Saturday, May 29, 2004

We got the new washing machine. I got it installed by around one am, and the only injury to self was a sliced knuckle at that late hour. It was deeply satisfying to put the first load in and sink into bed.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Oodilally. Today was a spectacular spring day. The clouds never left, though they never seemed to cast a shadow. The sun shone all day long, though it never seemed to get hot. I never needed a jacket, though I was always comfortable as a couch.

Tomorrow is the last day of the blessed school year for us, and promises to be golden. The plus to the day is that I'm going up north to get a washing machine and will be taking the fishing poles for a bit of extra joy.

That' it for now.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Grading, research paper final drafts and enjoying a few seniors for the last time in class. That's about all I'm doing right now.

Aside from that mixed blessing mix, there is a Honey Locust beginning to bloom in our yard. That is about the most beautiful scent I've been able to experience, and it only gets better for a week or two.

The imminent end of the school and Honey Locust blossoms. That is good action, for sure.

Jesse had a birthday today. Eight years of brilliance and fun, he's a pleasure to have as a son.

Happy belated birthday to Ryan. He hit a milestone or a stumbling block yesterday, depending on how one views it...

Monday, May 24, 2004

Searching for a washing machine: There are quite a few choices out there as far as clothes washers go. If you go to sears, that is only the half of it, although it is a good half. Then, if you search a fair bit on the web, one finds such gems as the Staber, a top-loading front load hybrid made by a small company in Ohio. And yes, all the good stuff sure costs a lot, at least just out of the reach of a reasonable family-minded teacher.

I'm still fighting the state regulators, trying to find someone with a willingness to look at the program I'm looking at and at least speak intelligently with me, instead of spouting official rhetoric and phone-tag numbers.

Last week of school, so there will be much red ink spilled and frantic typing. I hope your week looks better than that. Red ink can be hard on a person's psyche, and I do hate being another brick in the wall sometimes.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

The kid's Nana was in town today, much festivity and visiting. Asher was in rare form from all of the undivided attention and here demonstrates his lost boy's tiger growl.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Another blip on the local news radar, I just stumbled over an article about good old "MATRIX."
I'm at lunch right now, posting via email. I haven't set this option up until now because I have been unable to hold a non-vital thought in my head for very long and haven't remembered to get it going. Now it's done, so there should be a little more content to the site, but don't hold your breath.

I haven't listened to NPR pr looked at newspapers other than those local to me for at least a week and half now. There is so much overt politics and divisiveness in the media that I don't enjoy it, in fact it rather depresses me to keep informed through those outlets. I'm sure I'll be back to the news sometime soon, though one never knows.

In good old Utah, there's a piece in the SL Trib on eagle relocations to protect spring lambs in riral parts of the state. I don't know if it is working and don't know what the local sheepmen think of the idea, but it's probably better than poison bait.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Bloggenpucky photo interlude:

Summer '71, up at Nana's and Grandpa's in Burley, Idaho. A while back.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

While in the midst of correcting, editing and checking the year-end rush of student work, I found a referral to this Iraqi blog site. It's written by a team of three brothers from Baghdad. They've an interesting point of view and it's thoughtfully written, as well.

The quest for enrollment goes on. It always amazes me that here in Utah, a very conservative state, where people talk about freedom and free agency and the like with great conviction, the restrictions put on freedom by licensure, ordinance and copious laws are greater than in most any other state in the union. Extremely frustrating.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

The end of another Tuesday. This one filled itself with wind and breezes, abundant clouds and fine temperatures.

I drove home today with a bail of straw bungeed to the top of the 4runner, leaving a trail of scraps and hoping it wouldn't fly off at high speed on the highway. It didn't.

I'm still working on this graduate degree application. Whoo daddy, the state standards and requirements for counselors and therapists are pages and pages long. Why must our society make everything worthwhile so danged daunting at the outset?

Monday, May 17, 2004

I thought to myself, I thought, "I don't have enough stress in my life right now, why don't I seek out some more?" So I enrolled in school.

I've been thinking about it, researching it, worrying about it, stewing over it for months and really, years.

I realized that with all of my personal issues and family and professional situations that it was going to be a very long time or a huge amount of stress on us all to go somewhere for school, or time away and lots of gas and repair expenses if I traveled to school up in Provo or something. So I am enrolling in Capella University's online School of Human Services Mental Health Counseling Master's degree. I've heard good things about the program, it has all the certifications and accreditations I need, and it is reasonably cost-effective compared with other school situations. It will be plenty rigorous, to boot.

I should be starting as soon as 01 June, we'll see if that comes together. It will be interesting, and will bring about some good opportunity when I'm finished.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Hello? Anyone out there? Has the entire world fallen asleep?

A little article in the Deseret News today comments on the skyrocketing prices in real goods, the hardware and materials needed to build or build on to houses or other buildings. Just about anything; steel, copper, lumber products and the like are included in this phenomenon. Cars are made of steel, most things made of anything besides plastic is made of metal or wood in our society. Remember oil prices? Plastic is made of oil fer crying out loud. Could that be next? Milk and beef have recently shot up in price, too.

The interesting part is found deep inside the article.

"They're hearing that China is draining our resources because China's economy is clipping along at 8 or 9 percent," Aldous said. "With interest rates as low as they are it's more easily absorbed, so they are not complaining terribly."

China is in the middle of many public works projects, including the gargantuan Three Gorges Dam project. The majority of the world's, yes, world's steel production is going into the rebar and other steel products in that dam. Just the dam, not other dams, public works, or even the "clipping along" economy of China.

Not only has the means of production been taken away from the majority of people in developed countries through "conservation" efforts, wilderness designation, and at the other end of the scale perhaps, corporatization, raw and many secondary products are in the process of becoming too expensive for people to purchase and utilize unless they are members of upper economic echelons of society. Those people don't really to worry about acquisition of products or their production, as they can pay others to produce and build for them.

A precious small percentage of these products are produced in the U.S. anyway, as that production has moved overseas, mainly to China and other similar markets. What danger does such dependence on other countries for secondary production hold in our future?

Doesn't anyone else see this? Don't these situations cause any consternation for anyone else?

Please excuse me. I know that these issues are discussed by others with more information and minds more apt to the subjects. Nevertheless, I had to get that out, I get very concerned about these such things.

You can go back to whatever you were doing. Sheesh. I can wax acerbic at times.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

They've been adding on at the Girl's home I teach at in the mornings, and they had to get rid of a couple of coal piles. I got a nice big load this morning, and the kids were nice enough to help me unload.

Other than that, we've got our evaporative cooler up and running for the summer ahead, and now we're on to planting trees and a bit more work in the garden...

Friday, May 14, 2004

A day sloshing with picturesque beauty.

As the sun set, there was a distinctly pink line within the purple clouds just above the west mountains.

The weeds and herbs in our lawn are verdant and abundant to the point of looking like a cultivated garden. Poppies, flax, wild mustard, comfrey, mint, clover and tens of others are growing in profusion and health, and I'm happy to see it. Don't bother me with weed'n'feed. Bleah.

The temperature has maintained itself between forty and sixty five degrees pretty much all day. One can't ask for much more than that.

The local creek is flowing clear and cold, not too near the crest and not so low as to provoke sentiments of drouth. It's nice to hear and see it running, I do wish it would year-round.

Our garden itself is doing nicely after the hot winds of the week's first days. It just about killed the poor broccoli, now it's coming out of it just fine.

We'll see how Saturday turns out.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Yesterday's poem certainly wasn't one of my best, but it was all I could muster after yesterday's events and work scedule.

Today's rain has soaked in deep. The clouds, light and rain have been a joy to intermingle with, and I'm glad of the whole thing.

What's more, I'm wearing my favorite boots. And more than that, my truck is running fine and my wife is the nicest person I've ever know. And even more, it is fortunate to have chocolate and milk in the house.

You ought to check out Ryan's blog over at Lost Coyote, he's on a writing roll and I seem not to be on one right now.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

This is communication (as in

former position and future structure)

free from the holy wall, turned

on its axis.

Flexible reason and mirror to the

other side,

the inside remains in and the outside


Who will quest for the unseen?

Nations yet decay or petrify close by,

the buildings our siblings occupy have precious little human space.

And though I muster a faith in some underlying truth, the still unseen

guide to the discreet and private in man,

all that remains is a communal pleasure in expansion

reserving the nurture of intent,

unfettered and deeply connected to some

source, seeking the


My own heart pounds like a hammer

on a rusty nail,

driven within a very cramped space

refusing to wield to petrifaction

close by.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Things are moving along here at school. The kids only have thirteen real days of school left, so some are working like maniacs, while others are coasting home.

There is a new bird refuge, at least according to human law and reckoning, in Cache County. I used to canoe down there frequently when I was at school in Logan, it’s a beautiful place. Birds know how to choose nice homes.

Sunday, May 9, 2004

I had a hard time sleeping last night, coughing and snorting with aplomb and gusto from time to time. I awoke with a headache teetering on the edge of migrane-ness, and I spent much of the day sleeping and squinting.

I feel better now, though it remains to be seen if this will hold, bringing me safely into the work week with vigor to last at least through its first day.

Happy Mother's day to every mother who ever reads this, no matter what day it is.

Friday morning, ready for the day's offerings.

the west side of the Cliff Lodge, where I stayed and the conference was held. How cool can it be to have two climbing walls on the Hotel itself?

One of the final speaker's activities involved coffee filters. Lots of fun with ordinary objects.

On my way home, the canyon headed out of Snowbird.

A mountain further down the canyon.

Even further along.

The final stretch of Little Cottonwood Canyon, it's one of the prettiest stretches of granite I've been lucky to see.

Saturday, May 8, 2004

Saturday was spent moving people and working in the garden; gardening was shoveling horse manure from our neighbor's corral into the Ford and wheelbarrows to be moved to a compost pile or onto the newly tilled potato patch. There are two weary adults in this house right now, and after an evening of cleaning the house and watching a half hour of Red Dwarf, it is time to call it a day.

I'll put up a final few photos from Snowbird tomorrow. Til' then.

Friday, May 7, 2004

Another beautiful, overly-warm morning up here in the canyon. Unfortunately, my dear principal's snore kept me up at critical junctures in the night, but I think I'll come out alright. My eyes should deflate as the day goes by.

I'll be absent for the remainder of the day after this entry, as I don't really feel like spending another ten buckaroos to keep this connection for another five or six hours. I'm not an on-the-go businessman,needing to keep his edge and productivity up with tax-deductible expenditures on connectivity necessary to my bottom line. I'm just a goofy teacher fascinated with technology, writing and information. Ten dollars will buy a book or two or a bunch of food for the fam.

The sun's about to come up over the east wall. It's a vagabond for beauty's capitalist paradise.

I'll be listening and taking photos in the meantime. 'Til later!

Thursday, May 6, 2004

I'm outside right now, at this very minute, watching Little Cottonwood Creek rush past just below me. WiFi is tre cool.

I was just sitting here doing just that, when I noticed a little marmot down toward the creek. He was doing his business, looking for food and gathering ho matierials. I decided to try to affect him, using noises to attract his attention. As soon as I started, he stopped what he was doing and looked my way. He then made his way toward me, stopping to listen every time I made the noise. When he was about six feet from me, he stopped and watched me intently, as I intermittantly made the noises. We sat and regarded one another for at least five minutes.

I don't know if he was reacting to something he had heard before, or if he associated my noises with proffered food from human sources, but I sure enjoyed our interaction. It's been way too long since I really interacted with a wild animal in that manner.

The stream is still running past, and the music of that stream continues from here up and down the mountain, too.

Lunch was good.

And... an observation for what it's worth. There seems to be an overtly female tone to this conference. The committee has nineteen women and seven men, and there are twenty five female presenters and eleven or twelve men. Lots of focus on female issues and topics from such a perspective. Not a big deal, just seems to be the way things go in most professional fields I am involved in.

I'm in a presentation on escalation and neurology. It is not exactly what it was billed as, I was thinking it would be cross-discipline, but it is pretty isolated to a population of neurologically abnormal, heightened-sensory people. Very interesting, but I am getting a bit lost...
I's here at Snowbird for the Troubled Youth Conference. The view?

We'll be posting from time to time, hope your day is as nice as mine.

Wednesday, May 5, 2004

Another dashed-off post, please forgive. Tomorrow should be plenty and plenty good, at that.

Brynni seems to be hitting some difficult emotional growth stages, she has been having breakdowns in communication with her mom. But here in the house of much therapeutic aids and teaching resources, we sat her down to an introductory lesson in "crucial conversations," a course in crisis management through communication and understanding where communication comes from and why in both sides of a situation. I hope she survives this house, I hope they all do. A bunch of nutty people living together, that's what we are.

Life seems to be going way too fast for me, I feel like I am constantly running at full speed. If at the time things don't seem fast, as soon as I sit to reflect on events that have passed, it seems all a blur. I need to work on that. I hope you have figured out that problem in your own life.

Tuesday, May 4, 2004

Today was one of my fabled long teaching days. Though it wasn't at all bad compared to those long, cold, dark, winter Tuesdays, Asher's rolling around and fitful sleep last night left me with an awful sleep deficit. I felt, quite a few times, like kicking all of my students off of my couch so I could stretch out and just take a long nap.

Don't worry, I persevered until the end. No naps for the wicked.

I found a few interesting articles today, please check them out as they are each informative in their own way.

NGO watch

An interesting situation in the UN today.

An article in the SL Trib about US soldiers in Iraq.

Monday, May 3, 2004

You've probably seen a painting or two by Francisco Botero, a celebrated Colombian painter. His subjects over the years have been both the peasantry and the aristocracy of Colombia, portraying them as slightly comical and more than a little well-endowed of flesh. In the last few years he has turned his eye to the travails of his 'paisanos,' rendering Colombia's more than forty year old guerilla war and its effect on her people over those many years through his work.

The NY Times has an article and audio slideshow on his efforts.
Ryan, his brother Matt and I made it up to the Price River yesterday afternoon for some fishing. The rail spur from the Skyline Mine rides along the river, so we walked the rail and fished down about four miles along the river. It's been a long time since I last walked a railroad, so I enjoyed that almost as much as the fishing and scenery.

Ryan and Matt caught some very respectable fish, Matt released a nice fat rainbow while Ryan did the same with a similar fish, though a bit more accidentally than did Matt. I caught a wee ten incher and we all caught a selection of fingerlings up and down the river.

I am learning quite a bit about fishing that I have never had the opportunity to try before, so the trips are all fraught with small mistakes and frustrating learning curves. I am learning much to expand my angling abilities, so I should be able to save my kids from some of my current brand of silliness at some point in their fishing lives.

Here is a photo of the river valley, the Price is to the right.

Haha. The Price is right.


Sunday, May 2, 2004

The morning is ideal, nothing can compare to the soft beauty of an early May moring when the sun is out and Sunday is keeping me from any productive industry. Go visit someone- life is short.

Saturday, May 1, 2004

Exhausted. We planted some of the garden, redid a lot of fencing, and kept six kids from destroying most of the work done.

On the eternally salient subject of water in our west, today's NY Times has an article on the drought. It quotes the work of environmental scientists who say that the past one hundred years looks to have been a moist fluke, and current population norms in the west may be in peril.

I still say be grateful for what falls and try to use less. Not much can more can be done about what has been done already. The future, however, is a question for those weatherpundits to look at.