Thursday, July 31, 2008


The next best thing!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Lime in the Coconut

Recently I've been listening to a bunch of Harry Nilsson songs. Harry was a fantastic lesser known artist who similar to Paul McCartney was a musical virtuoso. Harry's desire to not perform in front of people kept him out of much of the public's eye. An amazing songwriter, he wrote hits for many different groups, including: "One" by Three Dog Night and "Without Her" by Glen Campbell.

Harry Nilsson had a vocal range of three and a half octaves! He is best listened to when he is alone at the piano or acoustic guitar singing songs like "I guess the Lord must be in New York City" or "Without Her." Harry had a string of hits that included: The Lime in the Coconut, Without You, Me and My Arrow and Everybody's talking.

If you would like to see first hand the raw musical talent of this individual click on the following two hyperlinks:

Harry on the Smothers Brothers Show -
Harry alone on the acoustic (turn this one up)

Harry won critical acclaim with his concept album "The Point" which includes my personal favorite collection of Nilsson songs.

When the British press asked the Beatles in 1968 at the Apple Corps press conference, who their favorite American artist was, Lennon and McCartney both said, "Nilsson."

Odd yes, I'll give you that but there is something compelling. Take a listen and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

John Lewis Exposed

Thousands of you "Daily Item" readers complained, so I took action. Here's a couple flattering pictures of John Lewis. He's the guy who's daughter crushed our family age record of jumping off of a bridge into water below. I have proof that will ultimately disqualify his daughter. You can go here to see her jump:
After looking at the picture you can read my comments which are completely valid.
I've seen John on more than one occasion drive with his eyes closed. He calls it, "Skills." I call it knuckleheadedness.

This is the poor woman who has to deal with John on a daily basis. This is his wife....Mrs. Lewis. Let's give Mrs. Lewis a big "Daily Item" round of applause for sticking out mortality with John.

The Truth:
OK, I'll tell the whole truth. John is the guy who recruited me to Cox Sun Valley. It is John that saved me from the blazing hot Tucson sun. When I moved here in January I had the good fortune of staying with John's family for a month. It was a very nice experience. John is a very good person (except for that one thing). When John gets too smart for his britches I remind him that he was a Jordan Beet Digger.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Ginger Beer Taste Test

Friends of mine...(good friends) scoffed when I told them that the best Ginger Beer on this planet was made by Stewart's. I went on and on about how Stewart's Ginger Beer was not only the best Ginger Beer but quite possibly the best soda pop ever! My good friends Jeremy and Sonja insisted that I was dead wrong. Protesting with raised eyebrows and heads nodding left and right they cried out that "Reed's Extra Ginger Brew" was the best Ginger Beer. Feeling a bit like Alma listening to Abinidi I sat and wondered if I was wrong. "Could this "Reed's" Ginger Beer be the best ever??? We ended the argument amicably and I went home.

Now I have had "Reed's" ginger candy and it is in fact the best ginger candy I have ever had. I had never put it together that the "Reed's" ginger candy and "Reed's" ginger beer were the same company....DUH!! They were. So obviously I was quite intrigued when I saw a four-pack of "Reed's Extra Ginger Brew" on my local Albertson's supermarket shelf. Standing in the beverage aisle I looked straight ahead, eye level at the four-pack contender. I wondered if this stuff was the real deal.

I called my friend Jeremy at home, not taking my eyes of the four-pack.

"Is this the stuff?" I asked.
"Yeah Man...It's the stuff...and it's the best" said Jeremy.
My eyes narrowed...scratching my chin I said, "OK...I'll get it and do a review on the blog."
Jeremy said, "you do that and if you disparage it I'll comment."
"MmmmOK" I said.

So here is the first taste test ever conducted on "The Daily Item."

The beverages: Reed's Extra Ginger Brew Ginger Beer and Stewart's Ginger Beer.

Reed's Extra Ginger Brew Ginger Beer
Bottle Appeal *****
Price $$$$
Aroma *****
Ginger Burn *****
After-taste ****
Taste ****1/2

Stewart's Ginger Beer
Bottle Appeal ****
Price $$$$
Aroma *****
Ginger Burn *****
After-taste *****
Taste *****

A little drum roll please...

I hereby declare the Winner and Still Champion
Stewart's Ginger Beer

There you have it. Scientifically I have determined that the best Ginger Beer on this planet is indeed Stewart's Ginger Beer. These results were echoed by my dear wife Ruth and our oldest son Brent. I feel bad proving my good friends wrong and I hope this taste test won't come between our friendship. But truth is truth.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Ever have days where you feel like this? Well, that was me yesterday. Not much I can do for myself when i get like this except go to bed early. Daaannnggg!

Monday, July 21, 2008

My New Best Friend

Sun Valley has one fast food joint. So, when I left here to go to a family reunion in Orem Utah last Friday night, my son and I drove 100 miles to the nearest "Carl's Jr." We both ordered the "Prime Rib Burger."

The burger was as good as I had anticipated but it soon became apparent that my burger was never going to leave my body on it's own. This burger was making plans to stick around for a while. I didn't realize it at the time.

24 Hours later we were happily eating hamburgers again, this time at the family reunion. Not only a hamburger but my daughter Penny's hamburger and a couple of hot dogs. Oh yeah and some pumpkin desert things.

About 30 minutes later is hit me. Shortness of breath, hot sweats, cold sweats, staggering gait (remember Fred Sanford? Just like that...) My stomach was in a huge knot. My thoughts raced within my head...what was happening? Then I remembered the Prime Rib Burger. It must be lodged up in my body somewhere, this new food has no where to go.... Rats!! This was full blown constipation. Daaannnnggggg!!!

This scenario wasn't totally bad if I had been at home where I could lay down but I wasn't. By this time I was at the University Mall with my son Brent shopping for what else, shoes. After floundering around the mall in great pain and grief I finally motioned for him to go on without me. I sat down exhausted next some Makeup Kiosk. I suspect they were irritated with the exaggerated look of agony on my face and my overall demeanor as I noticed customers starting to move away from the area. The look of scorn adorned several of their faces as they told their children not to look at me. I couldn't speak but with one flailing arm I mouthed the words, "Don't judge me" towards them.

In desperation I called my chiropractor (Dave Heaton) ... I'm not sure why I thought a chiropractor could help me, perhaps inspiration. Kindly, Doctor Heaton not only empathized with me but provided a quick solution to my problem.

Dave told me to go to the nearest Walgreen's and pick up a laxative called "Magnesium Citrate." He said that for some reason Walgreen's always has this bottle located at the very bottom of the shelf next to the floor; which was a nasty thing to do to someone who was constipated. Dave also told me that my problem would be history in 1 hour, 2 tops.

I entered the Walgreen's at 8th South in Orem and sure enough...that's exactly where it was. The bottom shelf. Without bending my torso I got down on to both knees and fumbled around for this generic sinister looking bottle. There were three flavors: Original, Cherry and Grape. Perplexed I petitioned my son to help me with the choice of flavors. "Grape" he said in his lower than normal teenage voice.
There was a question in my mind to what the exact dose should be and I couldn't discern it exactly on the label. I elected to drink the entire 10 ounces. Which I learned later in some cases is normal.

This stuff was nasty...yet compelling. It tasted like all of the sour patch kids candy in the whole world was liquidated into this lone 10 ounce bottle. So, tart is an incredible understatement.

I had a planned engagement at a friends house within minutes to play guitar. We drove to his home and knocked on the door. He answered and said come in. Pulling my son back by the arm I told my friend that I had just drank a whole bottle of laxative and perhaps he didn't want me in his house. There was a pause. "Come on, get in here!" he said. We entered the dwelling.

We played guitar for about an hour and a half and I noticed improvements in my bloated demeanor. As we waived goodbye I wondered how long it would take this "magnesium citrate" to work it's magic.

The first mad stomach gurgle began as we hit 8th South on State in Orem heading northbound to Lindon. I thought to myself, "great it's beginning to work, perhaps in an hour or so I'll be golden." Within 30 seconds the second gurgle hit. It felt like someone turned my spleen inside out.

A long digusting involuntary moan escapes from my mouth.
Wildly and smiling my son says, "How much longer till you have to go to the bathroom Dad?"

"3 minutes tops." I calculate.

"How far away are we from Grandma's house?" He said.

"8 minutes!"

Evil laughter from my son at this point.
With all the self mastery I can muster I make it to grandma's house and dash in hoping that no one is busy in the bathroom.
I make it just barely, then it happened! Slight terror followed by instant relief! Followed by a little more terror.

I will spare you the rest of the heinous details. Just know that after several more trips to grandma's bathroom and a few more since returning home. I have been relieved completely from the awful condition that had me bound.
Thanks Doctor Heaton.
Magnesium Citrate = A good Friend!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Who is this rotten little girl?

How about the demeanor on this young lady? Geez!
Any guesses who this is?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

More Scenes From Bald Mountain

Mountain Flowers

Sun Valley and Ketchum Idaho

My Co-Worker Cliff Stern and his faithful Truck

Looking Southeast toward Hailey

Look for the paraglider

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Birthday Facial Surprise

It's Ruthies birthday!!

Sarah gave Ruthie a nice Birthday facial made of Strawberries. Then further pampered her by doing her nails. Now she is super duper beautiful.

Ruth got lots of prestigious presents.

Such as:

Lindt Chocolate
Dove Chocolate
Gilligan's Island Season 1
a giant foot scraper
spa/pamper stuff
a nice basket for her bicycle

Happy Birthday Roo-roo!!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Penny The Tressel Jumper!

(AP-July 5 2008-Sun Valley Idaho)
Penny May Hope broke a long standing Hope Family record by jumping off of a Tressel/Bridge at the age of 9 years 2 months. The record had previously been held by Jessica Hope at the age of 9 years 3 months.

Good job Penny!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

What So Proudly We Hail!

The 4th of July is upon us.

Here in the Wood River Valley that statement translates into massive amounts of people crammed into one little area. Sun Valley is a popular place this time of year. I had no idea! I must admit it is nice to see so many people out on vacation here in our lovely nape of the neck...nape of the this place. In fact I have friends headed this way that will be here for the weekend. They are from the big city and may not notice the intense people clutter that has swarmed the valley. They are here to visit us and get away from it for a while.

Back to the 4th...

I'm a softy. Rather, I would describe myself somewhat large in stature. I think masculine things, I like masculine things and protection (as in.. protect my family from danger!) is high up on my resume. I guess I see myself as this sophisticated, brutish, clod guy. Really not too different from the Giant in "The Princess Bride" (any one want a peanut! -and- "I'm on the brute squad - You are the Brute squad."). Get the picture?!

An interesting twist into my clodish/brutish/sophisticated self is that I'm moved easily to tears. Not by threats, danger, other brutes or fears but rather by simple, almost undetected things.

For instance:

If I hear a song, albeit instrumental or sung, that has exquisite harmony....Tears.

If I see family replicated in Mom and Dad Duck followed by baby ducks...Tears.

If I feel the warmth of my bed after sleeping on a futon mattress mashed into fruit leather for 5 months....whimper...then....Tears.

If I watch stinking movies with premature death, caring, love, surviving, winning, hope or even Mom and Dad winning (The Incredibles)....Tears.

If I'm at an auto show and I see a late 50's Corvette (not Chordvette)...Tears.

It's getting bad. This emotional softness has crept in over the years and the beauty of it is if I'm teared up, I can usually look across the room at Ruth and she will be teared up. Bizarre huh? Maybe it's in the water supply? It's so bad that if I sniff with allergies during a movie, 3 out of 4 of my children will whip there heads around to see if I'm crying!!

It wasn't always this way. I used to be a freaking stupid idiot (many would agree). -tangent-

Back in the old days there was only one thing that could move me to tears and I remember it all the way back to my basketball playing days in high school and college. It was the National Anthem. You know the Star Spangled Banner. The first time I recognized a choked up feeling that I couldn't stop was while listening to the Star Spangled Banner before my basketball games. There is something about that song when's like I'm able to see and feel of the great sacrifice people have made on my behalf to make this a great nation. I see in my mind, General Washington up against the odds and taking time to pray to the Almighty for strength and wisdom. I see Francis Scott Key seeing a tattered but victorious flag waving in the distance. I see soldiers that have fought to the death to support democracy. I see a herculean effort to keep our country free. These are the things I would and could see in my mind before every basketball game from my junior year on up through my college playing days, while the National Anthem was being played. These pictures in my mind would move me to tears 100% of the time. What does it mean?


No really, I do know. It means this is a great country and why wouldn't I be moved to tears.

Have a beautiful 4th!!