Monday, June 30

Added Enchantment

As a gift for Jenn, I bought her her own domain name for her new blog. While her original address will still work (, her new address is much easier to remember:

Be sure to visit.

Sunday, June 29

The Rest of the Cast

Marilee, Taylor and I went out to Jenn, Chris, and Ramin's this afternoon for NASCAR and a barbecue. I hadn't been out there for like forever, and as such, Jenn's dog Lady was all over me. Ramin's dog, Belle, also got in her fair share of slobbering kisses. And then it dawned on me - I hadn't included that other part of our collective menageries in my original Cast of Characters.

Belle is a Staffordshire Terrier mix, and Lady is an Airedale and Irish Wolfhound mix.

Since that's pretty much the extent of detail I had included in that original post, I might have just left it at that, until Jenn mentioned I hadn't given my animals much detail, if at all. So in the coming days, I'll be posting some pictures of BabyDoll, Molly, Sherman, and, yes, Sundance.

In the meantime, I'm including a fab shot I took this afternoon of Belle. As with the "Money Shot" of Bambi a few days ago, this one of Belle is, too, a once-in-a-lifetime photo.

Hope you enjoy it!

(Photo taken with Olympus C5050Z, 400 ISO, f6.3, 1/500 second. Your mileage may vary.)

Irony (n)

Sometimes, a photo op just appears. Never know when or how. And ironic? Priceless.

The following was the view I got when I went out for the Sunday paper. Picked it up and tossed it on the porch while I had my morning coffee. Had planned on leafing through the News section, when I realized I couldn't pass up this opportunity. And ran inside to get the camera.

The article's at The Deseret News.

...and get off my lawn!

A common thread on has to do with old folks telling kids to get off their lawn. Goes along with "You're invading my space", "You're breathing my air", and "Turn the music down". Old folks do that, not Marilee and I.

Awesome fireworks last night. We live in such a location that we don't have to go over to Valley Regional Park to see the fireworks; we can sit on the porch and see them just fine. Taylor, OTOH, went along with a friend to a more suitable vantage point with far more viewing area.

While our view is great, Marilee and I are concerned that after a few more years, we will have to seek a better spot as the trees across the street are growing too high. Or anonymously cut them down.

After the fireworks were over, then began the real show. Just a guess, but there were thousands of people parked in and around the park, several hundred of whom were in the immediate area of our house.

Watching that many cars navigating narrow streets where, even without cars parked along either side, there's no room. Overall, folks were respectable, other than the one carful of kids with their stereo up too loud and one with a kid hanging off the back of a car.

And several people who found it necessary to cut across our grass. Did we complain? Not really, but we both had thought about getting some yellow security tape to put around the perimeter.

Nah, we're not that old.

(All photos in this entry taken with Olympus C5050Z, 400 ISO, f8.0, 2 second exposure. Your mileage may vary.)

Saturday, June 28


What'zz the deal with all the ZZ's?

Story goes that when the Lakers moved west from Minnesota, the team name stuck, but the Minnesota part was dropped.

Similarly, when the Jazz moved west from New Orleans, the team name came along for the ride, and New Orleans was dropped. Are there any lakes in Los Angeles? Sort of - but they're all man-made. Is there any Jazz in Salt Lake City? Only a basketball team I'm afraid.

Since the days when - literally - there was only one game in town, the Jazz were, and still are, quite an influence on the city and the state. So much so, that every Tom, Dick and Harry's team name has obnoxious combinations of ZZ's.

Does ZZ Top know about this?

Get a load of this: The Starzz, The Grizzlies, The Blitzz, The Freezz - admittedly, some of those teams are now defunct. But still.

And while there's only one 'Z', does the Orem Pacific League baseball team really need to be called the Owlz?

OK, so the Jazz has this influence over other sports teams. That much is certain. So why, then, should there be an influence over a suburb of Salt Lake City called Taylorsville that makes it necessary to call their celebration of the incorporation of that municipality Taylorsville Dayzz?

Anyway, Taylorsville's Celebration is going on right now through Monday - never on Sunday - there were fireworks last night, and will be again tonight (Saturday), so if you're in the area, find a place to park early and join in on the festivitiezz.

(Photos are from Friday Night's Fireworks show)

Thursday, June 26

Gripping Journalism

It occurred to me last evening that talking about our new sprinkler system isn't the most gripping story, but I figure if it isn't about w-o-r-k, then it's OK, because I'm not harping about "Circles of Confusion". No, not the optical ones, I mean these Circles of Confusion.

Wednesday, June 25

Really Big Gophers

That ug-lee box is gone. Really gone. Even has grass on top. Marilee and I are a bit stymied as to where the grass came from, since there don't appear to be any bare spots. At least bare spots that we can tell.

Other than some obvious dirt on top of the grass, you can't even tell anyone was digging the hell out of the yard. And the wildest thing is that there are no visible sprinkler heads. Yeah, this is a professional system.

So they'd already said we're going to have eighty-five sprinkler heads in the two yards. Marilee and I both knew from our experiences over the last couple years that there really wasn't enough pressure to drive the fifteen-or-so heads from the previous system. How, exactly, were they going to pull this off?

Lotsa valves, that's how. There were only four stations in the old system; so far I've counted ten - four in the front and six in the back. And instead of the timer being in the garage, it'll now be in the laundry room. Quite a change.

Sprinkler Day(s)

The transformation begins!

Bright and early, 6:45am - Comcast could learn a few things here - Bonneville Sprinkling showed up, right on schedule.

Not much to report this morning, only to say the old, ugly, DIY valves won't be rearing their heads any more. Thank God.

They requested we water as much as possible in the days leading up to the Big Dig - not for the condition of the grass, but to allow for easier digging; Marilee's been watering the hell out of the front and back yards - can't wait to see the water bill!

Anyway, will try to get a few more shots as time allows this evening.

Tuesday, June 24

Technicolor Stakes

Last step before the new sprinklers was to have Blue Stakes come out and mark all the utilities with colored flags. Yellow for Natural Gas, Orange for CATV, and Red for power. Electric for those of you on the east coast.

The artsy farsty photo below left shows red flags in the foreground and orange flags in the background. And, no, that's not blood next to the red flag; rather it's red spray paint to further specify the route the underground utility takes. From that angle, it really looked like whomever was spraying went a little crazy, but from the side (below right) you can make out RMP for Rocky Mountain Power.

There are yellow flags out in the front yard for the gas line along Marilee's flower bed, don't know how much they'll be able to do with that area.

Interestingly enough, Blue Stakes only marks utility lines that run through your property; if there are pipes that terminate off-property, and a supply line runs from there into your home, they're not marked.

Like water lines.

They're the blue ones.


I took the following two panoramas over the weekend - more documentation to see the transformation.

The Olympus does a good job exposing photos; Photoshop Elements helps, too. One thing I've come to regard as a major plus about the Olympus is that the manual settings are so easy to set up. The Kodak, even with its manual settings, doesn't even come close. And manual settings are most necessary for taking great panoramas; without them, each photo for the panorama would have differing exposure settings, and you'd be able to see that in the final outcome.

Monday, June 23

Unplanned Opportunities

In the ten years I've been shooting digital, I've rarely staged a photo. I'd rather take thirty photos of one cat or kitten for CAWS than settle for one mediocre shot. Just my nature. Don't know if I'd have that same philosophy if I was shooting on film, but with the instant gratification of digital, why settle?

That works for cats and kittens, but dogs are a different matter. Just their nature makes for the necessity of a bit of staging. Getting them to sit, for example, particularly if there's a lack of training, well, patience is a virtue. Fortunately, though, staging isn't necessary all the time. Sunday afternoon was one such opportunity that I couldn't pass up...

Princess and Bambi were in "need" of going out, but I knew better - they were actually in need of cooking their insides by laying in the sun, as most dogs will do, even when people would rather lay under a shady tree. Princess took up a spot on the grass, while Bambi took a position on the hot concrete. She laid out for a while, and I got off a few shots, but they weren't really great, if only because they were from the rear. Not a good angle, even for Bambi. So I sauntered around to the side, and squeezed off the shot below.

The money shot.

Crop Circles

It's round. Flat. Looks like something landed there and burned the grass right off. No new growth.

A Crop Circle?

No, the location of the old backyard trampoline.

What grass there was, had grown to the level of the underside of the tramp. Unused for over a year, it was time to take it down.

After the new sprinklers are installed, it'll likely still be visible - the best part of the lawn will be the old UFO site.

Sunday, June 22

Sunday Morning Ritual

This is more about how a member of the family reacts to certain circumstances than what prompted the behavior.

Sunday morning is for reading the Sunday paper. I know this, Marilee knows this, but Bambi would rather not deal with it. So much so that when the appointed hour comes along when Marilee is reading the paper, Bambi is shooed from the Big Green Chair and commences her Sunday Morning Ritual:

Climbing atop a pillow on the couch and pouting.

Saturday, June 21

Yard Work

MAJOR yard work.

Chris came over today to help with trimming, mowing, trashing, disassembling, and a hell of a lot of other work in the front and back yards. It was literally a sweat shop around here, with Chris, Marilee, myself, and yes, even Taylor pitching in.

As far as the photo above, I take particular care in cropping photos. I usually leave enough of a border to show an entire scene without losing too much information. But this picture of Chris weed-whacking the back yard is cropped this way for a reason. It's literally the foreground that's key here. Like the homemaker who cleans the house before a maid comes over, we did yard work today before "The Sprinkler People" come out this week to install a working sprinkler system!

No more broken sprinkler heads, no more cracked pipes, no more brown grass.

It'll take two days to install the whole system, and I'll be taking as many pix as I can to document the transformation.

Stay tuned!


I so hate referring to Marilee's kids as "Marilee's son(s)" or "Marilee's daughter". Disconnects me too much, since they're all part of my life, for over two years now. Even before we got married.

I shall henceforth refer to them as my son(s) and daughter. I may or may not add the step part, at least here on my blog. In those other cases, it's implied.

Marilee's daughter My daughter Jenn has started a blog of her own, at, soon to be at

Several years ago, I saw what was to become one of my favorite quotes, and it has everything to do with the way we communicate here in this 21st century:

"Imagine if the telephone had been invented after email; 'You mean I can actually talk to the person?!?'"

At this rate, worldwide, we'll all have our own blogs, and will communicate only via this medium. No, really, I hope it doesn't come to that.

From an earlier era, it was commonplace to hear "Didn't you get the memo?"

Didn't you read my blog?

Thursday, June 19

Buy my stuff from Cafepress!

OK, so I really, really need to edit the graphic way down yonder. And maybe even put the advertisement farther up the page. Threw it together in about a half-hour this morning. The white text is lost totally in the green background.

In the meantime, here's a text link for you that you can actually read:

buy great bob's bs gear from cafepress!

(More products to come!)

So go buy some already!

Wednesday, June 18

Tunnels Ahead

There's a sign on Highway 12 on the way to Bryce Canyon that alerts drivers to "tunnels" ahead. When I think of tunnels, I think of the ones on the Pasadena Freeway in Los Angeles. Or, more recently, the ones through Provo Canyon. But on Highway 12?

When is a tunnel not a tunnel?

I suppose this is a tunnel, though, rather than an arch. But that's another National Park.

Nature's amazing, isn't it? Perfectly cut as if by a pneumatic tool so as to allow vehicular traffic.

Welcome to Tunnels National Park.

Monday, June 16

Jill is pissed

Jill is the voice on my new GPS device. While it is a pleasant-enough voice, for one that's computer generated, "she" gets pissed when I veer off-course. Maybe it's the inflection, maybe it's the algorithm that generates "text" to "speech", but when the thing says "recalculating", I swear "she" is talking down to me. That I don't know what's best for me and my car. That...

Wait - it, for lack of a better term, is a machine. It has no soul. It has no sense of character. Nor any sense of humor.

I'm inclined to download a different voice - maybe "Jack" - no foolin', the US voices are Jack and Jill. Or maybe a British voice would suit me - but with my luck, the Brit would sound like the host on The Weakest Link.

You ARE driving in circles. Good-bye!

GPS Enabled

About damn time.

Now I won't go anywhere. Just watch.

It was already (horrors!) budgeted, what with the house refinance. But we combined it with Father's Day, to make it sound that much more "official".

It's a Garmin nüvi 350. When first introduced (I presume) it was almost a grand. Was on sale at Best Buy for $279. Damn, it's powerful, and has all the features I wanted. Yes, I checked. Wasn't going to have another camera-like incident.

Went to pick up the CAWS mail yesterday, and found out it's 20.41 miles round-trip. While I usually take a different route home from what it suggested, it knew to recalculate the route when I veered "off course".

Some of the "Hawaiian dish of taro root pounded to a paste and often allowed to ferment" points of interest were out-of-date - Circle K isn't around here anymore, for example - the map navigation works quite well. And while the map didn't show the spaghetti bowl in detail, I'm more interested in navigating places like Caldwell, Boise, and Kanab. Not that I want to. Again.

Saturday, June 14

Greatest Earth on Show

Where have I been?


Yes, for work.

Another overnighter.

Nuff said.

OK, so I went to Kanab Thursday. Nice drive, particularly down through Mt. Carmel and Mt. Carmel Junction. Don't even want to think about why the distinction. Did get a kick out of - but no picture - of the sign for the Mt. Carmel Cemetary. Nope, that's not a typo. On my part.

This oh-so-touristy photo of a sign heading South into Kanab is funny - a take on the Utah slogan of Greatest Snow on Earth. Pretty much shows why Kanab is a popular place, the unofficial gateway to several National Parks, including Bryce Canyon.

Ah, yes, my fave National Park, Bryce Canyon. Had I more time on the return trip, I would have at least driven into the park to get some pix, but had to settle for some in Red Canyon. Will have to wait (again!) for the real thing.

Another service call today in Logan - talk about from one end of the state to the other - but today's the last day of Logan Summerfest, so I'm taking Marilee with me.

More on Summerfest later...

Wednesday, June 11

Mary Hair

Marilee has a morning hair/makeup ritual where she hits her bangs with a curling iron so as to keep that part of her hair out of the way while she puts on her makeup. It's quite efficient.

It wasn't until we both saw There's Something About Mary that I started referring to it as "Mary Hair". If you've seen the movie, you'll get a great visual.

Last year, I went along for the ride when she went to Las Vegas for a convention, for work. We stayed at Caesar's Palace, and were riding down in the elevator for the first day of said conference. I turned to her, quite seriously, and looked her in the eye, and said "Mary Hair!". Her hand flew to her forehead, and then to my arm.

She didn't think it was funny at the time, but I howled.

Now it's a joke between the two of us. Some day, though, it'll be like the boy who cried wolf. Can't wait.

Monday, June 9

Déjà Vu

It should be back (again) tomorrow.

No, you're not experiencing déjà vu. I had to send the Olympus back a second time because they didn't fix all the problems I wanted them to fix. Like how you need to turn it off and on a few times to get the little servos to focus the lens, and - less important than, say, purple pictures, but still - how you shouldn't have to reset the clock every time you change the batteries.

Hell, my cheap-o Kodak Z710 does that.

I figure, I'm paying, uh, um, never mind.

The first time, they had it in for a mind-numbing three days. Apparently, they've got the purple-picture fix down to a science. On the other hand, the additional work has taken two weeks.

Once it's back, I'll share some more pix - stay tuned...

Sunday, June 8

Side Effects

So I've been feeling pretty good the last few days, what with the new meds Doc gave me. But I wasn't quite expecting the side effects, though - fatigue and insomnia. Which is counterproductive, IMHO, since those are things I've been most concerned about.

Like with cold meds that have side effects of stuffy and runny noses.

Admittedly, it's the side effects that make medications work, like antibiotics.

I said "I haven't been able to sleep" and "I'm tired when I get home".


Wednesday, June 4

Zero-emission Exhaustion

Haven't much had reason to write anything since Boise; I've been so drained, physically and emotionally. Work sucks, as it has for two whole months now.

I have a desire to stick with it, that I'll overcome the stress, but on the other hand, this cannot be happening, that someone was asleep at the switch to allow all the BS.

Decided to be proactive yesterday, to alert someone further up the food chain that Boise was having another "situation". I really don't want to go back, at least under the circumstances that existed last week. Jeez, it's already been a week.

Another road trip for today, to Vernal. Gawd, how driving to Vernal sucks. Anyway, it's another one of those "Why?" "Because." "But..." situations.

Next PowerBall drawing is tonight...
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