Tuesday, June 30, 2015


A few days ago, I ate lunch at the Szechuan Express in Taylorsville. I ordered the garlic chicken and it was very good. I had driven past it many times and never eaten there in all of those years. The fortune in the fortune cookie said it all: “Adventure can be real happiness.”
I'm always up for an adventure. Adventures don't always turn out happy, but they are always interesting. Sometimes adventures are challenging. They tax us to our limits—mold our character, build our courage, and turn us into someone who is just a little bit different than we were before we embarked on the journey.
Adventure is part of life. There are two major ways we can approach adventure. The first is to try to have as little of it as possible. Sit down, don't move, never follow any urges or promptings, never do anything fun because it could possibly end in adventurous disaster.
The second approach is the way I prefer. And that's to embrace adventure with confidence and with curiosity. The great explorers all had this way about them. Accomplishment follows in the wake of this approach. Disaster can loom as well, but great adventurers learn to cope with disaster or die in the attempt.
I think of life as an adventure and always have. Though there are perils involved in life's adventures, those who learn to embrace them also open themselves up for a great deal of happiness. Like the fortune cookie said, “Adventure can be real happiness.” It can, and my take is that without it, you never truly find the happiness you seek. Embrace it.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Put this drug on your list of don't take it unless you have to

Metronidazole...one of the two antibiotics given for the relief of diverticulitis (the other being ciprofloxacin) . This drug is the one that has been making me sick to my stomach. I just took the last one. Another side effect of this drug is a sour taste in the mouth, accompanied by breath bad enough to knock a buzzard off a manure wagon. There are other side effects I don't care to discuss.

I'm so thankful that it's over.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Fitness? I'm still trying

I just ran a trial 5k on a treadmill and my time was 27:42. That's my fastest time in over a year. I've been sick with diverticulitis and the antibiotics that I'm taking to fight it, so that's saying a lot about my overall fitness level. My actual race is on the Fourth of July and I will have been off the drugs for five days--my last ones are tomorrow.
As I neared the end of my run today I remembered something about one of the drug's side effects. Cipro is one of the drugs and I remembered that one of the side effects is to more easily pull a muscle. I could feel one going in my right calf, but wanted to complete the trial run, so I pushed on. It's a bit sore, but it will mend, and since I'm going to be tapering off in preparation for the race, I don't anticipate any problems by race day.
I guess the bottom line is that if you're trying to stay fit, push on through temporary pain with lighter workouts and you can pretty much maintain a base line level of fitness. Then, when the opportunities arise--like today for me--see what you can do. You may surprise yourself.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

On being aware

On Monday, I was out delivering my mail and I saw a vehicle pulled over to the side of the road with its flashers on. It was very odd because it had only managed to get within about four feet of the curb, and there was someone inside. Also, it was in a neighborhood, not along some highway. I passed the vehicle and delivered to the next two houses, then decided to go back and check on the person in the van.
I looked inside and the guy in there did not look well. I tapped on the window. Groggily and staggeringly slow, he reached for the button to roll down the window. I asked him if he was okay--if he needed help. He was nearly incoherent in his response, but I made out that he'd been drinking the night before.
Here it was nearly ten o'clock, the temperatures already in the low eighties, and with his windows rolled up. If this man stayed here asleep during the heat of the day, he was going to die.
He looked like he was about to vomit on me, so I left him and drove up the street, did a few more deliveries, then stopped and made the phone call to the police. Either this guy was going to die, or he was going to try and drive, perhaps endangering others. I noticed a few minutes later that the police had arrived, and soon thereafter, paramedics and a fire truck.
It would have been nice for someone in that neighborhood to have been the ones to make the call, but I was probably the right person at the right time. I guess the moral of the story is to be aware of strange events in your communities and don't be afraid to report them. You may save someone's life. I don't know for sure if this man would have died, but it was the right thing to do--to report it.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Blasts from the past

I just had my second bout of diverticulitis, my first coming just a little over a month and a half ago. I'm not thrilled about being back on antibiotics. They make me sick. On the other hand, I'm not to keen on having to have part of my colon removed if it abscesses and walls off. I'd rather take the antibiotics and hope and pray that they work this time. Sometimes, these blasts from the past aren't good. I hope this is my last blast of diverticulitis ever.
That being said, the good Lord watches over us and I'm confident that I will mend and mend well. There is just too much to do to be under the weather for long. Besides, the drugs are doing their stuff and other than a little queasiness now and then, I'm feeling good and was able to do a lot of yard clean up yesterday, including discovering that my one blackberry plant I had thought was dead, had sent up new shoots--so I watered it, cleared away the Virginia Creeper that invades from over the fence and felt good about the whole darn thing.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Your Song

Elton John's Your Song is one of my favorite songs of all time. Here's an early version of it performed by a young Elton John in 1970.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Lake Blanche hike

I had the opportunity of hiking up to Lake Blanche, high in Utah's Wasatch Mountains yesterday. I've been there several times in the past, but this time I wanted to take my fishing pole. I had always seen fish jumping in the lake and it looked like a great opportunity to catch some trout.
Sadly, last year my telescoping rod had broken, so I had to take my two-piece rod with me, but it strapped on nicely to my day pack so it was no problem.
I started hiking at around 5:30 am. I was hoping to get some good pics of the sun hitting the peaks. Along the trail I saw a slug about five inches long crossing the trail. Here's a photo of it:
I took another shot of it beside my foot to show it's relative length, but when I put my foot down near it, it scrunched up a little--in protection mode, I think.

There was still quite a bit of snow up there on the peaks, because of the cooler weather we had up until recently.

The wild flowers were dazzling.

Then there's the lake itself, with Sun Dial Peak on the left behind it:
I tried the fishing and caught this little monster on the first cast:
It was about seven inches long. I caught another one even smaller. The fishing appeared to be good and I would have loved to have stayed longer, but after 45 minutes, I needed to get going. I'll need to go back and fish longer sometime, when I have someone with whom to shoot the breeze.

All in all it was a great day, with more fun throughout. A gem of a day indeed.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Back to the weight loss goal

A few weeks ago, I embarked on a plan to lower my body weight to 185. I began at around 192. Then, Ann got pneumonia and I spent a week with her at the hospital eating crap food from the cafeteria, or junk food from nearby restaurants. The week she got home was more of the same. This past week was the first week I've been able to do my full workout regimen all week in over a month. I weighed myself two days ago and I was at 192. The original goal was to lose the weight by July 1st. That doesn't look realistic any more, but now that I'm back at it, I'm still trying for it. Two days ago, I also ran a 28:17 5k on the treadmill, which is back at the shape I was in at the beginning of this weight-loss plan. Now if I have no other mishaps, my goal should happen by the end of July. I will still try for the first, but it doesn't appear likely.

All that being said, here's my before shot:
Look, I don't have any kind of shirt off shot to share with you, but if I reach my goal, I promise it (the after shot) will happen. It will be the first, last, and only time I will appear shirtless online. My only reason--to show you what can be done with an hour of exercise at least four times a week, and reasonable eating habits. Stay tuned.

Sharing the sunrise

This is what the sunrise looked like from my house this morning. This is actually just after its peak. I got sidetracked just before I was going to take the picture because Ann needed something.

Still, I think it's pretty awesome!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Who

I love this song. The Who--truly great in rock history.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Sky shots

I often find that I'm nowhere near a camera when amazing sunsets happen. Nowadays though, you can get pretty decent pics on most phones. I have a cheap phone and don't know how to use the camera on it, nor if it can be uploaded somewhere if I manage to figure out how to take a shot. For this reason, when I want to take photographs, I take real cameras. I personally believe that real cameras take real photographs and phones take snapshots. In reality, it's the person behind either one that can capture a good shot, or not.
I think my method for capturing great shots involves taking massive numbers of photos, then discarding 90 percent of them as not worthy of reproduction.
That being said, my wife Ann and I drove up near East Canyon, Utah last evening, intent on being there if the early evening sunset turned the sky to pink  and orange fire.
The sunset wasn't utterly amazing, but still, I think I was able to get some fairly decent shots.
East Canyon Reservoir at dusk

Looking back over my shoulder at the wispy clouds behind me
Mostly, those who capture the best sunsets and photos over all, spend a great deal of time out at the location from where they want to take the shot, waiting for the perfect shot. The rest of us just get lucky once in a while.

One final shot...

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

A Tub for Just Two

Today while doing my morning exercise, I ended up walking past the Taylorsville Municipal Pool. It wasn't open, but two unexpected guests had arrived early. Here they are:

I couldn't help but wondering if they had showered before they entered the pool. They seemed perfectly at home, their own natural oils protecting them from the chlorine in the water. Maybe they'll even get a massage after their morning swim. They did look fondly at one another. Here's another pic.
Ah, the life of a duck. It does have its appeal from time to time.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Park City the Best Town in America?

I just did a little research into Park City and found that in 2013, Outside Magazine named it as the best town in America.
Anyway, I trust Outside to like the same kinds of things I like. Here's the article: clickety-click
I'm not a drinking man per se, but there are some fabulous restaurants in Park City.
Of course, now that I found this preliminary list, I'll be searching for more things to do in Park City and its vicinity, but let me just say that if I was trying to decide between Park City and another place to relocate, like say, Boise, well, Park City would win hands down.