Thursday, February 29, 2024

Since It's Leap Year Day, I Must Blog About Bob's Vertical Challenge...It's Tradition

I don't know what it is about February 29th, but for the past three Leap Year Days I've blogged about an annual event from the last decade...

Bob's Vertical Challenge.

If you were fortunate enough to participate in non-profit events, they were a blast. Basically, teams of four skiers/snowboarders competed to see who could ski/snowboard the most vertical feet in a limited amount of time. The event was held at Snow Basin Ski Resort and proceeds went to benefit the Boy Scouts of America, Trapper Trails Council. Eventually, the event went the way of all the earth, but it was a lot of fun while it lasted.

I've blogged daily since 2011. On Leap Year Day 2012 I blogged about the Vertical Challenge. I completely forgot that I blogged about the event, so on Leap Year Day, 2016, I used the same photo from exactly four years earlier and blogged about the event again.

I did not realize this error until exactly four years later. On February 29, 2020, I decided to look at my blogging history to see what I blogged about on Leap year Day in 2012 and 2016. Turns out, it was the same thing. So, on 2/29/20 I blogged about the two previous Leap Year Day blog posts.

This leaves me no option as to this year's Leap Year Day blog post topic...

Gotta go with Bob's Vertical Challenge!

It was such an amazing event. Most took the day to be free from work and enjoy time on the slopes, but other teams really went for it. The amount of vertical feet skied/snowboarded by some of those teams was staggering. It raised a lot of money over the years for a good cause.

Happy Leap Year Day/Bob's Vertical Challenge Memorial Day everyone!

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

What A Difference Four Decades Can Make...

 I came across an add for a car. Well, parts of a car, in reality. It's true when you buy a car--any car--you're actually buying many parts that when put together, you get a car. The car I found online had car parts...just not enough for the thing to actually work as a car is intended to do.

What a difference time makes.

The fact that the grouping of car parts cost $500 is what really caught my attention. Any frequent readers of this blog know I'm a sucker for old Volkswagens, and that my first (and many cars after...) was a bug. We called it Greenie and it had tons of personality. It also had a working (somewhat...) engine, a functioning transmission and the ability to move under its own power.

Something the car I found online did not have.

No engine, no transmission, and little more than what you see in photo.

My first car and this car cost the same amount of money. Shocking, I know. Back then, $500 could get you a whole car, one that was legal to drive on the road. You could buy a lot of things for $500 back then. For example, $500 would pay for 1/3 of a year of college--unbelievable, I know. My friend took out a loan for his first car. $500 represented five payments.

I think those days are gone forever.

If I were handy, and had an extra VW engine and transmission and other car parts, $500 might be a good price for half a car that's more than five decades old. Then I could haul it to my house, put in under a tarp or in the garage and hopefully one day, set a goal to put it back together. Then I could say the same thing I said back in 1982..."Oh, this car? Yeah, it cost me $500."

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

It Was A Dark And Windy Night...

 One thing that surprised us when we moved north was the weather. You'd think that living only sixty or so miles up the road would not make that much of a difference, especially when on a clear day you can look south and see the mountain range on which we used to live.

But, it does.

It's much more windy up here.

Wind is a pain, and when it's cold--like last night--wind can be brutal. It is so windy here that on more than one occasion I seriously considered installing some energy-generating windmills. It seemed to always be blowing.

This year, however, things have settled down. I've not taken careful notice, but it seems we've had a kinder, gentler winter, at least, until last night. Last night things were more like what we're used to. The wind blew and blew. What little water that came with it froze to the side of our house. Luckily there wasn't a lot of moisture associated with it...if so, the roads would have turned to ice rinks. We sort of dodged a bullet this time.

I admit, it was cool touching the side of the house and feeling the frozen bumps attached to the siding.

As winter turns to spring, we'll have fewer and fewer of these storms this season. I do love the variety of weather we have in our state. Still, I thought the weather would be more, you know...the same.

Monday, February 26, 2024

I Have No Idea Who Made This...But I'm Sure There's A Story Behind It

 I admit, when I first saw the thing I laughed. It was, in a word, ridiculous. I've seen many apparatuses (or is it apparati...?) mounted on platforms, but I had to take a double-take when I spotted the red tricycle at our local thrift store.

It was one of a kind.

My wife spotted it, too. It was hard to miss, honestly. We even chatted about it after we left. I tried to make a joke, but my wife brought up the prospect that maybe someone built the thing for a special purpose...

Like, for a handicapped child.

That changed my perspective completely.

Then, the funny looking amalgamation of metal, plastic, and rubber became something else.

I did a quick internet search to see if this was mass-produced or a one-off. No matter what I entered into the search engine, I couldn't find anything that came even close to this thing. That, in and of itself, is unusual. It deepened the mystery.

When thrifting, you come across many strange things, things you may not quite understand. This piece is a prime example. There's got to be a story behind it...I just wonder what that story is...

I'll probably never know.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Give Thanks...Tuckered Out

 This afternoon, I woke up from a nap, a nap well-deserved after having family over. I glanced over at Bec the dog and this is what I saw...

A dog, tuckered out.

Boy, I understood how he felt.

For the first time in several weeks, we had the family over, son, daughter-in-law, daughter, son-in-law, boys, mother-in-law, and grandson. Our house grows smaller with each person who walks in door, but at the same time, it expands as each personality adds to the fabric of family.

As the door closes on the final visitor, the house once again resumes to a sense of normalcy. It becomes larger, quieter, but sadder as well. Such is life...we can only appreciate the good when faced with the bad, the companionship when it's gone.

I am a blessed man...of that there is no doubt. I'm thankful for the time with family, thankful that we all live (relatively...) close and that we're able to gather, break bread, and share/create memories.

Yes, when I look at the dog, tired and resting, I know how he feels for I feel the same...

And it's so worth it.

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Well...It Was Fun While It Lasted

I am a soccer fan, not a fanatic from which the word is derived, but I do like the game and I like watching the game. Last year Apple TV+ bought the rights to all Major League Soccer (MLS...) games. I remember a year ago looking at my phone wondering if it would be worth it to shell out the $$ to sign up for the season.

I knew I wasn't going to do it. It's hard to justify the cost. I'm a fan, but not that much of a fan. 

I was okay with the decision. Even when the MLS games were on broadcast TV and cable, I didn't watch them all the time. I knew I could live without the games. Then, something happened. Our phone carrier decided to give its subscribers the MLS season pass...

For free!

That's something I definitely support.

Maybe because it was free, I didn't take full advantage. I tried watching most of the Real Salt Lake games and I'd occasionally catch a game or two when RSL wasn't playing. I'm glad I had access to the games. It was fun.

Someone somewhere decided not to continue the perk. Yesterday was the last time I had access. As I write this, RSL is playing St Louis. My team may win, or they may lose (or tie...). The funny thing is, the outcome of the game is not based on whether or not I watch.

Good thing.

In the past six months, my watching habits have changed drastically. And that's a good thing. I should be doing other things with my time. I know that. Let's find out what those things are...

Shall we?

Friday, February 23, 2024

May I Never Tire Of The Skies...

 I thought where we once lived had the best skies...skies unparalleled by any others in the area. I felt this way for good reason. All a person had to do was look. We lived on the eastern slope of a mountain, to the west was an island surrounded by water (at least, it used to be...), and when the sun set over the island, it because pure magic. one's perspective hides things, hides opinions and truths and facts that are in plain site, but remain unseen, unknown.

Though I loved the views from the side of the hill, I didn't realize how restricted it was. We lived in an area where the mountainside curved and restricted views for much of the hillside and the valley. Add to the fact that decades and centuries old trees grew and diminished what we could see even more.

We moved...

And that made all the difference.

Now, instead of living on the eastern side of a mountain, we live on a northern side of a hill. We're not so elevated as we once were, but the views...oh, the views. Before the view was narrowed, now the sky explodes with clouds and blue from horizon to horizon. It's stunning.

I've taken so many pictures of the sky and the mountain range, they could become old hat, but for so many years, I saw beauty and appreciated it greatly. I'm doing to same now.

I hope I never tire of the skies.