Saturday, May 31, 2014

So...Should We Get Chickens?

We know so many people who raise chickens. We have neighbors with chicken coops, chicken pens,  and chicken runs. One neighbor even let six little chickens run loose around the neighborhood. 

The six baby chickens are now down to one almost full-grown chicken. We're pretty sure our cat got one of them. Like our next-door neighbor said, "It's just a matter of time before they're all gone." We've got so many critters where we live who just love chicken--even uncooked, freshly killed chickens.

There are, of course, many positives to having the birds around. Eggs and they eat bugs. Plus, when they stop laying eggs, you can fry them.

Okay, maybe there's not A LOT of positives, but tonight we attended a get-together with friends and they have chickens, fully enclosed in a very nice space. My two boys had a blast feeding them, teasing them (but only a little--sorry Biggers...), and just watching them.

I know things would change if we got chickens. They would be be responsible for them. Maybe after a few months of taking care of the modern-day dinosaurs, they might not think they're so "cute."

Will we get chickens and join our neighbors and friends in the upbringing and cultivation of poultry? Time will tell.

Friday, May 30, 2014

There's No Business Like Joe's Business...

...Like No Business I know.

It's that time of year, time to focus on life outside the house. Our place of choice, Joe's Greenhouse. 

Actually, it's now Wayne's Greenhouse.

Joe's is not the biggest, or the shiniest, you really need the biggest? Or the shiniest? More often than not, no.

It's not too late--there's still plenty of plants, flowers, vegetables and fruit trees that need good homes. So just get on the old road linking Kaysville and Layton and you'll see it, right across the street from the Diary Queen. You can reach their website: HERE.

Joe's Greenhouse--they'll treat you right.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Dan Wells' "Ruins,"...A Book Review

Ruins (Partials Sequence, #3)*

Today I finished Dan Wells' Ruins. Finishing this book also finishes Wells' Partials Sequence, a collection of three books.

This trilogy takes place almost sixty-or-so years in the future. The earth's survived (barely...) two devastating wars, one where humans created living organisms to fight for them, and the other, a war between these manufactured soldiers and the remaining human race.

Great set up for a series!

Because the soldiers, or partials, are sentient beings, they cannot be programmed to like robots, thus avoiding the Asimov Laws where the creations of man will not allow man to come to harm.

Forget about that! These partials are serious killers!

Each book raises the seriousness level, as you would expect. In the third book the well-developed characters face total annihilation, complete with "hand of God" weapons. Wells provides the characters (and by extension, the reader...) to contemplate philosophical dilemmas without being too preachy or heavy-handed. 

Caution! There is a love triangle, which helped to motivate the three characters throughout the series. I'm not necessarily opposed to love triangles in stories, but I spoke with a fan of dystopian literature and she said she hates them. I guess to each his--or her--own.

What I enjoyed the most of the series was Well's creation of what is called "The Link" between all partials. George Lucas created "The Force." Frank Herbert created a way for characters to use spoken words as a weapon. And Dan Wells created "The Link." Basically, it's a way for partials to communicate between each other, but it also contains a historical record, plus it's kind of like a Vulcan Mind Melt, but without doing that Vulcan palm-thing on another person's face. Really like the possibilities "The Link" gives to the story. Entire series could be written just on that theme alone.

I liked all the books. There were some slow times, as with most epics, but Wells took me to a believable world with believable characters. Well done, Dan!

* Photo used without permission from:

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

So, Math's Your Thing...?

Over the holiday weekend my family visited our local cemetery a couple of times. There's a lot of things you can learn taking a stroll in a cemetery, especially when you're with your kids. Of course, there's a lot of things you can learn from your kids--in a cemetery or not.

I learned my youngest son has some mad math skills.

Now, I'm not saying he's Rainman. And we haven't had him tested or anything like that, but as we walked around my son noticed almost immediately just how long people had lived.

"Wow!" he'd say. "He lived for 85 years!"

I'm not noticing those dates, at least at first. I'm looking at the differences in the headstones, the choices people made like some have carvings of birds, some have representations of their hobbies be it trucking, hunting, what have you. And in my town's cemetery, there are lots of representations of LDS temples.

I would eventually look at the dates that they had lived. Apparently, that's what my son saw first. He seemed drawn to those dates and was very interested in calculating the lifespans of those laid to rest. Like I said, I'm sure he's not the greatest mathematician, but it's something he seems comfortable doing, and doing in his head. I wonder where it will take him...

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Jeff Shaara's "The Steel Wave"...A Book Review


When looking for a book to read at the local library, sometimes (most times...), you're at the mercy of others. Meaning, if others have checked out a book you want to read, you've either got to wait for the book to become available, or select something that's available now.

Last week Jeff Shaara's The Steel Wave was available so I checked it out and finished it today.

When I checked it out I didn't realize in only a few days the 70th anniversary of the event in which the book is dedicated takes place. Had I realized how close we were to the anniversary, I might have even searched for a book on the D-Day invasion of France during WWII. I'm glad I checked this book out--there's so much I don't know about that war.

This is the second Shaara book I've read. The first, Gods and Generals, taught me so much about the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War, so much that I didn't know. I actually loved the book so I was excited to read this story.

If you've never read a Sharra book, it's a little different. The author takes real events involving real people, but takes liberties as to some of the things they say and emotions the characters may or may not have felt as they progress during the story. If you're okay with that, you'll enjoy the books more. During the Civil War story the way these things were presented didn't bother me so much. But in this book it proved distracting.

There are possibly hundreds if not thousands of books written about the D-Day Invasion and the impact that had on the war. This is the first one I've read and I believe it's a good place to start. If you like to have the story seem more like a "fictional" story, you'll like the way this book reads. I'm glad I chose it, especially with the anniversary coming up. I'll certainly understand better what happened those many years ago.

* Photo used without permission from:

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day, 2014...The Day In Pictures

Yesterday and today I spent a lot of time at our local cemetery. The names of many friends are etched in stone in that cemetery, including my parents. Today at noon our U.S. congressman, Chris Stewart spoke to veterans, their friends and families.

Once again, this will be a post of photos. It's mostly for me, so I can remember the day, the people who are most important in my life and the sacrifice many have made for us all.


Sunday, May 25, 2014

So, You Think My Job's Easy?...A Short Story

It's Weekly Writing Prompt Time

 I considered writing today's blog post on tomorrow's holiday. Tonight our family went to the cemetery and placed flowers on the graves of my parents.

Maybe I'll wait until tomorrow to blog about that.

It's time for a short story. And if you'd like to participate (because it's a LOT of fun!), here are the rules:

1) Use the photo and five required words in your story.
2) Keep your word count 500 words or less.
3) You have until next Tuesday night to link up your post.
4) Add your story (Blue Link) at Leanne's, Debb's, or Tena's websites.
5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow.

This week's five words are: 


And so, here's this week's story!

So, You Think My Job's Easy?

Since I finally had a moment to myself after months of getting ready for the season to begin, I decided to leave my office and check out the field. And a beautiful blue sky could only help.

So far, I was having a terrible day. Most people have NO idea how tough handling all PR issues for a major sports organization can be. I've spoken to so many college classes about the science that is Public Relations. The students--mostly the guys--think what I do would be so easy. I mean, how hard can it be? And (they never fail to remind me...), I get to rub shoulders with the athletes, heroes of children and adults alike.

But they have no idea.

No, the kids who are being pumped out of schools with dreams of 100K salaries right from the start might think twice once they hear the stories, the tales of horror, heartache and whoa. That's what I love most about talking to kids--letting them know it's not all fun with the games.

I tell them about how one fan filed a complaint with the state's Department of Health because the type of vegetable oil we used in our french fries wasn't "organic." 

I tell them how last year my PR team had to assemble in the middle of the night after our star forward injured himself by falling off a ladder at the home of a single woman who wasn't his wife. We had to be especially careful with that press release.

I tell them that if I had a nickle for every time I've heard about how much we overpaid for our starting goalie, I'd be able to retire. It doesn't help that his name happens to rhyme with "No Value."

Believe me, people have complained about the time our games start because it conflicts with their horoscopes, complained about the size of the parking lot spaces, the color of vanish we used on our ticket signs, and--one of my favorites--the entire sports franchise was almost done in by a laugh. One of our fast food vendors found a customer spilling beer all over himself extremely funny, so much so, he couldn't hold in a massive chuckle. He didn't know the man standing before him mad as hell and covered in beer was the commissioner of the league.

We ended up telling him we fired that employee. Actually, we just transferred him to a grounds keeping position.

No, a PR exec for a major league soccer organization isn't always fun, but on a day like today, with the sun warming my face and the team looking better than ever, it's pretty darn good.

Word Count: 456

Saturday, May 24, 2014

To Help A Friend...

Have you ever wondered what you would do if you could no longer financially support yourself or your family? Believe me, as I get older, I think about it more and more. Of course, it doesn't help that my work involves dealing with individuals facing major disabilities as well as nursing home care. 

Who would you turn to? Family, friends, strangers? My parents and grandparents are gone. I have in-laws who would help, and siblings. Still, even with the knowledge that there are people out there you could count on to help, it is a frightening thought.

A local writer is facing this very question. His name is Robison Wells. I met Robison for the first time last month at Comic Con, though I've known of him for years. I attended his book launch of years a few years ago (I blogged about it, too...) and I remember thinking, This guy's in such a great position! He'd just secured his first of a multi-book deal. He had worked hard to obtain a "regular job," even going to grad school. He'd gone through the ups and downs we all seem to experience and it looked like he was on his way up. Everything seemed to be coming up roses.

Then life happened.

Robison began to experience health problems, so much so, he was unable to write with any regularity. Being a writer as a family's main source of income is hard enough. Throw in health issues, and it's next to impossible.

That's where his friends stepped in. Writers attract other writers. You meet them at conferences and book signings. You "friend" and follow them on social media sites. You get to know them. Robison has some amazing friends. They assembled a book of short stories, donating their talents for one of their own.

They also started an Indegogo fundraiser (you can access the site: HERE) and tonight, they reached their goal. For a writer (or for anyone, really...) the perks were AMAZING! Oh, how I would have loved to buy a couple of those. I'm glad they reached their goal. It's something positive for one who's had a lot of negatives.

The book's titled Altered Perceptions and I'm really looking forward to reading it because I know the reason it exists is to help a friend.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Witnessed While Walking Home...

Every once in a while I'll use my camera to tell a story. That's what I'm doing for today's post. Yesterday my rehearsal ended early so while my wife and daughter stayed behind, I walked home and on my way, I snapped some pictures.

And here's some of what I saw.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Is Your Neighborhood Bicycle Shop...Loyal? Ours Is...

Walking home tonight I passed a loyal bicycle shop. How loyal was this particular shop?

It's actually in the name.

Situated between the downtown Mexican restaurant and a local barbershop (which I've written about both companies on this blog...) is a small shop that has, over the years, been the site of many different businesses. It's been a fast food joint, a flower shop, and an antique store, to name a few. You can "Like" their Facebook page: HERE.

Unfortunately, each of these businesses have not survived. But we're not dwelling on that here! Because this is a really cool place and I want it to survive!

Having a local bike shop is like having a local hardware store. Sometimes you just need some place  you can walk to to fix a bike. Sure, I could drive five or ten miles away to buy a tube to replace a flat or to replace a bike chain. Rejoice, oh ye people of Farmington! This is no longer the case!

For now there exists a place, a Loyal Cycle Company. Let's be loyal to them!