Thursday, July 9, 2020

Biking The Bonneville Shortline Trail...

While visiting Provo this week, I drove up to Rock Canyon Park for a little mountain biking.

It was something I've wanted to do for a couple of years. The Rock Canyon Park is one of the access points for the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. Actually, I think the trail is very long--I don't know much about it, actually--but I do know it's above my friend's house.

The first time I experienced the Bonneville Shoreline Trail I walked it, and I didn't walk far. It was a beautiful spring day for a hike. From the park, the trail goes north and south. I could have chosen to go either way along the trail.

I chose north.

This is actually an important point in my story. If you take the trail and go north at the Rock Canyon Park, you'll find a nice, wide, flat trail--something I could drive my minivan on with no worry of damage to to the vehicle. I walked several hundred yards, then turned around and came back.

This time when I visited the park with my bike, I decided it would be fun to see the trail going the other direction.

I went south.

Way different result.

Just letting you know, if you go south on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail from the Rock Canyon Park in the hills above Provo Utah, you will not find a nice, wide, flat trail, nor could I ever get a minivan, any van, or any other motorized vehicle on that trail short of a motorcycle.

The trail was hilly, thin, full of rocks, and quite exciting. This I was not prepared for. Don't get me wrong--it was fun. I just wasn't ready for such a rustic pathway. After a while I turned around and biked back to the park. I then took my bike and headed north on the luxurious trail. I biked it for maybe half a mile then turned back.

It was kind of a pain loading up the bike to bring it to Provo, but I'm glad I did. If I ever find myself at the access point of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail at the Rock Canyon Park and I have my mountain bike...

Depending on the shape I'm in will most likely determine which way I go.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

A New Book...And The Author

This picture is one of the most unique I think I've ever taken. It's not spectacular or full of action. Quite the opposite, really. It's a picture of my computer screen. In the picture I have Facebook open to a friend's post. The post is proclaiming to the world that a new book is available. It's launch day for David Butler's In the Palace of Shadow and Joy from Baen Books.

If you can't see the blurred image above my computer screen, I captured the author of this new book hard at work on his next project. Yes--that's D.J. (a.k.a. Dave...) Butler, the author of the book on my screen. Now, I've taken many pictures over the years of authors proudly holding up a book or books they've written. I think this was the first time I snapped a photo of an author and their book on the first day of that particular book's availability.

If you're interested in Dave's newest offering, click: HERE. From the Amazon website, here's what this book is all about:

Indrajit Twang is the four hundred twenty-seventh epic poet of his people, the only person alive to carry their entire epic history and mythology in his head. His people are dwindling in number, and if he can’t find a successor in the great city of Kish, their story will disappear with them.

Fix grew up a foundling on the ancient streets of Kish and is making his living as a mercenary. The woman he loves married someone else, and Fix has turned to buying and selling risk on the black market—but is he trying to impress her, or prove something to himself?

Indrajit and Fix have been hired by a powerful risk-merchant to protect the life of opera star Ilsa without Peer for the duration of a risk contract he’s taken on. When an attempt is made on Ilsa’s life, Indrajit and Fix find themselves hunted by multiple mercenary squads and targeted by some of the most powerful men in Kish. Will they be able to save themselves, not to mention protect Ilsa, in the Palace of Shadow and Joy?

So, there you go--a new book and its author. If you've read anything from Mr. Butler, you know the story will not be average or ordinary. And, when you're finished, you'll be able to answer the question; Will they be able to save themselves, not to mention protect Ilsa, in the Palace of Shadow and Joy?

Get the book and find out!

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Boy...I Suck At Pool

If you play pool, you may notice something in the above picture. There's the cue ball, of course, then all the colored and numbered pool balls.

Last weekend we drove a few counties over to visit friends we haven't seen for too long. We talked, caught up, and when I took the tour of their new-ish-for-them home, they cleared off the pool table. 

Ah, pool. 

It's a game I'd love to be good at.

Growing up, ours was not a home that had a pool table. I had friends with pool tables (and other toys, like boats and trampolines...), but I don't remember playing a lot of pool as a kid.

I once lived in a house that had a pool table. In college me and a few friends rented a house a couple of blocks from the University of Utah. Roommates would come and go and one roommate moved in and he brought with him a pool table. We set it up in the main room.

It was great.

Many have seen those amazing pool shorts made by professionals where they make the pool balls dance and shimmy and go exactly where they want them to go. Understanding how to master the game seems simple--it's all angles and force applied. Doing that, is a completely different story. 

At my friends, we racked up the balls and played a few games. The pictures you see are of the game almost done. It's almost over because all but one of the striped balls is on the table. The rest--all the other colored balls--they're solids, and they're all mine.

I'm okay with that. I had a blast playing. Sure, it's frustrating knowing where I needed to hit the cue ball so it would strike the other balls and go where you want them to go. But, I don't have a pool table in my home so I don't get to practice those shots.

One day, if we ever do get a pool table, I might find myself playing a game with a friend and I may be up on him/her to the point where I have one left and they have several. 

That'll be a fun day.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Another Dark Day In 2020...

Looks like 2020 has claimed another victim, a dark, delicious victim.

At least, I think so.

The other day, when getting lunch at our local gas station, I looked for my favorite candy bar, Milky Way Midnight. I looked and found none. I wasn't too worried because in this insane time in which we live, it's highly possible they were out and didn't have a box to replace the empty one.

I think I bought a Snickers.

The next time I went in, I looked again. My search netted the same results--no Milky Way Midnight. But, I did see a 2 Bar special in another box near the check-out counter. I grabbed one and went to pay for my stash.

"Oh, you found out discontinued box," the attendant said. I asked what she was talking about. She said they weren't getting any more Milky Way Midnight bars. 

Oh, the horror...

I've done some light research to see if the bar is gone for good. I've found nothing to confirm the attendant's claim. It's possible they're discontinued, and if so, I'll be sad. Then again, it's most likely for the best that they're gone--one less bad thing for me to eat.

Yes, 2020 has been bad in many many ways...looks like another reason has been added to the list.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Time To Start A New Photo Album...I'm Up To 18

Yesterday, I posted a picture of a cake my mother-in-law made and brought over for our Independence Day dinner.

It was the two-hundredth photo I posted in a Pic Of The Day Facebook Album. That album was #17, meaning, I have posted a daily picture on social media two-hundred times in seventeen albums.

That's a lot of photos. 

Each album contains two-hundred pictures because when I started posting daily photos--back in 2011--the albums reached their maximum capacity at two-hundred. Now, I think each album will hold much more, but I'm not sure exactly how many.

Last Wednesday, I started a new personal journal, I'm up to #71. It's almost impossible to comprehend what has happened in the past six months. When I started my Pic Of The Day Photo Album #17, the first picture is of Christmas lights. I've posted a photo each day through Christmas, the impeachment, the virus, the lockdown, and the race riots. It's been insane.

Today, my first picture for the new album is one I took at church. It was the first time back in months. Funny, how the first picture of the last album and the first picture of this one have a religious theme.

For the next one-hundred and ninety-nine days, I'll be posting a picture each day. I sure hope the next two-hundred days are better than the last.

Time will tell.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Making Independence Snowmen...

Today we saw something I don't believe we've seen before...

The Assembly.

We've lived in the same small town for over twenty-three years, and that's the last time we moved here. Before that, my wife and I lived her for a couple of years in an apartment, and before that, I lived here for another almost twenty years.

We're aware of many traditions that take place here--this year many have been canceled. But today, we saw that another town tradition was not canceled--the building of a snowman at the corner of 6th North and Main Street. That's where someone hauls down a truckload of snow from up the canyon (though, I'm not 100% sure the snow is from Farmington Canyon...) and at that corner a snowman is built every Fourth of July.

This year, my wife and I caught the frozen snow assemblers in the act.

That's rare.

For whatever reason, the builders put together not one snow person, but a second. Hey--the more the merrier!

I don't know who they are, but I'm glad they do it. Maybe next year we'll catch then in the act again.

Friday, July 3, 2020

One Of My favorite Scenes...

The scene--the part I videoed on my phone, that is--lasts 43 seconds. It's from the film, Field of Dreams, and it's near the end of the film, the pay-off from an hour and a half of twists and turns, mystery and a splash of the supernatural makes the scene all that much more powerful.

The scene where the camera dollies toward Archie "Moonlight" Graham, a.k.a. the fantastic Burt Lancaster, after he's been called out by Shoeless Joe me goosebumps every time I watch.

I've studied film, more than a history than anything, but I haven't studied too much the mechanics of filmmaking. Since filmmaking and cinematography are highly evolved art forms, I know there's specific reasons the scene was staged, was shot, was presented that way it was. For me, all that hard work succeeded to evoke a response, a powerful one.

There's so many amazing things found in Field of Dreams. I've focused on just one, one of many. If you're looking for a great film to watch this weekend, you can't lose with this one, and that scene before Moonlight disappears into the corn (sorry--spoiler alert...), is one of the best ever.