbulance. I've heard that before.

Next entry: Something worth reading, at least!

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Well, fer crying out loud. I just spent at least an hour mucking around with html in an attempt to redo this site with a new overall layout. Netscape was sorry, but their browser had to shut down due to an error and wanted to know if I wanted to report it. Yeah, report it right out their elbow. I'll try again tomorrow, perhaps.

Ryan, Tor and I went up to Electric Lake this afternoon and caught a few fish. There is another couple or feet up there since the last couple of storms rolled through. Torrey was surprised to see so much snow again and was relieved when it started thinning out once we went over the summit. He didn't want to get wet.

Once again, I didn't get anything out on the float, but on shore, sure did. I seem to be jumping the gun with each successive lake that thaws. One of these times, we're going to find some spring activity and really have some fun. At least I might get near the success that Ryan has, no matter the lake or activity level. Now is now, nevertheless.

Ya, basta with today. I'll get on this tomorrow and see if I can keep my eyes open to see what I type. Until then, g'night.

Saturday, April 24, 2004



These are a couple of our tulip varieties that we have springing up around our yard, rather willy-nilly. Hope your weekend is doing you quite right.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Observations for today:

I saw a man stop, walk to the middle of the road and pick up a run-over cat in order to place it tenderly on the roadside.

I noticed that 1/2 inch CDX plywood has jumped in price by almost 90% since I last bought it a year and a half ago.

My son Jesse drew an eight pane cartoon about a little boy who had several things fly iinto and stick on his face during his birthday party.

The day began with rain and much blustery gloom, ending with blue sky and a beautiful sunset.

The day goes by very fast when there are many things to do and I keep at them until it is too dark to see.

Pink Floyd is an essential part of the musical diet and I need to update my copy of "Dark Side of the Moon," among other standards of the era.

Drie makes very good sandwiches, and Oreo makes a dandy mass-produced cookie.

Many of these observations are quite frequently registered while others are unique to this fine day.
Remember when you were younger and the rain would fall, you couldn't wait for puddles to form and you'd beg your mom for hot chocolate or just make your own?

Did you ever make paper or wood boats to float on those little seas? What were your thoughts while the rain came down and you searched in vain for the break in the clouds that meant the sun would come out again?

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Snow is falling on our little valley today. The slush is pretty thick on the roads, we must have at least a half inch of water from this gloomy cloudbank. It'll replace some of the water that went downstream to Delta during that hotstreak in March.

Silly doomsayers at water resources, all we need to do is be happy when it rains or snows and be careful with the water we use. We live in a desert for heaven's sake. It's that simple, and then we'd save all that money on the doomsayer's salaries.

Changing subjects, my UPS at home seems to be fried. I spent a few anxious minutes trying to locate the hot sulphur smell permeating our room, and felt mixed emotions at finding where it was coming from. The current in Spring City varies quite a bit and goes out at least once a week, so it wasn't very surprising. I'm glad it wasn't the computer or anything like that, but it was sure nice to have that UPS to save me tons of grief.

There sure is lots to spend money on in this commerce-based society, between government waterpundits and excessive technology.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

The ISP for our school district, Central Utah Educational Services, has installed a new filter. They do not like Blogger, the service I use to publish to Bloggenpucky, because it is what Bess terms "Free Page/Web Publishing."

Sigh. Until the great administrator replies favorably to my plea to remove this obstruction to the student's and my web publishing ablilities, I'm gonna be especially brief and few during the school day.

The price of freedom is constant vigilance? Hm.
"The art of storytelling is nearing its end because the epic side of truth, wisdom, is dying out."

-Walter Benjamin, 1936

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

And now, for your enjoyment, a photo of a semi-famous late seventies-early eighties influencial band from my youth.





....................................Hook.............Ian................Steve............Sumner...............

Why? Because it fell off of the fridge and needed scanning before it got lost for good, I reckon. They were good, they were.
On days like this, I face the fact that I need a change. I would like to be doing something active with my life, re-engaging with my deepest desires and what little ambition I have left at this tender age of thirty-five.

I am terribly aware that this is a sort of mid-life crisis. I understand that daily grinds are the stock and trade of people in my position, but I find it hard to break out. Besides, it's a farging figment of my stereotypical psychological thirty-five year old mind. There are things to do and bills to pay, and it seems that my senses have dulled somewhat since my last immersion into the world of work in alternative education.

This isn’t to say that I have no spark left, one needs to preserve some kind of hope and idealism in this profession or the kids ferret you out and destroy or ignore you. That’s how it is. But it seems that I am spending most of my energy and creativity on just moving across days and weeks.

The figurative ice is breaking, though. I am still looking for ways and means toward good change, and it will happen. If it doesn't it will mean that I have found satisfaction in my present circumstances. Or something like that.

This is just on my mind today, I hope it brings something from your soul and shows you a jewel. Then just run with it. Go wherever you might, but just keep going strong.

Monday, April 19, 2004

I spent the day recertifying for CPR at the District Office. I've been doing this since I was around six or seven years old, I first learned while on swim team. It seems like every time I've gone through some sort of training, there is at least one change to the procedures. I have to scan my memory hard when I need to practice something from CPR, rescue breathing or First Aid to try to piece together the most recent version. That could be dangerous, I'm sure.

Else? Nah, not much, I've been piecing together things outside with the greenhouse and fencing around the yard. There's lots to do and I should be done sometime around the end of summer when the fencing doesn't matter anymore and the greenhouse does again.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

There's a splendid article on poet Leslie Norris in the Deseret news today.



He has published some two dozen books of poetry, short stories and children's books. He has won honorary degrees. He was a candidate for poet laureate of England, which eventually went to Ted Hughes, the former husband of the late poet Sylvia Plath. He is the subject of at least two books and one video. He has done readings at some of the great festivals in the world and once served as poet in residence at Eton College. He has done almost everything in the literary world from teaching poetry at every level of school to doing a poetry reading in front of thousands in Westminster Abbey upon the presentation of Dylan Thomas' memorial stone in Poets' Corner.



Read it. And then some.
It's raining here today. The snow level is not much above where we are, only around two hundred feet up the bench of the mountains. The wind is blowing, and though the sun is peeking out from time to time and blue sky is seen here and there, it looks like a day to just be inside and savor the waning days of winter's cool.

This season's process of change has been exciting, ranging wide over an unusually long span of time. We're probably only in the middle, as well.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

We headed up to Scofield yesterday afternoon, Ryan and a couple of his kids along with Jesse, Jerusha and I. No success floating on the lake, but Ryan did catch and release a very nice sixteen inch Cutthroat from the danged shore. Jesse knew just what it was as soon as it was out of the water. What a kid.



Friday, April 16, 2004

Speaking of old timey, Glenn Reynolds has a few shots of a little general merchandise store in Tennessee on one of his many sites. Nice captions at the bottom, too.
An interesting and reasoned piece in the New York Times Op-Ed yesterday. Paul Berman asks, Will the Opposition Lead?

(Hat tip to Michael Totten.)
I've been thinking about new and old times. It's old speak to blab about the "good old days," and I am susceptible to seeing the past as halcyon when I finally forget the crap I worried about constantly because the crap I worry about now is sort of different.

However, some things are so much more inexpensive than they were even ten years ago, while others have increased in price greatly. There seems to be very little rhyme in the reasoning, cars and trucks have inflated amazingly in price while computers and clothing have gone down or remained stable. People can cite technology or labour costs as reasoning for increases, but labour involved in automaking has decreased steadily while that involved in clothing has remained pretty much the same. Both have exported labour to foreign markets, but the prices for the two product areas have been disparately relative. Corporatations really frustrate me.

I'm sure there are reasons and some may even be true.

The good news 'round our place is that the starter motor was the problem with the starting mechanism in the Suburban. The thing was a wreck, it was probably original equipment. The flex plate looked alright, so I just replaced the starter and the trouble that sounded and acted like the flex plate disappeared. That is a very good thing.

The not good is the fuel pump. It's making what I think is too much noise when the truck is running. So, I'll ask some of my mechanic friends to listen to it, get some advice, and probably wade into that project within the next week.

I've got to take the good and not worry too much about the other. It's not that big of a deal, anyway.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

A few more photos to complete the trip. There are many, many more, but if you want a family slide show (bah!), please let me know or come by for a visit in person. No reason to bore all of you with excessive load-times!





A Phoenix hotel called the Westward Ho; I remember being fascinated by its name and the huge antenna on top when I was a kid. I don't really know what it's being used for now.





Just before heading onto the road, the Ash-boy and his Papa have speakes.





The view from our hotel room in Flagstaff. Not a bad view at all, but we changed rooms to be able to have a non-smoking non-stinking room. It was a hard trade.





There was an artificial canyon there at the Hampton Inn, complete with sheep camp. A fake canyon and a sheepcamp. These too would be nice at my house. Hm.





One of our Easter activities, watching 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' from the hotel room. Yeehaw!



Wednesday, April 14, 2004

A few photos from the trip, you can click on the thumb to get a bigger image, si quieres. Enjoy.



A view looking south from North Mountain, where my dad and I trotted to the top just because it was there. You can see downtown Phoenix at the top.



Another view from the top, toward the east.



I took this for Drie, I know she'd love this yard. It's landscaped with native plants and flowers, it seems to attract lots of hummingbirds and wildlife. I wouldn't mind it myself.



The anchor from the USS Arizona, weighing in at around 125,000 pounds. The stand has all the names of the sailors killed on that December 6th morning.



The Hotel San Carlos. It has a great little cafe on the ground floor, like many I've seen in South American downtowns.



Built in 1926, the Security Building houses security firms and the main Arizona office of the BLM.



An odd Neptune-themed cornice at the top of the elevators in the same building.



A great tree in downtown Glendale, a beautiful sight for central Utah winter-weary eyes.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Onward, ho!

Back at work this morning, very ill prepared for the students, but I always have some sort of back-up. Somewhat thin in a couple of the subjects, but it will do. I'm glad I'm not a substitute, their days are like this one very often, almost everytime they teach.

I have lots to reflect on from the last week or so, that's what I'll focus on for now. My stress levels are pretty high, my worldview and outlook on ideals are very shaky and I really don't know if I'll be staying in this job next year. I don't know if I have the energy. Quien sabe? We'll see as time weaves its cloth over the next few months.

In the meantime, photos will be posted sometime tomorrow and I'll keep counting blessings so I can keep travelling the edge of this straight razor.

Monday, April 12, 2004

We are home, safe and sound. The family is sound, that is, but the truck is a mess. The starter flex plate is truly on its last leg and I think there's still something wrong with the fuel system. What a piece of junk.

Oh well. I'll try not to worry and forget about it. Nothing I can afford to do right now about it, emotionally or financially.

Happy to be home, for sure.
And after all of this, we're off!
S'burb's in the shop, it'll be done sometime. Hopefully in the next hour, but you know how this stuff is.

Now there's a problem in the starter, probably from starting it seventy-five times on Saturday. That'll wait to become a job for when we get home, hopefully. This sure has been an interesting few days.

Consequences for strange decisions, poverty has its ups and downs.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Still in Flag. Yep, very much still in Flag. We spent the day watching PBS and Discovery programs on Christ and the New Testament for the most part. That really was entertaining, if not relaxing and at HOME.

Jerusha, Hyrum and I walked the mile and some over to the grocery and back. That was lots of fun. Hy is quite a trooper and Jeru has always been the best hiker in th family. When she was two, she did an entire three or four miles up and down hill at a lake in Idaho all by herself. A bulldog of sorts.

We went swimming before supper to tire them out a bit, and the trick worked. It's eight o'clock here, and four of the six are out cold. Mission accomplished, now for the real work tomorrow. I sure hope it goes quick and we can get out, but we shall see and remain flexible all the while, right?

We'll try.
Update:

The Burningham family is officially stuck in Flagstaff. Not entirely unexpected with the problems we had on the way up, but I thought I’d repaired it. Not the case.

We went gangbusters up the first couple of grades toward Flag, but the thing really started bucking at around 4000 feet. We made it to the ponderosa line and the danged truck quit cold. Well, a more apt description would be hot. We let the fuel pump rest for a half hour while playing with cell signals flitting around like sparse wood thrushes unwilling to be caught.

We finally coaxed the thing to life and ran it for ten second increments, re-starting on the fly until we got to Mund’s Park. Tragically, the second domino fell in the long line of sad events on this trip home, as the sole mechanic in the little town had left only ten minutes previous and was headed home where he had no phone. We beat the truck until it began running and played the same nerve-wracking game twenty more miles to Flag. What a trip. We then nursed the rig from closing shop to just closed shop, where each attendant or mechanic said that he couldn’t help us.

There was one shop open, willing to do the job. two closing shop owners cautioned us in no uncertain terms that we should watch them during the entire process and get everything in writing. Everything.

My curiosity got the best of me. This shop was run by a few men who looked like they were more interested in heading to the bar, and the man in charge started off way too adversarial for my comfort. We blazed out of there and went to a nearby TacoBell/Long John Silver’s to reconnoiter, eat and regather my frazzled nerves.

I called around to my Spring City friends to see if I could get some ideas and hear some friendly voices. That really helped, it helps to be able to bounce ideas off of people who care about what you’re going through, and my mom and dad were ready to do whatever they could. But I hate bugging people and really wish I could have done this quick and simple without bothering people with my neediness, savvy?

I decided to call our home-town Bishop to see if he could pull some resources from his bag of Bishop-tricks, and after an hour of lookup and talk, he found a local Bishop who was willing to make some calls for lodging and offer some suggestions on where to fix the danged Suburban. Blessings to them both. Their help was a very good thing, because as we were pulling out onto the main drag, the thing quit cold and there wafted into the interior a burned-out electrical smell. The truck didn’t go anywhere else on its own power anymore, limping or not.

We called a tow company suggested by the local Bishop for just this situation, and got a very expensive ride going backwards on a tall flatbed to the other end of town where we had arranged lodging and a couple of good shops were if we had to wait until Monday.

I got to bed finally at around 12:30, after walking over to SprawlyMart to get poor Moshe something to eat.

Man, there are a lot of Hipsters around this college town at 12:00 am. Kids on cruiser skates, people toting soymilk around, Vespa shirts, etc.

Now we’re hanging out watching the network première of 'O Brother Where Art Thou?' on TNT. The kids are enjoying it. I’m having a hard time just breathing, to tell you the truth, but I’m a Dult. Kids are a good example, and I’m sure they’ll teach me more of the Water Way than my all my life’s studies combined.

Happy Easter, all.

Saturday, April 10, 2004

I wasn't able to get that gallery up in the time I allotted myself today. My webhost has changed some of its interface and I'm not savy enough to figure it out yet. I don't exactly know what I'm going to do to get these photos up, but we'll see pretty soon.

In the meantime, Good Passover and may Easter bring you insights into the nature of God and your relationship with that same God, my friend.

Friday, April 9, 2004

Web exclusive! First time ever! I went over to see Jenna and RyanDavid's new son, Sumner, this morning at the hospital. He's quite a kid, with a regal bearing and a handsome face.

And now, for the very first time, he gets his first world-wide exposure...



No gallery today, in the limited time I allotted myself, I wasn't able to build the danged thing. My webhost has changed their ftp protocol and interface again, so I'm not sure what I'll do.

In the meantime, enjoy your passover and may Easter bring you blessings and insights into the nature of God.

G'night.

Thursday, April 8, 2004

My dad and I spent the day hiking, seeing the sights, and reminiscing around Phoenix today. In that I am mighty worn, I'll leave a couple of photos to whet the appetite for what I hope will be a gallery of the trip that I will put up sometime tomorree.





This is some bitterbrush that we saw up on North Mountain north of downtown Phoenix. A very beautiful place.





A view to the east on the same mountain, looking through a very unique and beautiful plant, the Ocotillo. They look like dead sticks most of the time until a bit of rain falls and the foliage springs forth like a miracle from dead wood. The red blooms are magical, too.



A world of congratulations to Ryan David and his heroic wife, Jenna. They had their first baby today at around 4:30 this afternoon, a boy by the name of Sumner. Welcome to you, dear nephew.

Wednesday, April 7, 2004

My dear brother Ryan-David took me out to Rio Verde this evening. It's an area northeast of Phoenix beyond the development in the Tonto National Forest. It's actually a beautiful area of the Sonoran Desert, with a huge variety of flora including paloverde and saguaro cactus and all sorts of other things I couldn't quite make out in the pitch blackness of a thunderstorm scattered night sky. It was a very beautiful night, with lightning stabbing the darkness with brief saturating flashes and the cool scent of moisture in a place that may smolder at 120 degrees Fahrenheit only a month from now

There were a bunch of his and his wife's friends there camping and cooking, and there happened to be a girl he was friends with while he was working up at Snowbird in Utah at the campfire. Ryan David brought her down to our house in Spring City on a lark one day and then tonight he brought me out to the middle of the desert on a similar whim and she was there quite unexpectedly. Strange and random synchronicity, the world is full of odd wonders that make one think.

As the light of a new morning freshens, my heart races to keep up with the feelings brought on by contact with my family, memories recalled by old videos and photos, and ghosts stalking my dreams in the night.

I felt like my trip to Sun City would be a harbinger of thoughts in the future, with all many elderly people who seem to have settled into lives and patterns both useful and determined to be useful, full of consideration for others and taking care of the self. That experience has been contrasted with contact with all the others (including myself) seemingly ill at ease with current events in my own life and in the world, fixated on external amenities like cars, clothes and jobs. The clarion call seems to be that of Captain Hook in that socially adept movie of the early nineties, Hook. I want a party, I want a cookie, Me, Me, Me, now, now now! I don't mean to be negative toward the society or her denizens, but to me at least, it doesn't and never has made much sense in its makeup and manners.

I went on a two-year service mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints when I was a bit younger. Yesterday, I saw a wee vid of my family and a few of my friends when I returned from that period of time in my life. I was struck by how ill-at-ease I was throughout the duration of that video as I interacted with both the camera and the people I was reunited with. It was uncomfortable to see me and how I was trying to relate with all the people, and I remember how much I loved and cared for all of them. I was feeling incredibly deeply, and it seemed that those around me were just trying to get through their lives and days, as usual a little annoyed with my earnestness and philosophy-stone seeking. Most missionaries that I have known are a bit maladjusted when they return home, and I find this troubling. I was alienated in the extreme when I returned, and that was only an intensification of the me that left on my mission two years earlier. It seemed that my experiences with people in Colombia eking out a life between real poverty and joy at living, having to leave them frequently after brief, intense relationships of deep interaction on spiritual levels not normally broached in day-to-day living set me more aback in my work of becoming a normal citizen of the human world than preparing me for my life and relationships to come.

I deeply miss many people who have come into and gone out of my life, for reasons of their own and for reasons of separation of space and time. I have said that before, and when I say them, I say that with deep and true feeling reasoned out and lived practically every day. I also say that with a deep and abiding appreciation and love for my own family and especially my dear wife, Diedre, because she truly understands me and my feelings and helps me in their management and shepherding.

I only hope that anyone out there who has ever felt like I do very much of the time has someone, at least one like she is to me. It makes it bearable and enables each new day of questing for the holy grail of human existence.

Here's to that quest, and to your own new day.

Tuesday, April 6, 2004

Drie and I got to go out and eat together today. That is a rare occasion these days, just about as rare as a full night's sleep around our house.

Anyway, we went to a little Greek/Middle-eastern place at a stripmall a couple of miles from my mom and dad's place. Talking with Drie about the state of our lives and the progress toward dreams while eating good food outside on a spring day is about as close to bliss as I can think of.

I also made a trip into Sun City, the famous retirement enclave just west of here. While cruising down the road, I was taken back to my early childhood in Arizona. Even then, there were lots of retirees running around town, smoking cigars, pipes and cigarettes, driving slowly down the road to in whatever direction they happened to be pointed. They were always nice, sweet people, doing their best to make the autumn years last and be as happy as they could be. Sun City is pretty much the same as it ever was, there are the same nice, helpful elderly people driving slowly down the road. They don't smoke as much quality tobacco as they used to back in the seventies, but there is more out there proportionally than the rest of the world it seems. And they all love my kids.

Anyway, it brought a flood of memories today, and I think I'll go back tomorrow.

Monday, April 5, 2004

Just outside of Richfield, the Suburban started hesitating going uphill around seventy miles per hour. I thought perhaps it was something wrong with the speed governor. I wasn't really worried, just annoyed.

Heading up the dugway just inside the southern border of the Navajo reservation outside of Page, Arizona, the dern truck wouldn't go much faster than sixty, then proceeded to buck along as if starved for fuel. You can imagine my thoughts at five in the afternoon while heading into an auto-repair oblivion consisting of around one hundred miles of desert and sage, sans Checker, AutoZone or NAPA. But as I reasoned it out, I reckoned that it wasn't getting much worse very quickly, so we'd be just fine, if not a bit slower and my nerves a bit more frazzled.

To make a too long story shorter, we made it to Phoenix by around nine thirty last evening, and this morning, I went through the fuel supply chain with a fine tooth comb, replacing filters, checking pressure and cleaning carburetor. After a couple skinned knuckles and a quick lap on the local freeway keeping up with a 300Z at silly rates of speed, I have declared the Suburban fit too run. We shall have to test that out more surely on the trip home, of course.

Beautiful day today, after all that car repair shin, we took a trip to the park for the kids and to the local merchants for the adultos for to browse and marvel at the productive and consumptive capacity of our little society.

Jenna and Ryandavid are well, their son is due any time now. Nevertheless, Jenna still gets down on the floor and plays games with the kids, to the point that my mom gets worried about her getting mauled by my overactive children. What a girl. It was good to hang around with my brother for a while. I miss that living so far away.

It is fun to let the wonderful grandparents do the cooking and kid attending a bit, a true godsend I wish upon all sweet parents everywhere as often as they can get it.

Sunday, April 4, 2004

Whooboy, what a drive. Suffice to say, a very, very long drive. With a funky fuel pump to boot. But we made it, and are happy for it.

More tomoree, I'm sure.

Saturday, April 3, 2004

The washroom self-destructed again. I spent the day taking it apart and redoing all the fittings. When that was done, I decided to just redirect the dryer duct to make the hose less than eight feet long and not curled around every fixture in the room anymore. What a mess it was.

But it's done now. (For now, that is!)

Anything else? Nope. That's the problem. We'll see what happens tomorrow.

Friday, April 2, 2004

Made a mad dash into Provo-Orem yesterday, a very productive one at that.

Jesse's Bilateral Amblyopia has improved dramatcally since Dr. Abrams instigated his experimental Levidopa therapy a few months ago. His eyesight had plateaued at around 20-60 for at least a year with no appreciable progress, and in the last two months or so, he has improved to around 20-30 in both eyes. Pretty amazing, and I am very happy with both the doctor and patient in their efforts. Very cool implications for children with this eye problem, we'll see how things shake out.

The rest of the trip was pretty hectic. I wanted to get the maximum value from this trip since gas is so danged expensive to get up there and back nowadays, so we didn't really quit moving until we got back at around ten in the evening.

Too much to do on a Sam's Club polish dog and Coke products. I really need to start eating better when on the Provo Mad Dash shopping and doctor spree. Bleah.

Thursday, April 1, 2004

All Fool's Day.

This is probably my least favorite "holiday" of the year. Why? I suppose I am a sort of a killjoy, and I would rather have a bit more sincerity and truth than more mocking evasion of integrity and face-value. Yeah, call me grumpy, if you will, but that's just how I see it.

Nevertheless, I wish you a happy Fool's day, however you wish to see it.

Family Fun and Things That Happen Despite Our Objections

Halloween, cutting dead out of the sick tree, a landmark destroyed in the face of progress and civilization, and wind in the yellow g...