Monday, June 30, 2008

OK...Lets See What You Got!! Bring It!!

63 words

Speed test

Take the typing speed test and rush back here and tell me how you did. See if you can type faster than your favorite "Cable Guy!" (Kinda sounds like something you'd see at the Carnival..."Step right up, Beat the Cable Guy and win some Crap!)

Don't be scared...Do it.

Friday, June 27, 2008

I'm Sick of Moving

My wife and I have been sleeping on a futon mattress for 5 straight months. As in, a futon mattress with no frame. As in, a once 6 inch thick futon mattress but now a mattress that has been squished into something reminicent of fruit leather due to my herculean size. (Well herculean might be a little heroic)

Ah, but no more. This lovely Friday evening I find myself in Tucson retrieving the rest of our personal earthly belongings that have been held so long in storage. Included in that collection of the aforementioned personal belongings is my beloved new king size bed that I bought a little over 8 months ago. This bed is the size of a battleship and twice as comfortable. I cannot wait to sleep in it again this Sunday night.

All of this hub-bub brings me to the theme of tonights post. Which is:


Don't get me wrong...I have had the good fortune of having this move paid for by the United States Government. Specifically the Executive Branch of that government. This money so graciously given to me by GeeDub is of course more commonly known as the "Economic Stimulus Check." Now... a year or so ago I would have preferred to put this money into action somewhere else. However, having the perspective I posses now, which will forever be known as the "Futon Perspective" I am more than happy to spend every American cent of this "Stimulus" on getting my bed back.

Anyway. Not only was the move paid for...when I arrived here in Tucson and showed up at the storage facility, droves of men from the Bear Canyon Ward showed up to help me load the truck! Talk about great people. These men left their families to help me. was hotter than blazes outside. Quite humbling really.

There are those that never move. That build roots. Have families that never move. They build roots. Generations of folks that never move and family is abundant and close.

I envy these people. How I wish I was one of these types. Especially now when I miss my three oldest daughters and my grandson sooooo bad. Especially when I miss all of my former wards soooo bad. And my dear friends... and co-workers.

But you know, for some reason it is not my nature to stay in the same place very long. So even though I've hated moving for as long as I can remember, I have still moved when I felt like it was time. Even now, as bad as I miss all of the things I have talked about, I can't go back. It just doesn't feel right to go back. Not only that, while I'm miss my these things and while certain scenarios haven't worked out the way I thought they would in certain moves, I have never second guessed myself in one of my moves. Well maybe one. OK definately one but that was 20 years ago! I loved elements about Tacoma/Seattle but when I go there now I expect it to feel like an old friend but it doesn't, it feels heavy. Now I'm in Tucson and it feels heavy. My comfort now is upon returning back to the Wood River Valley to my family. With my bed.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Fishing Time!

Today I officially got my resident fishing license and with that $25 piece of paper you are entitled to fish all over the great state of Idaho. Within minutes from our home in Hailey, out near Route 20, flows the Big Wood River on it's meandering course to Magic Reservoir. There are lots of nice fishing holes along the Big Wood. On our way home today from Boise we stopped off the road for just a few minutes of fishing. Within moments I had caught this fine German Brown Trout hiding under a fallen tree. Holding the fish is my sweet daughter Sarah. She has become my expert fishing assistant and has caught many fish herself this summer.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Touchdown for Tommy!!

I guess I'd have to say that my big reading "renaissance" came between the ages of 6 and 10 years old.

Quite the world was opened for me when I discovered that:

1. I was decent at sports
2. That there were books written about other people who were decent at sports.

I remember quite clearly my second grade teacher, Miss Kennedy, approaching me while I was reading Basketball Sparkplug.
Very sweetly she said to me,
"You like sports don't you Brent."
Way too cool to acknowledge my sweet teacher,
I said.. nothing.
Just kept my eyes on the pages.

Yes, I read lots of books during those years. Perhaps....dozens.
None more exciting to me than Touchdown for Tommy.
Here was a grand book:
-Boy's has no parents.
-Boy's life has no meaning.
-Boy discovers football.
-Boy's life starts to have meaning.
-Boy hopes foster parents adopt him
-Boy....I won't give it away unless you want to read it.

Absolutely Thrilling!!

True Story:

I remember sitting around a "semi-influential group" of folks during my junior year at University of Utah . The conversation drifted to "Hey what's your favorite book?" Everyone answered and oooohs and ahhhhhs were the typical response, as in oooohhhhh I love that book! and ahhhhhh YES that's a good book!

Saved for last, with all eyes on me I was asked ,

"Well, whats your favorite book?"

I froze.

"Er, uh...Touchdown for Tommy?" I blurted.

Silence was met with blank stares.

Awkward silence.

Deafening silence.

Want to get away silence.

DANG! OK I'm not a reader!! I get it, was my thought as I shrank and sneered at the same time.

I'm not a total clod. The story ends happy.

A few short months later I received an academic scholarship that paid for my tuition the following year. Several people in the "semi-influential group" were part of determining who got the scholarship. Was it a coincidence that I mentioned "Touchdown for Tommy" to this group and a mere 2 months later received a full tuition academic scholarship for my senior year, at the prestigious University of Utah?

I don't think so.

In fact, based on this experience, I've been conditioned into believing that it's not how much you read but what your read that matters (in my case no matter how little). Obviously for me that book was "Touchdown for Tommy."

(Did I mention that I read all the books listed above?)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Scenes from a mountain top

Heading down Bald Mountain

Richard, the IT guy at the Sun Valley Company, informed me today that the road to the top of Bald Mountain was officially open.

The day had finally arrived.

I jumped into my loudly advertised company car and headed up the mountain.

Below are a few of the pictures from atop old "Baldy."

Looking due east toward 12K + Hyndman Mountain

Looking southwest down the Wood River Valley and Hailey.

Sweet cabin on the top of the world

Some dude next to a loudly advertised company car.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Take A Ride Up The Canyon

Take Sun Valley Rd out of town on to NF-51/NF-66 (National Forest Road) known as Trail Creek Rd 5 or so miles and look back at Bald Mountain. Bald Mountain is also known to skiers as Sun Valley Ski Resort. The mountain is thawing out nicely and in a few short weeks bicyclists will be able to ride the chair lift all the way to the top and mountain bike down the hill.
This is a view 8 or so miles looking back at Sun Valley on the same road as before.

Spring run-off forms a nice waterfall.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Hot Springs!

This weekend we went to Carey, Idaho to watch my oldest son Brent III play basketball in a summer tournament. Carey Idaho is near....uh....let's see...NOTHING!!

I shouldn't be so harsh. Carey is 24 miles from "Craters of the Moon" national park and 50 miles from a our country's first Nuclear Plant. Cool!!

The best thing about Carey can be found if you travel just a mere 9.2 miles east of town on Route 20. Very hidden with no signs, is a gem of a hot springs, it's only landmark is a worn turnout aside the main road. This picture (bad quality I know) was taken with Ruth's camera phone looking toward the highway (that's our old suburban parked just off the road). This hot pool is inside lava rock with a gravel bottom. Not too hot, not too cold...just right. Jake, Sarah and Penny can be seen (if you squint) playing in the pool.

Just another cool thing about Idaho!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Lunch Time In Sun Valley

One thing I miss about living in a big city is all the different opportunities you have to stuff your face. When I worked in Seattle and if I didn't bring a lunch from home, a good portion of the morning (2-3 hours) was devoted to deciding where to eat at lunchtime. My co-workers Scott, Cody, Larry. Mark and I (and sometimes Dave) would toss out ideas on where and what to eat.
Within a 5 mile range our opportunities were limitless and cheap!
My Top Ten favorite places were:
  1. The Thai place on the corner of 152nd and 1st ave that was an old IHOP. ****
  2. The Australian Pie Company (beef and potato)****
  3. Ezells Chicken (3 piece white snack spicy)****
  4. PHO - kitty corner from the Thai IHOP (I'd let Scott order for me). ***1/2
  5. Bernie and Boys (Turkey Leg - (hint: stay away from the clam pizza!)) ***
  6. Tacos Guaymus (Shrimp Burrito) ***
  7. Dog and Cat (I never knew the real name (Chinese Food)) ***
  8. Hans German Deli (Sausages - giant pretzel - snitzengruben (5 is my limit!)) ****
  9. Pecos Pit (Pork, medium, spike it! (Jerry Buys...we fly) ***
  10. Fred Meyer Deli (broccoli salad (we'd go here when Bernies didn't have any good side salads, which was around 98% of the time)) **

You can see why it was so difficult for us to come up with a lunch option in any less than 2 hours. If Scott would recommend, "Pho, " Larry would suggest, "dog and cat." If Cody said, "Turkey Leg, " I'd say "Thai." And round and round we would go. Work was a hindrance! How could we possibly work with so many choices and decisions to be made. Luck was ours if the decision was made for us by vendors coming into the headend to visit. Lee Kirk a Bigband Network employee and vendor (and personal friend of mine) was notorious for suggesting that he'd pay if we all had Thai. Nobody turned that deal down. Jerry Barrett was notorious at coming into the headend and saying, "I'll buy if you fly." Of course it had to be Pecos Pit and nothing else. Robert Dignum was famous for buying us all lunch that stunk and flat out sucked. He'd go to Albertson's and get "bad chicken" (which I liked) and horrible side salads. I only say horrible because we found half a "Green Grocer Cicada" bug inside the potato salads once. Of course that meant one of us unlucky blokes had eaten the other half. It got so bad that when Robert would offer to buy we'd just all say "No Thanks." Even if we had no money! Many times our dilemma was solved by just asking Mark Anderson to pick up some Ezells Chicken on the way in to work(his shift started at 11:30am) and we'd pay him back.

The beautiful thing is that the food in Burien/Seattle was somewhat inexpensive. Well, relatively speaking. I now live in Sun Valley Idaho where options aren't as plentiful and the prices are sky high. While it is possible to eat very good and well prepared food here, in many cases it requires taking out a second mortgage to pay for it. Just about every place in town has a lunch special on their menu and the price is generally $10-$15. Nasty. Too rich for me! These prices have reminded me what a good cook my wife Ruth is.

I did find a little gem of a lunch bargain here in the Gem State. It's called Atkinson's Grocery and Deli. Now here's a place that does it right. Anytime throughout the day you can go to the deli and have a sandwich custom made for your palate. Options are many and the prices are quite reasonable. You can choose whole or half and with either one you will not be disappointed.

My order usually goes something like this:

The lady greets me at the counter and says, "What would joo like?" (Peruvian)

I say, "whole sandwhich please"

"What would joo like on it?"

With wild eyes I rattle off my order in one long run-on sentence. "I'll take pastrami on marbled rye, with Swiss cheese, miracle whip (don't tell me... I know) all the vegetables including avacado with boars head sweet and sour mustard!"

The lady then says, "Would joo like peekle and cheeps? Hmmmm?"

Smiling broadly, I respond nodding my head, "Yes!!" The nice thing here is that the chips are Tim's Cascade. Made in Algona/Auburn Washington (reminds me of home).

I then wait patiently while the nice Peruvian lady whips up my order.

Smiling she returns with my sandwich, peekle and cheeps. I accept it like I've won an major award. Thank you , thank you so much!

All of this plus excellent service = $5.99 USD