Tuesday, December 19, 2006

What a gorgeous morning!!

This morning is was clear and crisp. Crisp in Park City means the temperature is around zero. After it snowed about 15 inches a few days ago, we haven't had more snow but we have had some frost from the brrrrr cold. I brought the camera along as Jasper and I walked up the mountain behind our house. You should probably double-click on each picture to see a bigger version. Most of the beauty is in the detail.

I couldn't quite figure out how to best show the incredible lace of frost that was on almost all of the low branches. When you shoot the picture down, the detail gets lost in the snow below it. Finally I decided to lay in the snow and shoot up at the sky. Mostly worked!

The sunrise wasn't very pretty in the clouds but the lighting of the snow, ice and frost was wonderful.

Where's Waldog?

Can you find the dog in this picture?

Saturday, December 09, 2006

A wee bit o' skiing

Haven't gotten out to do much skiing so far this year. The snow just hasn't been that good and I am definitely spoiled. On Friday, Bruce Kahn and I trekked over to Alta where the snow was better (than in Park City). As you can see, Alta has some gorgeous scenery.

Bruce, cruising down the hill.

One of my favorite things about living in Park City is getting to watch the inversions. In December and January we get high pressure systems that come into the area and camp out. In Park City, these are bad because they mean no new snow. In Salt Lake, Ogden, Logan, ... the inversions are much worse. There is no wind to speak of, so the cold air gets trapped in the valleys. All the polution from cars, fireplaces, and industry just settles in and stays. On the same day we had gorgeous blue skies up in the ski areas, this was the view over the Salt Lake valley. All the grey and brown you see should be a city and mountains in the distance. Yuck!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


We woke this morning to a foot of new snow and zero degree temperatures. Just the same, Jasper seems to think he is in heaven. This is his standard look after having tried to dig up snow balls or to play in the output of the snow blower. At the end of an outdoor session, I literally have to scrape the ice out of his fur.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Life is slow

Not a whole lot going on right now. Most of the ski resorts have opened, but the snow is pretty sad, so we haven't gone yet. This Monday night and Tuesday should bring our first big storm of the year.

This is just a pretty sunset as seen from our deck. We don't get the normal gorgeous sunsets because the sun just drops behind the mountains, long before it really sets. We do tend to get a bit of pretty light, but it only lasts about 5-10 minutes.

The framing continues. This view from up on the mountain behind us gives a better view of the shape of the house and the unfortunate gap in the middle, still waiting for trusses.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Go roof, go!

Now that we are back in Park City, I can get some pictures from different angles. This gives you a bit better view of the how the house is shaping up. The odd thing is the middle of the house, which is currently missing walls and a roof. We are waiting on some big decorative trusses that will support that section of roof. Until we get those, the goal is to get as much house under roof as possible, as fast as possible.

So far, it is looking like we hoped.

Here is what happens when the house isn't under roof. This was about 8" of snow. The next day the framers got to spend quite a bit of time shoveling everything out.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The house

The house continues. Kind of hard to tell from here, but all the walls for the lower level are framed and the flooring for the main level is done. Now the walls are starting to go up. The next step is the roof structure.

Nuclear Fishin

Andy Overly put together another great fishing plan, but it almost came apart. We were heading to Cape Hatteras, planning to do some little fishing on Friday, then out for deep sea fishing on Saturday. As time to start came near, the weather forecast for Saturday started calling for rough seas, first 8-11 feet, then 9-12, and eventually 12-15 feet. They cancelled the trip. Andy got on the phone and found that we could craft together a trip for Friday, but half our crew couldn't get there. Still, I headed down Thursday afternoon to see what we could do.

This is Andy and Fredrick on the bridge over Oregon Inlet. We went out fishing Thursday night, hoping for Striper.

I was lucky enough to get to use the glow-in-the-dark lure. It was responsible for my catch of tasty fish.

On Friday, three of us ended up going out on a deep sea boat with two guys from Sanford and a guy from Canada. They were all very nice and we were INCREDIBLY lucky with the weather. The rain held off and we had 2-3 foot seas. This is Fredrick hauling in our fourth tuna of the day.

Joe caught two tuna before reeling in this nice dolphin. Most restaurants sell this as mahi-mahi.

My third and final tuna was my largest.

The final catch was 13 yellowfin tuna, one dolphin, and one more tiny dolphin that should probably have gotten tossed back in. Grand total: 442 pounds of fish and very nice weather. It started raining right about the time the boat docked.

A big thanks to Andy for putting the trip together and providing us with a gorgeous house to stay in!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The pet we keep outside

This appears to have been a big year for spiders in our area. If they make the mistake of being on one of our porches, I suck them up with the shop vac. This one was just too interesting (and huge). I left him out on the front porch to catch squirrels and crows.

Watching some football

Things have been pretty busy and I have been slack about putting things on the blog. Bad Steve!

This weekend we went to the NC State football game against Wake Forest. Wake had a 2 point lead with a minute to go. State had the ball and was driving down the field. We were about 10 yards outside of field goal range when a pass floated high and was intercepted. Quite the bummer. It was looking like the third week in a row for NC State to beat a top 25 team in the last quarter with a big comeback.

This is my wife Julie with two of our neighbors, Alex and Judy. It was a gorgeous day to be outside!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Snow already?

We got home from our vacation to Yellowstone on Sept 15th. It was raining a bit and cool. As evening came, this wall of clouds came rolling in, blocking out any hopes of seeing the mountains, which are only about a mile away.

We wake in the morning to this view. We had about 3 inches of snow to start with. During the day another inch or two fell.

Of course, this creates all sorts of interesting problems for construction. They had just put down the insulating bubble foil that goes under the radiant heat. Great! It insulates the snow from the ground and then traps the water as the snow melts. Timing is everything!

Sunday morning we awaken to a gorgeous view. Seems too much like winter though.

Skiing anyone?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Beauty Golfing

OK, the golf itself wasn't gorgeous, but the day was. Bruce Kahn and I played at the Wasatch Mountain course in Midway, Utah. It is a public course in a state park. The leaves are changing. The grass is green. The sky is blue. The mountains form a spectacular backdrop. All this for just over $30 with a cart. What more can you ask for?

Nice form Bruce!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Running of the Balls

One last thing from the Labor Day weekend. Park City does a fund raiser for the local cancer center. They do this with the Running of the Balls. People "sponsor" 2000 tennis balls for about $5 each. They set up a course down the hill on Main Street. The course is two long pipes of 3" PVC pipe. First, people dressed in white with red sashes start running down the street from the balls.

Then they release the 2000 balls. Some small set of them seem to get a good head start and come zipping down the hill.

Then more and more balls start rolling down.

Eventually jillions of them come rolling down.

Once the mass of balls comes down, they start catching along the side of the pipes. They let the kids get involved by letting them heard the slow balls down the hill.

The winner is the first ball across the finish line. Someone (not us) got two free tickets on Delta, anywhere in the U.S..

Perhaps the real winner was Jasper. Every morning he and I go up the hill behind our house and play fetch with a tennis ball. He went with us to the running of the balls and somehow managed to watch 2000 tennis balls roll by without stealing any. It was fun watching his head go back and forth as he kept watching them go past. We were astounded at how well he behaved. Add into this the fact that any event in Park City is always full of dogs. Jasper did well with the 1000+ people and 100+ dogs wandering around. One dog was a golden retriever with a captured tennis ball in his mouth. The guy described it as an unfortunate victim.

Local silliness, but quite fun. It was followed by a parade that was not worth the bits it would have required to take digital photographs.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Condo in the Fall

These little guys were purchased at the Portland Zoo on our last trip. They are two mountain gots who appear to have climbed our stone fireplace.

A little odd, but I like them.

It is hard to see that much of the color on such a small picture, but click to enlarge it and it may be more obvious. Even though it is just Labor Day, the trees are starting to change on the mountains. Give it another week or two and it should be quite pretty.

Last stop, the house. They are about halfway done building the forms for all the walls. It starts to take shape. They should pour at the end of the week.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Sheepdog Trials

We went to this competition two years ago. It is amazing to watch the Border Collies round up sheep, waltz them around the hillside, and then pen them up at the end. They are fast, focused, patient and smart.

The place where they are held is Soldier Hollow, over in beautiful Heber City. It is where the 2002 Olympic cross country skiing was held. It is a great venue because there are stands for watching, a nice flat area that was the finish, and then a huge hillside where they did most of the skiing. Great for sheep herding trials.

The dog has 13.5 minutes to complete a long series of things. The start is from way down the hill so as soon as the clock starts, the dog wastes no time.

You start to get some sense of how far he has to run. He is still at full speed in this picture.

You can now see him as the little black speck up above the six sheep.

You would think getting them running in the right direction might be good, but in general running is bad. They are too hard to control and at full speed the sheep are as fast as the dog. It is all about pace and control.

The very lasst step is to get them into the pen. The sheep aren't quite as stupid as you might think and they have no desire to get in. Here is a fairly common sight. All the sheep in a stare-down with the dog.

Some of the sheep went in, but one really has an attitude. You notice his head is turned down to give the dog a piece of his mind. In this case, the dog is allowed to bite the sheep on the nose to keep control.

Here is what you aren't allowed to do. This dog just got frustrated at how annoying the sheep were being. They were going every which way and then refusing to go anywhere. This one took off so he chased and gave it a nip on the butt. No can do. He was disqualified.

For practice in the early phases, the dogs get to herd ducks. As with the sheep, the ducks saw strength in numbers and tended to wander around as a mob.

I didn't get to see any of the duck herding demos, but this one dog was in the pen for a minute. He was supposed to move the ducks from one end of the pen to other other so they could fix the shade tent. He did a marvelous job. Actually, he looks pretty scarey.

If you get a chance to see one of these events you should. It is good for about two hours of entertainment, but then starts to get a bit repetitive unless you are really into it. Great show!