Thursday, August 21, 2014

Still Geek-ed Out By Technology...The Peter Pan YouTube Video

 When I consider the the technology of today, I can't help but think about how my dad would have LOVED to be living right now. From the stories I've heard, he was a "techie" before there was a term. I mean, the man built our TV, for crying out loud.

And when I think about just how much of impact one person with a phone and a computer can have on the entire planet, it's overwhelming.

So, what does this have to do with pictures of Captain Hook, Smee, and pirates? Our local theater is putting on Peter Pan and a few of the actors got together and in a few hours using an smartphone and a computer, created three little stories/advertisements.

You should watch the YouTube video! The link is: HERE. I thought they had used a nice camera (not that cameras on phones these days aren't nice...), but I was surprised when I found out they filmed it all on a phone.

If my dad were around today, I think he'd absolutely love what can be done!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ken Sanders...A Rare Book Store

Maybe it’s because bookstores are disappearing off the face of the earth, but when I come across a used bookstore, some of them resemble an abandoned church, or a place of worship that’s fallen in need of repair. Last week I visited such a building, a temple of knowledge.

Just off of State Street in downtown Salt Lake City you’ll find Ken Sander’s Bookstore. It's a rare find for rare books. The place is packed with literature, and other oddities. You walk the aisles and books seem to be so packed together, you fear the my spring from the shelves.

I picked up a Zane Grey book, not the ones printed in the 1920s and 1930s (those were too expensive...), but a newer one. I've never read a Zane Grey novel so now's my chance.

If you're in downtown Salt Lake, to go to 2nd East between 2nd South and 3rd South--you'll see it. But, I've heard that they might have to move, so you'd better hurry!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Beginning of..."The Compassionate"


Sometimes there's a story sitting somewhere in your brain that keep gnawing at you, bugging you until you pull out the computer and start typing. I have a problem that there's a lot of these little stories currently in my mind. This afternoon I decided to start on on of them. 

What will happen with this? I have no idea. But I do need to start a new project. Here's the first couple of hundred words.

The Compassionate

Jason turned to face the quiet monitor as he waited for the alert he knew was coming. After all, in a city of four million people some of then had to have died overnight. Jason didn’t receive notifications of every death in the city; his were narrowed to a specific group. He was not notified of murders, of suicides or the death of any child.

Actually, if the victim were under the age of sixty-five, the alert would be routed to someone else. No, Jason’s assignment—his job—was to deal with the passing of the aged, a job that was practically non-existent in the modern world in which Jason lived.
He finished his breakfast, a mixture of soybean and nuts at the kitchen counter of his small downtown Boise apartment. Through the walls Jason heard the electronic existence of his neighbors. The air around Jason lacked the external noise of a world fighting for recognition. To his knowledge, Jason was the only one who chose to live pretty much digital-free, his only piece of electronic communications equipment (aside from his phone) was his home’s Comm unit, and the only reason he had one of those was because the law required it.

A pleasant ping echoed in the small room (that tripled as his kitchen, dining room and living room) notifying the occupant of his next job.

“Please identify,” the computerized woman’s voice spoke its gentle order as the screen on the Comm fired up.

“Jason Tipton,” the twenty-seven year old said as he finished his meal. After a pause the machine responded.

“Jason. You have a 10 a.m. appointment to meet with the family of Karl Preston at 145 S Sycamore Drive. Directions from your location have been downloaded to your phone. Mr. Preston expired at 2:37 a.m. this morning. Please notify your superior if you have any questions and/or concerns.”

The voice died and the screen shut off allowing Jason to see his reflection in the darkened glass.

“10 a.m.,” he said to no one. “They must be anxious to meet with me. I wonder how much money’s on the line with this one?” And the location, Jason thought. That’s not a senior facility. After working five years as an End Of Life Compassionate, he knew every location that housed the elderly in the city. It had been years since he got a call from a private residence. Suddenly his “normal” workday was becoming anything but.

* Photo used without permission from:

Monday, August 18, 2014

Did You Know There Were Two Red Iguanas?

There are always a few places to eat that rise above the rest. Where I live, one of these restaurants is The Red Iguana. I’ve blogged about this particular eatery before, but it wasn’t until today that I learned there are not one, but two restaurants bearing that name. Today I had lunch with my department at The Red Iguana 2.

The place is great, with stellar service and wonderful food, at least the Chile Verde Platter I had was delicious! We gathered to wish our current boss on her new adventure and to welcome her replacement. If you've been to the other Red Iguana, this place lis arranged quite different. It's an open space, a single room. Of course, if you're hungry, the space doesn't matter that much.

I don’t know how long The Red Iguana 2 has been around, but I’m pretty sure that the people waiting in line for a table at The Red Iguana 1 probably don’t know there’s another fantastic restaurant serving the same food only a block and a half away.

And where else can you enjoy delicious food all under the watchful eye of Salvador Dali?

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Here You Go, Chris--Pictures Of Our Little Gracie...

I ran into my neighbor at church today and she complimented me on some of the pictures I've posted over the days, months and years. But, she told me I needed more pictures of one particular thing.


Several years ago I visited my neighbor around Christmas time and I noticed a black and white longhair cat sitting on her front porch. It was night and it was December and I hoped the cat was warm enough. When I asked her about the cat (because I knew she had cats that lived inside her house...), she told me that the cat was a stray and it showed up on their porch about two weeks earlier. Since she didn't know anything about the cat, they set up a little bed outside and began feeding her, but they didn't feel they could allow her inside. She was worried about her other cats.

It just so happened that within a few days the family did something we hardly ever do--we went to a local pet store on a Saturday when they were doing cat adoptions. Since we already had a cat, the thought of getting another cat never entered my mind.

Until we went to the pet store. It was then I considered adopting Gracie, the cat currently residing outside at my friend's house. And so, we adopted Gracie and gave her a home. Several hundred dollars and a complete buzz haircut later, she became our second cat.

I like taking pictures of Gracie. Her white, carmel and black colors are beautiful and lend well to the camera's eye.

So, Chris--here's some pictures I took of Gracie today. Hope you like them!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

To Jim, On His Birthday...


When you write a daily blog, it's difficult to stay uni-topical, at least it is for me. So to fill the digital pages of this blog, I write about several things, photography, writing, my family, my day job (though, I try to avoid writing about that subject--it may be too exciting for some audiences...), and other things I find interesting.

Occasionally, I write about people that I admire, sometimes my friends, sometimes not, but always people I respect and in some way deserve recognition. You might think writing about people you admire would be easy, a simple exercise in putting how you feel on the blog. And sometimes it is--the words flow.

But, there are times when the thought of writing about a particular person makes me a little nervous, which brings me to Jim Christian.

Now, it's not that Jim makes me nervous, far from it (except, of course, when I haven't studied my script, blocking, or choreography...). But the thought of choosing the right words to describe him seems daunting. However, since to day is his birthday, it's about as good a time as ever to write about my friend.  

I borrowed the first picture from the Centerpoint Legacy Theatre's website. The show he directed and which I am a cast member, Peter Pan, is currently playing. Jim's directed a lot of shows at various theaters across the state and country.

But more importantly, he's directed a lot of people. I spoke with a cast member at the show last night who said Jim directed her in a show when she was in high school. The experience changed her life. She decided to apply for and ultimately complete a degree in the arts at Weber State University where Jim is the Director of Music Theater Studies. Everyone who knows Jim (at least, everyone I know...) has a story about the man and the effect he's had on their life. I first met him back in 2000 when he was the musical director of the first show I did at the old Rodger's Memorial Theatre. Since then I've been in several of Jim's shows and I've never regretted a single minute doing it.

The above picture is so appropriate because he is a director. He directs more than shows, he directs people. He sees something in us that we might now see in ourselves. He teaches us to be not just the best actors and performers we can be, but the best people we can be. 

Today Jim spent his birthday with loved ones in a hallowed place. Pictures of his day were posted on social media and we all shared in his joy. That's the effect he has on people; he brings out the joy in us and makes us want to share it with the world. 

Happy birthday, great a director and performer, he's an even better person. Here's to many, many more!

Top photo used without permission from Centerpoint Legacy Theatre website. Bottom photo used without permission from Jim's Facebook account. Both photos can and will be removed if asked to do so.

Friday, August 15, 2014

I Can See Clearly Now...

A few weeks ago I attended Salt City Steamfest. It cost me my time and a pair of glasses. Actually, it was a LOT of fun and I met some amazing people including many associated with Xchyler Publishing—the greatest small publishing press in the nation!

But, I had to sacrifice something, I guess, and that something was my eye glasses. This week I picked up my new pair.

I haven’t been to the eye doctor in years. I knew my prescription had changed so losing my glasses wasn’t so bad. It was time to get things checked again. So I made an appointment with my fellow Dear Ol’ Davis High School alum and last Saturday had my check-up.

One cool thing I tried at this appointment that I’ve never done before was try and take pictures of the frames and send them to my wife. Sending the pictures went great. The problem was, the difference in frames was so slight, they all looked the same.

The funny thing about this eye check-up was a push for the corrective lens surgery. I got hit with the pitch when I made my appointment over the phone, and when they checked me in and when I spoke to the doctor. I guess that’s considered a up-sale. Interestingly enough, however, when the salesman helped me choose a pair of frames, I was torn between Pair A, and Pair B which cost $80 more. Being as cheap as I am, I naturally wanted Pair A but felt Pair B looked better. The salesman said Pair A looked good, “a good choice,” he said. So, they lost out on $80 (I hope I don’t get him in trouble…).

And when it’s all said and done, I got a new pair of glasses. I hope the upcoming conventions do not require them as payment.