Sunday, June 30, 2013

Oh, The Places I Went...

I put a lot of miles on our cars over the past 30 days. Last night I drove to West Haven and I realized that it was the third time in the past month that I drove to Weber County. I then thought of all the places I visited in the month of June. I saw a lot of places, saw a lot of friends, and gained a lot of memories.

First, my nephew got married. Even though the ceremony took place in Salt Lake City (and I work daily in Salt Lake City...), it was still an amazing experience.

At the end of that week I packed up most of my family and we drove to Moab, Utah. If you haven't been, you need to go. I helped out a friend put on a triathlon. It was a blast!

On Father's Day I drove to North Ogden (an incredibly beautiful place...) and spent time with missionary friends that I've known for over 25 years. I wish I could spend more time with those wonderful people.

A week later we traveled to Draper, Utah and watched a friend perform in Annie. Tons of fun, and, once again, good memories.

This last week I did the most traveling. On Wednesday I drove to Ogden to help celebrate my friend and neighbor's retirement.

On Friday--just two days ago--I drove to Provo, Utah and spent an evening with complete strangers. I was invited to a night of dinner, treats and good conversation with other LDS bloggers. I had an amazing time. And the house was located directly across the street from the MTC--lots of memories came flooding back when I saw those buildings.

Which brings me to last night. We drove to a town west of Ogden so my kids could attend a cast party for the Shakespeare play they did in the spring.

In June 2013 I took and average of 30 pictures and videos a day, 897 in total, and I believe I blogged about almost all these trips. Adding up all the miles I put on our cars would hurt my brain so I won't do it. Even though I logged a lot of miles, it was worth it. I had a great month.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Oh, What Do You Do In The Summertime...

Oh, what do you do in the summertime, when all the world is hot?

Do you eat too much food,

Or spray and be rude, 

Or look at cool cars,

Or watch kids run hard,

Or talk to good friends,

As the summer day ends, 

And kids that are jumping high? Is that what you do, so do I. 

Thanks Morrisons for the great time tonight!

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Miracle That Is Lego...

I saw my son playing with Legos today. Did I join in on the fun with him? Did I curse the Danes that invented arguably one of the best toys ever developed by man as I walked over the Legos in my bare feet? Or did I look upon his activity as a childish exercise and leave him to his fun? No, I grabbed my camera and asked him to tell me about his creation.

I have written about Legos several times before. Growing up we didn't have a lot of Legos in our house--kind of pricy, if you know what I mean. But since I lived in Denmark for a couple of years I kind of fell in love with the small plastic toys.


I think Legos are simply amazing. They demand creativity if you give them a chance. Even though the more recent Lego sets require less of an imagination to create amazing things, the basic blocks are still there. My son made a boat and on the boat ninjas battled (or, by judging from the photographs, presented each other for Lego sacrifices...).

We don't buy as many Legos now as we used to, mostly because if the kids want more they need to buy them from their own earnings (not counting birthdays and other special occasions...). 

But I have to admit, when we walk down the Lego aisle at the store and I see those cool sets, if I had the means, I'd be buying them all. I hope my kids never outgrow that feeling. I know I haven't.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Danny Thompson, Happy Birthday...

You know those moments when you hear something or see something and it jolts your mind, like when you hear about a former boyfriend/girlfriend eloping with a carnival worker, or you find out a co-worker you used to work with passed away suddenly? Yesterday I had one of those moments and it began with a friend's Instagram post.

The post was of a photo collage of her father on his birthday. It was a bittersweet post because her father passed away, but she wanted to make sure she wished him a happy birthday and to tell him he was missed. I looked at the pictures of her dad, then I looked at him again, and I realized that my friend's father was Danny.

For those in the entertainment industry growing up in Utah in the 1980's, 90's, and early 2000's, you probably knew Danny Thompson. I first met Danny when I worked at Lagoon. Danny was a charter member in one of the most prestigious gigs in the state, Lagoon's Music USA. He could sing, dance, act, and was one of the funniest people I've ever met.

The thing about Danny is he made everyone feel like a million bucks, no matter if you were a fellow cast member, or just the guy who ran the lights. I remember wishing him well at the SLC airport when he left for a tour to Korea. I remember attending his mother's funeral. I remember my wife and I going to his wedding reception at the Lion House, and I remember seeing him at the Stadium of Fire entertaining tens of thousands of fans (and almost getting fried in the process...).

I also remember getting the terrible news that he died. He crashed his car and died due to complications in the hospital a few days later. It's been a while since I thought about Danny, but his daughter's post wishing him a happy birthday and feeling sad that he was no longer with us made me miss him all over again. 

 It's been almost 10 years since he passed away. For those of us lucky enough to know Danny will never forget his laugh, his crazy talent, and his insane driving skills (not necessarily in a good way...). His birthday was yesterday. Happy birthday, Danny. You are missed.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Hello, Goodbye...

Yesterday a new business opened downtown, a business catering to the sweet tooth in all of us. This morning we visited the establishment and everyone scared away from the crowds of yesterday showed up today (who themselves formed a large crowd...).

Working right next to a business building a shrine to coffee and doughnuts tests the patience of those in the area, including my co-workers. Finally, the chance to participate in the new experience has come and we indulged. 

As we said hello to one friend, we said goodbye to another. An early mentor in my career with my current employer decided to retire and I felt I had to attend his retirement party. The festivities went from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. I arrived after 3 p.m. and expected the room to be nearly empty. Nope--I was wrong. It was packed. Randy is a very popular person, one of the best bosses I've ever had. It's appropriate that so many people came to celebrate the good times and commiserate the fact he will no longer be part of our work family.

I saw old friends and witnessed a literal changing of the guard. The department is being run by younger and younger professionals. Randy represents the way it used to be. Thanks Randy for all your help over the years. May your retirement years be your best ever. Carry on, Mr. Randy!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Playing A Game With The Kids...

"Dad? Can you come play Headbands with us?" The kids found a game last year where you wear a band around your head and attached you place a card, a card with a mystery word printed on it. At least, it's a mystery to the card-wearer, but not to everyone else.

"Sure, just a moment," I told my youngest. I joined them after the cat moved and I was able to get up. The game is simple, or simple the way my kids play. We each take turns guessing our unknown word, or identity or person, place, or thing.

Of course, we are not the things printed on the cards showing outward to the world to judge. We are complex fascinating people with histories and stories of our own. We feel, we laugh, we share. And when one guesses correctly their word, the game ends and we all find out the words that eluded us.

I don't know how many more times my kids will ask me to join them in a game. I'd like to think they'll ask forever, but I know different. They'll grow and maybe they'll have kids of their own. And I hope when their kids ask them to play a game, they'll say yes, too.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Main Library In Salt Lake City...

There's a building in downtown SLC, a place that's worthy of holding the world's most precious items...books.

The building's located across the street from where I work and the other day I walked over with my camera. There is so much to see there, and I'm just talking about the building. You can find out more about the technical aspects of the place: HERE.

I spotted a staircase on the library's top floor and I decided to check it out. It takes you to the roof where you can leave the library and walk down a path on the top of the building. It also allows you to come as close as you'd want to a beehive. Cool!

We lived in SLC in the early 90's, long before they built this building. I ended up studying in the library a few times back in grad school--the library had wifi and the building where I worked did not.

I spent only about 15 minutes in the library the other day. I could have spent at least a week just taking pictures. If you're visiting our beautiful city, please stop by. You won't regret it.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Stella At The Coffee Shop...A Short Story


 Weekly Writing Prompt

This week's attempt took me a little longer than normal. There's a lot that can go on in a person's mind when put in this type of situation. I hope it's successful.

The rules are simple: The story must be related to the above picture and include the random words below. It must also be under 500 words. Most important, have fun and don't stress out. When you're done link your story to the blue link at the bottom of this site: HERE.

Random Words:

 Stella At The Coffee Shop

It wasn't the miracle of life-sustaining air-conditioning that caused Stella's hands to shake, nor was it the kick of caffeine in her mostly untouched orange mocha frappucino grande that made her was the e-mail she received 48-hours earlier.

Stella--it's your lucky day! Crescent Moon Dating Service has found what we believe is a perfect match for YOU! 

The message continued. The perfect match had a name, Todd. Stella knew a couple of Todds in her life, some were good guys, others were complete jerks. She hoped this latest incarnation of Todd was more the latter, but her luck attracted the former to her like moths to a flame. So much so, she could swear she had a "Jerk Magnet" imprint on her forehead. 

"No, I'm fine," Stella told the young barista as he asked if he could get her anything. He smiled and left. He was cute...probably a college kid. Definitely too young. Well, maybe...

Time passed and the 40-something woman began to worry. What if he doesn't show up? She told Todd, after accepting the date and agreeing on time and place to meet, that she'd be wearing a red silk blouse and he'd be wearing a red satin bow tie. She laughed when she read that. "Like Doctor Who," she said out loud to the only other occupant of her apartment, a cat named Riversong.

She scanned the coffee shop, her eyes searching the faces of strangers. She caught her reflection in a dark window and hoped her care-worn appearance didn't scare him away. A flush of embarrassment washed over her and she worried perspiration might show through her clothes.

This is stupid! she thought. He's going to hate me. I should get out of here as fast as I can, before he comes through the door. He's not here yet--I still have time, but I've got to hurry. 

But Stella remained, her fear of leaving overpowered her fear of the unknown. If I'm not going to leave, I might as well meet the challenge head-on. The moment her conviction solidified, Todd walked through the door.

Word Count: 356

Saturday, June 22, 2013

When I Was A Kid And Photos...

Man, I LOVE digital photography! Tonight I took so many pictures of the daisies that are growing in our front yard and I could have taken scores more. The cost? Some storage space and electricity. That's all.

As I get older I find myself thinking more and more about my dad. I thought about him as I took these pictures. And what do photographs of flowers have to do with my dad? Good question. My dad loved photography and I wonder what he would think of a camera with more technology in it than existed in the first moon lander, a camera that's available to anyone. He would have LOVED it!

Growing up adults would say to us kids that we lived in amazing times because when they were our age, they didn't have televisions or portable radios/cassette players, or other "modern" gadgets. When my mom was a child she remembers when the family got indoor plumbing and electricity to their home. Televisions and radios were the stuff of science fiction to them back then.

I never thought I'd be one of those people who could possibly say that things were so different when I was a child, but I definitely can. When I was a child we only had three TV channels, and I watched them on a television that my father built (told you he loved gadgets...). 

When I was a kid, once a movie left the movie theater, there was no way to see it again until it made its way to one of the three before-mentioned TV channels--no VCRs, no DVRs, nothing.

When I was a kid gas cost less than a dollar a gallon and I think it was even close to 50¢ a gallon.

And when I was a kid, we took photos using film, film that needed to be developed and you just prayed the pictures turned out. My, how times have changed...