Monday, July 26, 2010

Old Book, New Book #21: A Swiftly Tilting Planet -> The Lost City of Z

Swiftly Tilting Planet

A Swiftly Tilting Planet was the main reason I started reading Madeline L'Engle's Wrinkle in Time series again. I always remembered thinking it was cool when I'd read it as a kid but that maybe I didn't quite understand it all. But I didn't want to just read that one again without re-reading the others in the series leading it up to it, for fear that I'd miss some of the details. Anyway, turns out that I do still like A Swiftly Tilting Planet better than A Wrinkle in Time or A Wind in the Door. I enjoyed the time travel theme and the interwoven storylines of two families linked throughout that timeline. It was also interesting to discover (since I didn't really remember this detail from before) that the dictator in the book (Mad Dog Branzillo) hails from a fictional republic in Patagonia (Vespugia) where I served my mission and that some of the story deals with the idea of Welsh settlers going to Patagonia, which is something that actually happened. There's a town named Gaiman in the province Chubut that was founded by Welsh settlers and has a famous tea house where princess Di visited at least once. I never actually went to Gaiman, but there is a branch of the church there. Anyway, I found that detail interesting.

I finished A Swiftly Tilting Planet about a week ago, and since then when I've had time to read, I've had to settle for a couple issues of ESPN the Magazine that I had laying around and hadn't gotten around to digging through. (About a year ago, I got a 2 year subscription for $7). Mainly because I wasn't sure what I wanted to read next. I know there are two more Wrinkle in Time books, once of which I've read before (Many Waters). But I guess I thought it might be a nice time for a change. Finally, I decided to read a book that I'd bought my dad for Father's Day a year or two ago: "The Lost City of Z". I know it's a little strange that I would buy him a book that I personally have not read, but I'd heard good things about it, and it seemed like one he would like. He did like and has since recommended it to me, so when my family came into town on Friday for the holiday, I asked him to bring it. It's a true story about explorers searching in the Amazon in the 20th century for a lost civilization. And also, apparently, the author got caught up in the search as well, so it includes the stories of explorers from the early part of the century as well as the author himself searching the Amazon for this lost city.

Lost City of Z

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sometimes I just want to share some photos

There is probably text that could/should accompany some of these, but I just wanted to share some fun photos today.





Thursday, July 15, 2010

You can't be your best, you can't be your best...

i-i-i-i-f you don't eat a good breakfast.

Or so I was taught by the commercials that came on when I was watching Saturday morning cartoons. Something about a kid playing baseball and having to make a big catch. And I don't remember whether or not he caught the ball or not. Probably yes, because who makes a commercial about eating breakfast that has a tragic ending? Drug abuse, sure, but breakfast? Probably not so much.

Anyway, I'm writing to extol the virtues of working at a hospital, where I get breakfast nearly every morning at the cafeteria. And nearly every morning that I get my breakfast from the cafeteria, I get the same thing: An omelet with just about everything (ham, mushrooms, green peppers, tomatos, onions, cheese) but olives, and usually 2 biscuits with gravy. I know that sounds like a lot, and it probably is. But it also sustains me throughout the day. I can eat that, and then just have a relatively small lunch: usually a sandwich or something, with no sides, and even eat a reasonably-sized dinner. All because I got a nice hearty breakfast in me. The days that the master omeleteer (Debbie) is out, and I opt to not get one because the other cooks generally leave them undercooked and runny, my day goes some much less smooth. Who knows if this is healthy or not, but it seems to work pretty well for keeping my blood sugar under control, which is pretty much my #1 health priority these days.

Anyway, I generally wake up hungry and getting breakfast first thing when I get to work is definitely one of the highlights of my day.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Summa summa summa time

Sometimes I don't blog because I don't have anything going on. Other times, like now, it seems like there's been so much going on that I'm not entirely sure where to start. I've got a few pictures from various recent happenings that I can share, but they don't entirely cover everything either. Anyway, here's some catch up on some of what's been going on lately.

One highlight of June was having George in town with his family. His family is still in town, but he's since moved on to Hawaii, getting started with work while his family waits here since their belongings are somewhere in the middle of the ocean. Father's Day we had everyone over at the house, and it was a great time playing with the little ones.

Family - June 2010 012

Family - June 2010 010
Elise doing flips

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Austin and Elise on the slide

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Natalie and Lulu

The next week, it was my dad's work Lagoon Day, and Meili and her daughter came with me. I got to ride some kiddie rides for the first time in a long time (and actually found Oddyssea to be pretty enjoyable), and also rode Wild Mouse about 6 times and Colossus probably 4 or 5 times.

June 2010 - Lagoon 003
Riding Puff with Lucy

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Grandkids at lunch. What's Austin doing?

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Oh. He's pushing cheese through the holes in the table. :)

June 2010 - Lagoon 021
Funny faces on the Sky Ride

My 4th of July weekend was also full of fun stuff. Friday night, Meili took me out and among other things took me up to the Mount Olivet cemetery across the street from Rice Eccles Stadium at the U. I've driven past it hundreds of times, but never actually been in to look around. There are a lot of interesting things in there. Lots of old graves, and lots of elaborate markers. Lots of obelisks, lots of masonic symbols, even a few cool mausoleums.

3rd of July 2010 001
Yes, she brought me flowers. And you can't see it in this photo, but since we don't own a vase, they're in a big plastic Del Taco cup. :)

Saturday, we got up and went out to Grantsville for the 4th of July parade, followed by a delicious BBQ lunch (chicken, steaks, ribs, corn on the cob, grilled vegetables, etc) with my family. Kimi even brought the kids over to play for a bit. Its always pleasing when Elise wants to sit with me, and Austin greets me with the "Ooo-Rah!" arm wave that I started doing with him in the car back at Christmas time when he was barely 1.

3rd of July 2010 009
If "floats" in your parade include a beat up car with a huge lift, you might be in Grantsville.

Austin was climbing up on the couch and then "jumping" about 2 inches down, and was so pleased with himself that I just had to start filming.

Monday, Meili invited me to join her sister's family boating up at Jordanelle. The water was pretty chilly, but once you got in, it wasn't too bad. I took a turn at knee-boarding (a first for me) before lunch, and then after lunch was the first one out on the tube. I did my best to keep reapplying sunscreen (despite Meili's mocking) and in the end came away with only a few mild sunburns, so definitely a good day for me.

Oh, and in the midst of all this, I got my new home computer up and running and replaced my old one. I thought I might be able to use the old monitor and get a dual-screen setup going, but there's not really much space on my desk, so I might have to just settle for 21 inches of widescreen goodness for now.

Coming up this weekend, I'm going down to St. George with about 10 friends in kind of repeat of last year's trip, and then the weekend after I'll be going camping up at Lava Hot Springs. So, plenty of stuff going on these days.