Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Flight of a Snowflake



They say I’m different from all the rest.
Don’t know if I’m worser, or maybe best.
We’re each all pretty, we at least hope so,
Because in a few minutes, we’ll just be snow.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Day After Christmas

After all the presents are opened and the day has moved past the night
The day after Christmas and all its mess begins at the first break of light.

The tree now looks so lonely and bare, the presents guarded now gone.
Ornaments not quite so cute, the lights not so bright; if we turn them on.

Space in the living room is at a premium, how long to keep this stuff?
The wreathes, the knick knacks, the little displays. Enough is enough!

Tradition states, we recall, that all must remain at least to New Years Day.
It’s a whole ‘nother week and then, the work begins to put it all away.

Each year I swear as I pack up each and every Christmas Decoration box
I won’t do it again next year, no I won’t, I don’t like it, “not even with a fox”.

Not a light to hang, not a Santa to play, not even a ribbon or bow
Next year, I’m not even going to hang any advantageous Mistletoe.

But the year rolls on and the seasons change and while I eating the Bird
I get excited to go outside and decorate, to light my little part of the world.

Oh the Season is the Season and I can’t help but to play and participate.
I think, however, I need to remember, It’s only the Day After that I hate

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Day After

The house may be a mess for days on end but outside, this morning, everything was just as it should be.
The new year officially starts next week, but the day after Christmas seems to be the real start.
Good Morning and Happy New Year.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Brrrrr! Very Vermonty!

Maybe the start of a new Christmas Tradition? Maybe. I really enjoyed my quiet time this morning in the 10 degree air frying bacon for breakfast sandwiches.

Christmas Bacon. I don't know, but it has a ring to my ears.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Feeling Chilly?

Maybe the memory of the backyard fire can warm up the otherwise frigid temps around here.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Cookie? Cookie for me? (1st Ever Guest Blogger)


Yeah. I admit it. I'm a sucker for cookies and well, pretty much anything baked, fried or otherwise sweetened to unhealthy proportions. But especially cookies.

Although a bit blue, literally, I do like to consider myself somewhat of a ladies monster, and when Charley walked in with those Monster Cookies, which my inside information had already told me she likes to bake, I figured I had this lady already caught in my magic.

A few cookies later, and gushing with all the information she needed, it didn't take much of a sugar rush to figure out that I had been duped. Charley did this to all her information saps. I just happened to be the latest victim. Rapport some call it. A way to build trust. It worked on me, that was for sure. I think it's sneaky. But what the hell, I got Monster Cookies out of it.

As a last ditch effort to save some face, I yelled out to her as she turned to leave with the now empty crumb filled cookie platter.
"Hey! How about at least a good night recipe before you leave."

She laughed.
"If you ever unhand those last two cookies grasped in those furry fingers, you can get it from me next time; I'm in the book."

I was nuts for the girl, and her cookies, and after a number of harassing emails, calls, and a pending restraining order, she finally gave it up to me. The recipe, that is. And here is that address if you want to make your own:

http://www.deniserobbins.com/books/connectthedots.html#recipes


And if you happen to see her, I've got some questions I'd like you to ask her for me. Like:

What CIA approved "enhanced interrogation technique" does the heroine witness in Connect the Dots?

and

Why does she not approve?

If she won't tell you, check out bookobssessed.wordpress.com tomorrow and I'm sure you can find the answers there. But just know that it'll just lead to more questions.

Until then, I'll be over at Denise Robbins' blog, begging for cookies and learning more about her new book Connect the Dots. Make sure you meet us there and bring your answers with you. I hear she might give out more than just cookies to those who post them.


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

I am; therefore I think

I love the freedom of thinking.

I know that might sound ridiculous but what a powerful, liberating, wonderful thing thinking is. I can think of anything at anytime and there is no one or no thing that can stop me.

I can think of going to, say, France. Boom! I'm there.
Bonjour!

I can think of my old friend when I was just 5 years old. There he is.
Hey Bobby! Is Speed Racer on yet?

I can feel the cold of the river and the grip of the flyrod.
Fish on!

To be able to escape where I care to go, see whoever I care to see, and imagine any thing I can possibly imagine, and all within a fraction of a second. It is a power and an ability of which I am in awe.

I believe this is my attraction to writing. I get to go to places and see people and during the detailed thoughts that make up the writing process- I escape even more throughly and for longer periods of time.

Hopefully as a reader, you, one day, can come along with me. I know you also have the freedom to imagine even my descrption of my thoughts in your own way (which is more than OK with me). In fact, you might even do a better job at it and even conclude that I must be a better writer than I actually am (with which I am also more than OK).

It's really the only way I get to take passengers along with my thoughts and sometimes it's just nice to have the company.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Samuel Goldwyn Said...

I don't think any one should write their autobiography until after they're dead.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Just When You think You're So Smart

Doesn't locking your keys in your car just blow?!

They're right there, hanging in the ignition. Just what? A foot away but yet a million miles. Hanging there, unaware of the dilemma unfolding on the other side of the glass.
Do you call for a lock smith? Disrupt the home morning operations so keys can be brought to you? What? What? What?!

And do you admit it? No way!

My natural reaction is to not let any passer-bys see that anything is wrong while I scroll through my mind the options available. I take sneak peeks to see if the keys are really in there. Casually I feel through each and every pocket, hoping that they are magically not where I can see them but really just in one of the many, rarely used, coat pockets. Laughing, trying to convince myself this is all so funny. I try all the handles again and again, wishing for one of them to realize they are actually unlocked. All while chuckling that stupid false laugh.

This all, of course, makes me look even more like I'm up to something and people look like they want to ask but, thank God, they don't.

So finally, I took the proactive approach and just got on the bus to deal with it later.

I'm such a dumb ass.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Cursing the Cougar- A Review

Cursing the Cougar by Levi Montgomery

On the heels of the blog entry yesterday and again today by Levi Montgomery on self publishing, I was reminded that I had yet to make public my opinion of Levi’s novel Cursing the Cougar, which just happens to be self-published.

The story was a slice of Americana Pie, which naturally appeals to me, centered on a tow truck driving single dad and his intelligent, pretty, coming of age daughter. I loved the commonality they shared in the love of old trucks and the tools and work it takes to fix them, a believable connection, and the conflict of each trying to find their own companionship with and without each others’ help. It served up well and I enjoyed and could relate to so much of the story.

Levi writes in a style that draws you in with a flowing stream of detail that sets the scene and lets the mind relax and enjoy the story unfolding. I easily get lost in too much detail and settings usually become a disjointed array of backdrops that rarely have anything to do with what the author intended and ones that would make anyone other than Dr. Seuss dizzy. Yet with Levi’s writing, I always felt I saw what he wanted me to see but never overwhelmed. The story drew me from chapter to chapter and kept the pages turning with curiosity and interest in the well developed characters and their storylines.

About the three quarter mark, however, Levi had teased me enough with what I knew had to be coming towards the end of the book that I felt the story drag just a bit. I wanted to get to the finale. When it did finally come, it was extraordinarily well set-up and the action perfect. I found myself yelling in my own head “No! Don’t get in the shower!” “Don’t go in there!”, etc. Being led and emotionally manipulated as a reader should be in a thriller ending.

My only complaint of the overall story is that I wanted more of that story. I felt like, going back to the feelings of young love, like that first date where everything is going great, the dinner went well, the conversation is perfect, laughing and joking, each anticipating that moment on the front porch and then, for some inexplicable reason, someone starts in on one more story of how so and so did such and such in History class only then to now have to rush to finish as the porch light flickers on and off and the date is quickly cut short with a solitary, hurried, good night kiss. The kiss was great and all but the evening ends with a wish of having spent more time with the last part and less with the preliminaries.

Such is how I felt with this story. It was great and I look forward to the next one I read from Levi, but man I wish the story had spent more time on the “wow” ending. But hey! Always leave them wanting more, right? The true test of a great story, however, comes after the book is closed and sitting on the shelf. Do I find myself thinking about it?

The answer for this story is yes. Placed with other books in my office, I find my eyes drifting onto the book’s spine and reading the title several times a day. I know what it means and I find its meaning apt in many situations throughout the day. The underlying message resonated with me and meant something beyond the setting and characters and the reading candy that make a book enjoyable. After reading the book, I found a way to apply its meaning to me, to better my approach to life. That makes a great book in my world.

Enjoyable, well written and life applicable, Cursing the Cougar is a book I not only recommend but I am thankful, yes actually thankful, that I spent the time reading. It is available from the author’s website Levimontgomery.com as well as Amazon.com. I look forward to exploring Levi’s other titles, such as his latest released title Stubbs and Bernadette, in the near future.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Goms is Smog Backwards

I know that there are very few good things to say about smog but I will say that the sight of the moon setting into the far west horizon this morning was gorgeous! Thanks to the smog layers, the moon glowed as a beautiful hazy red orb slowly sinking out of sight.

It even caught the attention of my 14 year old son who asked "What's wrong with the moon?"

"That's the plus side of industrialization that no one wants to talk about, son!" I explained proudly.

I'm not saying that we should keep it around all the time, but the next time I hear someone bashing smog- by damn, I'm not taking it anymore!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

And you thought you had it rough!

Througout the years, I have planted a few trees. When I do, I try to follow the instructions on how big and deep the hole should be, how much soil conditioner is needed, and how often I should water.

Most of the trees survive and eventually grow up. One or two have not. I guess that's the odds.

On a walk in the mountains today, I saw a huge Pine tree that seemingly grew right out from the rock upon which it sat. The roots wrapped around like tenticles and held to the rock and to life tight.

I wondered what would be said if I asked the nursey about planting a seedling on top of a granite boulder. I doubt they would recommend it. Yet there in front of me was a living example that it could work.

Looking at the tree, I had two thoughts. Although I could see it worked once, the method may not be duplicatable for me. And, even if not traditional, sometimes the impossible happens if everything is just right.

In tackling my book projects, I sometimes want to buck conventional wisdom and do it my own way, avoid the hard parts and spell any word and tweak any grammar rule any way I damned well please.

Yeah, it might work but ultimately it might be harder than just following the proven methods. I must remember there are more rocks without trees than there are with.

But if you get it to work just that one time...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Food for Thought

I love Fall! The cool weather, the relaxed feel, and of course the Fall colors on the trees.
Leaving my office yesterday, I couldn't help but notice the brilliant color of the tree pictured with this entry.
And I had a thought.
Through the myriad of school papers my kids have done over the years, I have learned that red leaves mean that the tree was well fed at the time of the color change. The brighter the color, the better the year or better fed the tree had been.
Isn't that like us?
When it comes time to write a book, or create a speech, or when your thinking skills are called to task, the more food behind the thought the more brilliant you can be.
Reed a book, follow current events, watch life around you. Be inspired, constantly feeding the brain and cultivating your thoughts.
It's not just more interesting but you might end up being the beautiful one shining amongst the ordinary.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

First Snow at the Lake

Tricky walking but a beautiful Saturday morning walk with the Mrs. sans kids.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Upward Movement

"Uphill Battle" is more than just a catch phrase when your office is
built on the side of a mountain.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Season Closer

It was a beuatiful hot Fall day spent with two of my boys watching the RiverCats of Sacramento destroy the Salt Lake Bees, 10-4.

As Oakland A's fans, it was fun to root for "our" home team and see the future prospects shine. Watch out for newly acquired Chris Carter.

One of my favorites, Travis Buck, also did not disappoint.

I miss baseball already.

Yummy!

Nothing tastes better than Fresh Grilled Corn on the Cob on a Friday Night... Other than the Grilled Chicken that went with it!

Revised Food Donation

An additional push netted a total of 43 pounds for the Utah Food Bank by Friday September 4th.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

No wonder it's slow at the Food Bank!

Ran a collection at work and after a weekend and two days- this is all we collected. They said summertime donations were slow, but...

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Update on Van

According to the letter I got yesterday, our van has returned to "High in Demand" status.

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Tale of One Minivan

A couple of weeks ago, I received an "Official Notice". A certain car dealership contacted me because, due to their records, I owned a highly sought after late model vehicle in high demand: Our family's 2002 Ford Windstar Minivan. I had never done business with this dealership and had no intention of ending that streak so I threw the notice away without another thought.

Last week, I got another "Official Notice" from the same dealership. I figured it was a second notice of the first lie and attempt to get me to buy one of their new cars, but I opened it anyway. Desperate sale pitches amuse me.

To my surprise, the dealership wanted me to know that "according to their records" I owned an aging 2002 Ford Windstar that most likely qualified for the Cash for Clunkers Government program.

Within two weeks, our van transformed from a high-in-demand vehicle to a clunker.

Now the car is still the same vehicle; it's a 7 year old minivan.

What did change was the available angle to be used by the slimy car dealerships to coerce the desperate, the easily-swayed, or the just plain stupid to buy a car. It's no wonder that the car business is in trouble. They don't even try to hide their lies and/or manipulation of information and circumstances. They don't care who you are, just come and buy the car- "no matter how much you owe!"

Am I amazed that yesterday on our mountain drive I heard endless commercials of "Cash for Clunkers" offers only to learn in the evening news that the program had went broke in less than a week? No.

Government money made available to the car dealerships is like throwing slop in front of hogs- only more disgusting to watch. If they throw another two billion, watch how fast they can eat that up!

In a completely unrelated topic, I am sure putting money in front of the medical vultures will work out much better.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Two for the Price of One

Watching a movie on Info-mercial plagued ION TV, my kids and I saw several devices that almost always end with:

"Not just one but for a limited time, we'll send you a second for free!"

First we saw the Slap Chopper: The nifty little chopper of all things food related. One of the kids even said "Cool!"

Next, the Neckline Slimmer: Not quite so cool and the photos not so convincing. We remained quiet watching the sales pitch.

Finally one of my bright children responded "Instead of giving away a second, they should just give one of each." He thought further. "Maybe they can combine them... like... the NECKLINE CHOP! Slim the neck WHILE you make dinner!"


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Magic Words

"If you're choking in a restaurant you can just say the magic words, 'Heimlich maneuver,' and all will be well. Trouble is, it's difficult to say 'Heimlich maneuver' when you're choking to death."-- Eddie Izzard, Dress To Kill

Monday, July 27, 2009

Oatmeal South of the Border

Looking at the container of oatmeal, I noticed that the Spanish version of the instructions seemed to be substantially longer in explanation.

There are several conclusions one may make, but now I wonder, not able to read Spanish, if I am being left out on something.

It's like High School all over again!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sweet 67

Came across a small parking lot classic car show on my way home yesterday. Spotted this beauty and had to claim it as my own, even if only digitally.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Life at 9000 feet

A dark rainy June evening on Silver Lake, Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah

Don't Shoot!

I just read an article on why one should "shoot" their blog, using the same reasoning of why a cowboy would shoot his wounded or otherwise useless horse.

I found myself guilty of almost every reason the author listed of why maybe it would be wise should I hang up my blogging efforts for good. Business speaking, it proffers me nothing directly to continue.
I do, however, have one real good reason to continue, even in light of my sporadic record over the last few years. The reason why I write this blog is because I want to.

I enjoy writing and although at times my life becomes such that my writing time is limited and I must allocate the precious time to write to efforts such as a book in lieu of rants or muses on a blog, I am doing what I love and what I enjoy doing.

Everything in life does not have to be about gaining more followers, selling more products. If you want to sell books, you must have customers. That I understand. But I already have a job for money. I already have a place where I am told what to do, for how long, and what song to sing while doing it. My writing is my world. In it, I'll decide those things for myself, thank you. I do hope that there are others who enjoy reading my writing as well but I can't let that desire outweigh the first.

I write not because it is a way to get friends and followers. I write because I can. If there are people who want to read the things I write, we're both happy and by default, I found a friend. And if these friends value their enjoyment of my writing enough to pay me enough to be able to write more, even better.

So blog, saddle up; we're not quite to the point of shooting yet. But rather riding off across the horizon towards the literary sunsets that await descriptions.

Giddy up!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Unto each...

It is impossible to imagine Goethe or Beethoven being good at billiards or golf. - H. L. Mencken

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

April's Fool

First day of April. We think of flowers and blossoms, Mother Nature gives us fresh snow. It happens every year yet it still does not seem right.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Being Specific

I did not say that it was your fault; I said I was going to blame you. (From son's shirt today)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Early Bird By Shel Silverstein

Oh if you’re a bird, be an early bird
And catch the worm for your breakfast plate.

If you’re a bird, be an early bird
But if you’re a worm, sleep late.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

When's The Next Bus?

I rarely just take the time to simply write on this blog with out knowing where it will go. Usually I try to have something in mind before I start or at least a preconceived point to make. Today I do not. Let's see where the typing takes me.

I am sitting on a bus trying to figure out why it takes so long to get anywhere while we sit and go no where...literally. We just sit here!

So I guess therein lies my argument today.

There is no shortage of plans to reduce this carbon based attack on the planet or that one. Everyone wants to figure out how to "eliminate" something.

Why not just master the bus route schedules, make riding mass transit more efficient and easier, and people won't have to be "convinced" to leave their cars at home. Offer a better alternative and people will come.

Of course, the cities, states and governments who make a fortune on "our addiction" to oil will have to face the facts and figure out what next to tax to make up their losses in gas tax revenue?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Lost in Translation

Book title by author Adrienne Kress in English:
Alex and the Ironic Gentleman
.

In German:
Die hals├╝berkopfundkragendramatischabenteuerliche Katastrophenexpedition der Alex Morningside
.

No wonder most of the German people I have met are the quiet type!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Twilight Effect

If a girl takes a guy to a "girl event", the guy i s miserable.

If a guy takes a girl to a "guy event", the whole thing is ruined!

As quoted from Kirtland Jensen

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Great Thought for Me

Your Success In Life Is In Direct Proportion To The Amount Of Uncertainty You Can Comfortable Deal With" - Tony Robbins

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Different Strokes


If this doesn't get your pulse racing, you've never dreamed of catching a steelhead.
Wow! I wish it was me.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Got Books?

I read an article yesterday explaining that the Consumer Product Safety Commission, or something like that, recommended that libraries and parents remove any children books dated prior to 1986. Their reasoning is that inks used prior to that date may contain lead. Most librarians and parents are responding in the same way as I first thought- Yeah Right!

The danger with lead based inks is that it has been found to contribute to irreversible learning disabilities and behavior problems.

Therefore, I must ask: what is truly the greater threat for developing learning disabilities? Lead based ink or taking books away from kids?

And as I understand it, the only way that a child can be affected by the "bad ink" is if the kid mouths the book.

And, if it takes a kid that eats books to really have a problem, wouldn't you assume that maybe the learning and behavioral problems have already set in and maybe it's best to just let alone?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

To Make A Short Story Long

When someone tells you something defies description, you can be pretty sure he's going to have a go at it anyway. -Clyde B. Alster

Friday, March 13, 2009

Question?

"Why do writers write? Because it isn't there."- Thomas Berger

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Feed Hollywood

The Prime Minister of Great Britain visited Washington last week. He brought with him a pen holder made out of the wood from the HMS Gannet, an anti-slave ship and sister ship of the HMS Resolute and offered it to our President as a gift. The Resolute is the ship that provided the wood for the twin desks residing in London and the White House. An emblem of hands across the sea, friends in leadership, and a share in a common good.

President Obama gifted in return 25 DVD's.

Maybe I'm making more of this than I should, but I cannot help to notice that there was no mention that these DVD's were on Blu-ray. Therefore, I think it is safe to assume that they were not.

Forget about the obvious lack of equality between the two gifts, the glaring lack of symbolism, and the embarrassing lack of understanding of Head of State protocol. What really needs to be mentioned and asked is this: What message does this send to the many people suffering in Hollywood?

What support was shown to the cause of enticing the millions of selfish Americans who still cling to their conventional DVDs and DVD players and refuse to embrace the higher priced Blu-Ray copies of the movies they already own.

Mr. President, it's OK. I'm sure no one noticed.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Book Critics

Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs. - Christopher Hampton

Monday, March 09, 2009

Only In California...


What if the animal is in the crosswalk?
What if the cat is a stray and not from a farm?
Is it OK if you do not "flee" but in stead just drive away?
In case of an incident, do you report to the Police Department or to the local Animal Control office?
Can you leave after exchanging insurance information?


Friday, March 06, 2009

When is 69%, 66% wrong?

According to some polls detailed on the Glenn Beck Radio Program today:

69% of people think it is a bad idea to raise taxes during a bad economy yet 66% of these same people say that we should raise taxes on the wealthy.

Is it a bad idea or not? Are we so willing to change our stance so long as it will not negatively affect us personally? Is it good to sacrifice, so long as I do not have to sacrifice?

And what is wealthy? $1,000,000/year? $500,000/year? $250,000/year? $100,000/year? $50,000/year? $25,000/year? Most likely, most people would say that it is the bracket that is somewhere more than where they find themselves.

Maybe the answer is not in trying to find out who should pay for who, but it is deciding and doing what you personally feel is fair for you to do and then apply that evenly across the board to all.

Or as Glenn Beck concluded, as well someone a little more important said a few thousand years ago: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

But that, probably, is too simple.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Love is...

Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come. -- Matt Groening, "Life in Hell"

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Inspiration

You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.- Jack London

Monday, January 26, 2009

Do it!

The best way to kill an idea is to spend too much time thinking about it.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Fatal Exception Error

I heard today that Microsoft is announcing lay-offs. Microsoft! That's almost unbelieveable. The giant that ate giants is now eating its own.
A year ago, it would have been unimaginable that Microsoft would ever take a step back. It has always been forward and advance. So what happened?
I think the wrong assumption would be that no one is immune to this economic downturn. It would be also wrong to assume that it is because the TARP fund hasn't take hold of the economy yet. It would, however, be correct to blame Microsoft itself.
To be more specific and in a word- Vista. The program isn't good. It was presumptive for them to assume that no matter what they threw out there, the drones would continue to buy. It was wrong of them to strong arm the hardware companies to force new systems to be loaded with Vista. It was foolish to think they knew better.
Now Microsoft is finding out what happens to corporations that try to dictate to the market what will be bought. Like others are finding out, it is the consumer that makes the market go. It is us, the ones with paychecks to spend that hold the power. It is us, the little people who buy who will save the economy. The companies that know that will survive, the ones who don't should die.
I wonder when it will be that the little man will figure that out and stop looking for the President and congress to save us all.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Well Reasoned Opinions

"It is hard enough to remember my opinions, without also remembering my reasons for them!" -- Friedrich Nietzsche

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Weakness on My Part

Like a moth to the flame, I am drawn to people who not like the rest, the ones who seem to be cut from a different cloth. Misfits, rogues and people who just can't help but to do things in their way all catch my attention. After some study there are some I like and some I do not. the commonality of the ones I like is because they do it because they are hard-wired to do so; not to get attention.

One such person that is the top of my "like list" is Orrin Porter Rockwell.

Porter Rockwell was a legend in his own time. He lived like he wanted, he was fiercely loyal to his friends and greatly feared by his enemies. He had a dead-eye shot, rode as a Federal Marshall, and lived a life full of adventure purportedly killed more outlaws than Wyatt Earp, Doc Holladay, Bart Masterson, and Tom Horn combined...while living as a Mormon in Utah!

He had a taste for whiskey and the ear of Prophets.
He was the friend of pioneers, farmers, and ranchers yet respected by gunslingers, ruffians, and outlaws.

Controversy surrounded the man when he lived in the 1800's and controversy still surrounds him still today, over a hundred years after his death. It is hard for people to get a bead on how he really thought, how he made his judgments, and what made him tick. The lines that separated the good from the bad were very much different in his head and hard to negotiate within our modern day minds and politically correct values. But I sense that he always tried to do what he thought was right. I understand and respect that.

As a soul-searching Mormon, it is hard to find people in our history who are people to which I can relate; someone not blinded by devotion or driven by rebellion. Porter Rockwell was someone, however, who felt a strong sense of loyalty to the faith, but an unwavering desire to blaze a solitary trail. A goal I find refreshing and honorable, and without pious.

Individualism has its price. Even to Porter's last day, there were many who hated him, his faith, and his history. But they could not stop him. They could not kill him. They could not silence him. Porter lived in the face of all who opposed him and no one could ever claim to better him. Even the paper added to his obituary that "the gallows were deprived" of hanging him. Despite it all, Porter's name lives on and those who were against him have disappeared in time.

To those who question whether Porter is worthy of my admiration I would them to one little event and quote. At his funeral, his eulogy was given by yet another Prophet- Joseph F. Smith. His remarks were: "He had his little faults, but Porter's life on Earth, taken altogether, was one worthy of example, and reflected honor upon the church."

That works for me.

He was laid to rest in a beautiful site in Salt Lake City and upon his head stone monument, he even defied them all in his epitaph.

He was brave & loyal to his faith,
true to the prophet Jos. Smith,
a promise made him by the
prophet thro. obedience it was
fulfilled.
If you don't understand- you don't know Porter, but it's quite a story.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Porter Rockwell Story


One western bad man stumbled into a saloon on a dark, cold, blustery night.

“I got somebody after me” he told the bartender, “Can you help me?”

“Don’t know” was the laconic reply “Who’s after ya?”

“Port Rockwell” said the desperado.

“Well then, I can help ya” the bartender grinned, “I can notify your next of kin”.


Stolen from the site: The Great American Desert.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Steven W. Starling

On many of my walks through the Medical Facilities on the University of Utah Campus, this little starling is commonly at his morning station, in a tree just outside the window of a trans-building walk way.

The starling is always alone and always in the same pose on nearly the exact same branch each time. He positions himself with his back towards the glass through which I observe him; although sometimes, I do observe him seeking a peek back over his wing at me. Otherwise he makes no indication that my presence is wanted or unwanted, needed or unneeded, or that it even matters in the least bit at all.

No, I sense instead a greater cause pursued by my determined friend. A cause of which I am not aware. A cause very few, feathered or not, are aware. A cause that he, the lone starling in the tree, solely harbors within; a cause whos burden he solely bares.

The large tree in which he perches grows within a campus plaza. It reaches high, achieveing upwards of four or five stories. He perches about even with the third floor, which is the same floor as the walkway, and angles his body up towards the sky. The sky that is made of the small patch of open air visible only through the keyhole five to six stories above the benches and pathways formed by the buildings that encirlce the student open-air square.

The Starling's eyes are concentrated high, way up and above the enclave over which he presides. His eyes are not fixed but are, however, dedicated to the search, to the endevour in which he finds himself engaged. Relentlessness and unyeilding to any outside influence; his eyes remain always peering up.

I wonder, sometimes, what exactly is his endeavor; his cause? What is it that he sees, that he watches, or that he awaits? Is it the breaking of dawn upon the Plaza? I cannot recall ever seeing him outside of the morning hours, just before the golden rays of the sun pierce the cold and dark shadows of the buildings.

Is he watching for food to be found by other birds; waiting for the call of breakfast to sound? His deep pensive stance suggests that his cuase is greater than that and I would think that a bird such as he seemes to be would be well aware of the saying "the early bird gets the worm". Therefore, he would not be just sitting and waiting. Nor does he seem to be the type to depend on the toil of others for his essential needs. He would be more of the type that would help others.

Perhaps he is just waiting for something? Something defined and expected or mabe just the undetermined future and the unknown that it brings with it. I do not know. Whatever he is doing, however, he is intent on doing it.

I don't always stop. I do have things to do myself and contemplating the motives of a starling, as noble as they might be, is not always available or capitvating within the duties of my human world. I do always extend a quiet hello and good bye as I pass by and see Steven W. Starling- as I have come to call him- on his branch. The volume of the greeting absolutely dependent on the presence or lack of presence of others within ear shot, as one could imagine. Regardless, I am just trying to be friendly. I never do anything to try to break his concentration or catch his attention, not that I think he would give it to me anyway.

Steven W. Starling, I believe, is a thinker. Not just in bird terms either, but a real genuine thinker. I think he thinks of the world, of flight, of the purpose of life and perhaps why the sky turns from black to blue with the rising of the sun. Being a bird, I am sure he eventually gives in to the needs and rigors of forging a life, but all in order to resume the next day with self-reflection. It would be foolish to dally upon what all he ponders, but I am convinced he does and he does it a lot. I believe he looks at the sky and he sees the possibilities. He contemplates his qualities and inadequacies, constantly negotiating the two in his head. And he thinks.

I am sure, that like most things in this life, one day Steven will no longer be there. His mystery will become unlocked, his opportunity will be presented and being well prepared, Steven W. Starling will move on to whereever it is that patient avian ponderers go.

I hope that sometime before that happens, he notcied my dedication in passing and noticing him and his efforts, that he appreciated the kind words each moring, and that he hopes the best for me as I do for him.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

In Light of the New Upcoming Presidency

"Democracy means that anyone can grow up to be president, and anyone who doesn't grow up can be vice president." -Johnny Carson

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Hitting Rock Bottom


Just when you think you can't stoop any lower, the opportunity to do so always seems to make itself available.

For Christmas, a Wii entered our home and since that day, there have been plenty of opportunity to play. The low point of which I am impling that I have reached is not due to my play of the games, or due to the regular thumping by the kids that I receive, or even due to my lack of knowledge of the gaming world.

No, my low point is due to the fact that in playing a couple of games of electronic "virtual" sport games- I continue to suffer from sore shoulders and knees the following day!

So it's not enough that I'm over weight and do not exercise properly. Now, I cannot even escape suffering from my lack of "shape" by playing video games too!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Book Smart

Reading the book "Pavlov's Trout" by Paul Quinnett early this morning, I read "A line in the water is a hope extended".

I read that line, that was placed by itself on the page, in between two paragraphs, and I stopped and read it again. I liked it. It rang true, it made the point of the author at the time. It was simple, it was profound, and it was memorable. I have reflected on it over and over today in my head and each time it makes me smile.

I won't try to explain what exactly the author meant, if you're that interested- read the book. Nor will I try to explain more on what it meant to me but just that I just love it when an author gets it right. They bring the message home with the simple correct combination of words. I love it! It makes reading worth reading. We've all had it happened at one time or another. A sentence just makes us go "That was good!" I can't even define what exactly happens other than the wording is...well, just right.

Mark Twain once said that the difference between the right word and almost the right word is like the difference between lighting and a lighting bug.

Likewise, getting the wording right and almost getting the wording right is like...reading a good book or reading a blog.

Present company excepted of course.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Stealing Fame

Ricky Henderson is in the Hall of Fame.

You may not like the man Ricky Henderson, but how anyone could not like the "Baseball Incredibleness" that is Ricky Henderson. He's not just first in Stolen Bases, he stole the record and buried it.

To break the record, Ricky even did it in Ricky style. His record breaking stolen base was not second base- it was third base. When everyone in the stadium was wanting it, looking for it and expecting it- he just did it. And what was the first thing he did? He stole the actual base.

There are pretty weird stories out there about Ricky, but as a watcher of a single man disrupting the team sport of Baseball, I have to say:

Thank you Ricky for the memories, the excitement you brought to the game, and the example that although it's better to be a great person, there is a place for people who are just great at what they do.