Thursday, May 31, 2012

Moor Conversation In Fog...


A Writing Challenge!

A fellow writer, Randy Lindsey (author in training... his website can be found: HERE), posted a short story for a weekly writing challenge he was entering. His delightful story intrigued me so I checked it out. It's creator is Nicole Pyles (her website's: HERE).

Here's the deal, the picture above is inspiration for the story. The story must be less than 500 words and include a number of randomly selected words, oh, and the story must be submitted by next Wednesday. This week's story must contain the words: File, Chair, Nest, Pirate, and Winner. I thought I'd give it a go, and here's the result. Enjoy!


Moor Conversation In Fog

    “I’m sure you know why I called you,” Peter said as the morning fog dissipated in the white light of morning.
    “I do,” Clark toned, his words dripping repulsion. “But why on earth did you want me to meet you in this hellish cold, and in a field of all places?” Peter's smile at Clark’s discomfort went unseen by the larger man.
    “I thought it appropriate, considering the circumstances. Did you bring the file?” The question almost made Clark’s heart stop beating in his barrel-sized chest. He knew, Clark thought—his worst
fears confirmed.
    “Uh, no…no I didn’t,” Clark finally said knowing he had lost, a winner no more. Any chance of Clark's plan succeeding disappeared as quickly as the particles of moisture rising in the warming air.
    Peter waited to speak allowing his rival to wallow in his self-imposed anguish. A crow cawed from the nearby sycamore, a tree whose leaves had yet to bud for the upcoming arboreal year.
    “I could go to the police,” Peter said finally as he stared across the expanse of the gray field before him. “You’re a pirate—a thief, and you know it. You stole corporate information from my company and you’re going to have to pay for the crime you…”
    “What?!” Clark exploded cutting off the smaller man and causing the crow to leap into the crisp air and fly away. “What are you going to do to me? Huh? The death penalty? You going to hang me—give me the electric chair, the firing squad? You don’t scare me, you silly little man.” Clark turned from his once best friend and took a few steps away from the rising morning light. He didn’t want to give Peter the satisfaction of seeing him livid, seeing his fists shaking, seeing his teeth grind together, catching him in his lie.
    “No,” Peter whispered looking down. “I won't do that...I won’t.” Though Clark stood several paces away, Peter’s weak words were clearly heard as they pierced the cool morning air. “Just bring the file back to the office and that will be the end of it.” Peter’s head remained down with the realization that his moment of revenge lacked the anticipated feeling of euphoria he desperately sought and was replaced with sorrow as he faced the fact that his friendship he once held dear was forever dead.
    The two men looked at each other. Clark said nothing, but only nodded and began to walk away. As Clark left Peter stood alone, consumed by his thoughts, the sun rose in the east. No one noticed the crow return to the sycamore tree carrying a twig, a twig the black bird needed as it continued building its nest high in the tree that neither man knew was even there.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Do You Remember What You Did On 30 May, 1977? I Do...

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Memorial Day, 1977

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I don't remember a lot of specific days of my youth. I did not keep a daily journal back then as I do now. I don't remember a lot of specific days since keeping a daily journal but the advantage I have now is I can go back and read what happened.

I DO remember Monday, 30 May, 1977 because it was Memorial Day and it was the day I saw Star Wars for the first time.

Some friends, I think the Wood brothers and maybe Scott Schriver (but I'm not sure about that...) were bored and thinking of doing something fun. School was almost over for the year and we had the day off. We heard that one of our teachers at school had seen Star Wars. He said it was pretty good. The teacher said it was kind of like an old western movie. I remember we thought about not going, or seeing something else...I can't believe we actually considered passing on the film.

Eventually we decided to give the film a chance. This was before the internet and even before cable television. We didn't read movie reviews. We knew nothing of the film. Back then a film's quality was spread by word of mouth and the film was so new, all we had was a few words from a teacher at school.

We took the Route 70 bus to Salt Lake City to the Centre Theater on 3rd South and State. I remember standing in line behind not a lot of people--maybe 50, or so. As we waited for the next show to start we chatted and did the things pre-teenagers did while waiting in line. No one, and I mean NO ONE would have dared dressed up in a costume. There were pictures from the film up on the walls outside the theater and I keep looking at those pictures. I remember one picture specifically, of the Millennium Falcon, and I kept thinking that the ship looked like some sort of train or monorail by the way it curved around the ship as it did.

You may be asking why I remember all these details so clearly and my answer is this: because the film was SO FRICKIN GREAT!!! I remember sitting in that theater, a theater that no longer exists, and being completely blown away! It was the most amazing film I had ever seen and I don't think that theatrical experience for me has ever been eclipsed--maybe seeing Les Miserables in London--that comes close. We left the theater and our feet never touched the ground. We talked about the film as we waited for the Route 70 bus to take us home. We talked about the film while we rode the bus home, and I'm sure we bragged up the film to everyone and anyone who would listen once we got home.

Monday, 30 May 1977--35 years ago today. I remember the day very well, a day I hope I never forget...

*Picture used without permission from: http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/827
#Picture used without permission from: http://rooksjeff.tumblr.com/post/5192075062/star-wars-theatrical-style-a-by-tom-jung-circa

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Farewell Recital...


When she plays she has to shift on the piano bench because she can't reach the low octaves and the high octaves at the same time. And yet, those short fingers somehow reach all the notes from the pieces of music she's memorized for her recital.


Our daughter participated in the last recital she (and her older brother...) will attend with her piano teacher. The teacher, who has been a blessing for our family, is moving and so this recital was a way of saying "goodbye" for teacher and students alike.


Since her grandparents missed her first song, she played the number again for them. With the pressure of all those eyes watching her earlier, she said she played better for my wife's parents (I think she did wonderfully both times...). My son watched as his sister played. Had my youngest the opportunity, this piano teacher would have taught him too.


She finished the mini-mini-concert and we applauded. My biased opinion I have of her skills is evident as I recall the recital. She really is pretty good. It was a fun night.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Our Memorial Day Tradition...Washing Cars


My in-laws have a tradition for Memorial Day. They wash their cars, but not just pull them up on the lawn and hose them down. They do it right--clean inside and out. For years my family joined the in-laws in this tradition, but then we stopped (possibly after the blue GMC Suburban fiasco...). This year we decided to join them again.


Our cars needed a good bath. We've got four kids and four kids can turn a relatively clean car into a mess rather quickly. The in-laws vehicles were finished first, then the van and then my little car. While we cleaned them we also tried fixing little things that can get broken or need attention in a car.


Why are the kids playing with the hose? We have rubber car mats in the van and they needed washing. The mats and the kids were soaked. I don't think the kids needed washing, but can you really stop them? The umbrellas we keep in the van were put to good use.

  

 

 


Eventually, all the cars were cleaned and ready for the summer. And since we no longer have the blue Suburban, there's a good chance we'll be back again next year.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

It's All About Family...


It's All About Family


The family used to get together (or try, at least...) once a month. We'd take turns hopping from house to house and have Sunday dinner. And we did pretty good for the first year after my mom passed away. The goal--to stay in touch--was an admirable one. My mom didn't want us to drift away like a lot of families do when their parents are gone.


After that first year, we kind of stopped the monthly dinners. I don't think it was one family's fault that we stopped meeting. If anything it was life and the fact that each of our families have evolved and gotten busy. In the past five years one family has gone from having two teenagers to having none. Another family has gone from having no teenagers to having two. And the other family had two kids move out and one moved back.


Memorial Day for the Taylors means meeting at the cemetery. We met yearly when it was just my father's memory we honored at the incredibly beautiful cemetery. Now we honor two and are blessed beyond measure to be included in this family and carry the name of Taylor.

 

Hopefully we can carry on the tradition. In the next five years some of my siblings could be grandparents (maybe even me, but that would be pushing things...). I'm sure there will be a lot of changes as the last five years have shown. Memorial Day is to honor those who have passed (generally) and those who have fallen and fought for our right to be together as a family (specifically). In the end, it's all about family.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Writing On The Hospital Wall...


Occasionally at work we walk over the the hospital for a break or for lunch. We've found it's an inexpensive option for food that's pretty good. And, occasionally, we exit the hospital through the back door. Last week, as I waited for my co-workers to get their lunch, I saw a brick wall half hidden by boxes and other items. On several bricks were written names.

Since the wall can't talk, I can only imagine these are the names of people that have either arrived at the hospital to work or left the hospital for other options. I'd guess it's the latter. A hospital is a strange place. There are few buildings built where people enter the buildings alive and leave dead.

The people came to the building and wrote their names on bricks. There's probably a thousand stories the names on these bricks could tell of people and situations and events, and I'm sure for each name on each brick, someone's life was changed forever, and most likely, for the better.

Friday, May 25, 2012

My Own Private Airshow...


Officially I've attended one airshow, a few years ago in Wendover, Utah. My friend helps organize the event and it was a lot of fun. For the past two days, I've had the opportunity to watch my very own personal airshow. Of course, there's a few glitches to these airshows. One, the airshows were going on while I was at work, and Two, I was at work with a big non-transparent roof above my head.


I should include at this point that these airshows were not "official." For the past two days my office has been bombarded with the sound of military jets. The jets, F-16's all with the same black bird painted underneath, are the U.S. Air Force elite flying unit.

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Today, amidst the roar of the engines, I ran over to the window and tried my best to capture the jets as they screamed by. Sometimes when I wanted a snapshot, the camera was on video, and vice versa... That's they way it goes with a personal airshow. You've got to be ready for anything.


This Memorial Day weekend those same incredible planes and even more incredible pilots and ground crews are going to be putting on a real airshow for the paying populous at Hill Air Force. That crowd will have better seats and better views and take much better pictures. But it will be hard to beat the view I had today, watching jets in the sky with a show that seemed to be just for me.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Museum Better Than Perfect...


THE NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM 
OF UTAH
Salt Lake City, Utah


We took my youngest to the newly opened Natural History Museum of Utah. I was a little worried he might get bored. I was wrong.


I had heard about building and how amazing it was. I was unprepared for just how amazing it actually turned out to be. It is, in a word, impressive.


Joining us on our journey of discovery was a couple of school bus loads of middle grade students. Even with the numerous children running around, I never felt crowded.


Different levels separated the various displays and the patrons make their way up from one level to the next. The dinosaurs were incredible.


And the museum unearthed another discovery, the long-lost art of couch-surfing.

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 I thought my son might be bored by the museum. He was overwhelmed by the experience. As we left the building and headed to our car, he turned to me and his grandmother and said, "that museum was better than perfect." Son, I agree...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Kelly, The Music Man...


At the dress rehearsal Kelly told us he was getting over a cold, but not to worry because he was getting better. He did, however, ask for blessings to come his way. He then told us why he does what he does and why doing a great show was so important to him. He relayed a story of when he sat in an audience and experienced a life-changing event. I don’t know about the other performers, but I definitely understood what he felt. I’ve felt it too.

Last night at the concert Kelly stood before an auditorium full of friends and family and apologized (something he did to the performers an hour before…) but in the end he entertained like a pro. He did a fabulous job. I’ve known Kelly for only a few months. I knew I liked him when he mentioned that he mentored under a man who I greatly admire, Dr. Ed Thompson, the man for whom the venue in which we sang last night is named.


Those of us who enjoy not only watching musical theater but participating in it, the combination of music and dialogue and dancing creates an experience like none other and Kelly brought that feeling to me as a member of a choir, something I don’t know if I’ve ever felt before while singing in a choir.

I watched Kelly last night bring out the best in us and make us better than we thought we could be. A good leader (which is what a conductor is…) must first love and believe in what he or she is doing. Only then can they transfer that passion to those who follow. And if those who follow are willing, the results can be unbelievable. Kelly, you made us believe in you. We prayed for you, we excelled with you, and we would follow you to the ends of the earth. Thank you Music Man!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Best Way To Learn To Ride A Bike...Use A Scooter!


I remember learning to ride a bike as a kid and I remember having to use training wheels--they're like the braces on your teeth, but for your bike. I hated training wheels and I was so glad the day we took them off and I never had to relay on them again.

Years ago my oldest son got a bike when he was fairly little. It was a bike his cousins outgrew. He had a tough time learning to keep his balance on the bike--pretty much a "must know" to be able to ride. He got it after a while. A few years later our next two kids were of the age to get bikes. Around the same time, we bought a couple of razor scooters and soon the kids were zipping around the street on the scooters.

Then a funny thing happened. When the kids had mastered the scooters, they hopped on their bikes sans training wheels and they could ride. There was no running behind the bikes by dad with the younger kids. They had learned balance on the scooters and without even thinking about it, they could ride their bikes.


And now our youngest son is of the age where he wants to bike around. We picked up a used bike that fits him, but we don't have any training wheels. So for the past few days we've been taking the scooters out and learning balance. He will validate (or destroy...) my "use-a-scooter-to-learn-how-to-ride-a-bike" theory. We'll see what happens.

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Go Fish...


My youngest asked me if I wanted to play Go Fish today, and after repeated requests, I said yes (actually, it was only two requests...).


Playing Go Fish with my son is an interesting experience. He brags each time he gets a "book" of cards and tells me I'm cruel whenever I successfully call out a card that he has (I'm extra cruel when I collect a book after taking a card from him...) "You're cruel," he says. At first I thought he was saying I was cool, and I thought, "My son thinks his dad is cool." Nope.


About halfway through the game my son began to place his unbooked cards in piles according the the card number. Basically this means I can't look anywhere in his general direction while we play the game or else I would know pretty much every card he has (of course, when there's only two playing, I pretty much knew anyway...).


He may ask me to play again tomorrow. Go fish, young man. Go fish!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Incredible Not Quite Total Eclipse...


We thought about packing up the kids and driving five hours south each way to be "in the path" of a total eclipse, but decided against it. We couldn't secure any viewing glasses, anyway. And since we decided to stay put, we thought our views of the eclipse would be less than spectacular. We were wrong. We had a blast seeing what we saw.

 

There will be literally millions of pictures of the eclipse posted online and many will be jaw-dropping, eye-popping spectacular. These descriptive adjectives probably won't be attached to my pictures, but then again, I don't really care about that. What I enjoyed most was experiencing the event with the family.


There's something incredible about an eclipse. It makes us realize we're all human to see these heavenly bodies in motion, events no human could in any way affect. It was amazing to look at that piece of white paper and realize the celestial events occurring above. A large cloud floated lazily overhead and blocked much of the eclipse. Through the clouds we could safely see the fingernail sun and that was very cool.


In my 40+ years I've only seen one other eclipse in my life and that too was a partial. Now my kids have seen half the eclipses (or eclipsi...) that I've seen. Good for them. Thanks mom and dad-in-law for use of the binoculars and telescope. It made for something special.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Good Saturday...

 


A Good Saturday


I wake up before 6:30am every workday. It's no big deal, but getting up that early on Saturday, that's another matter. By 7am we were on the road and headed for the county down south. We had a great time.


Some kids play baseball and football and most play soccer. If they get good, you invest more time and money in their development. Why do we do this? Is that neighbor kid going to make it an become a professional baseball player? The odds aren't good. But almost everyone who makes it to the big leagues begins that way.


Today my daughter stood on the podium and we cheered. My mom once told my wife that there are things you do for your kids you wouldn't normally do (that's how we ended up with a dog...). Why do we spend the time and money in their development?  The pictures say it all.


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