Saturday, January 27, 2007


The middle of the house finally starts really taking shape. Yeah!!

This is standing near the front door, looking through the living room.

Sky dog

One day when Sara was here, we walked up April Mountain. I was tossing snowballs to Jasper and Sara took a few pictures. This was the nicest. When it comes to snowballs, the dog has a lot of focus and gets some great air. If I had springs like he does, I would be able to dunk a basketball. As I came back down.

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Sundance 2007

Well, I have been doing a poor job of blogging this year's Sundance. Better late than never.

This year my cousin Sara came out from Atlanta. We did a mix of movie going, star stalking and skiing. Quite a nice week. Here are the movies we saw, followed by a few star pictures.

Chicago 10 - This was one of the two opening films. It discusses the anti-war riots in Chicago in 1968. The director's mom was staying with our friends, the Kahn's. They have been family friends for many years. Good movie. Creative mix of film and animation. Rare to see a documentary as an opening film at Sundance. Extremely timely for the troop increases for Iraq. 3 stars.

Delirious - A fun, emotional film about the dark life of paparazzi. Steve Buscemi was the perfect actor for the part of the slightly demented photo stalker. 2.5 stars

Noise - An Australian film about a policeman with a hearing problem, caught up in a nasty mass murder. Well written. Different sound effects, putting you in the position of the suffering policeman. Sometimes difficult to understand the Australian accent when combined with the odd sounds. 3 stars.

Hound dog - This one has been getting a lot of national attention from the religious right. A twelve year old gets raped in the movie. The protesters want the director charged on child pornography. It just goes to show you how stupid Americans can be. The people complaining about the movie aren't at Sundance and they haven't even seen the movie. They "heard" about it though. The movie is actually awesome and incredibly well done. The 12 year old is Dakota Fanning. The girl is simply not human. No 12 year old can act this good. She carries a very deep, emotional movie to perfection. The rape scene is key to the suffering of this girl. It is filmed as tastefully as you possibly can while still exploring her life. Total time on screen, about 15 seconds. 5 out of 4 stars.

Blame it on Fidel
- a French film with subtitles. It was a story about a little girl, growing up in France with parents who are Chilean political activists. The girl was probably about 8 years old. She was a wonderful little actress. Very expressive. 3 stars.

I will be seeing a few more movies and will blog them as I go.

Julie and Sara did the wait list line to see Grace is Gone. They said it was excellent.

This is Rainn Wilson, who plays Dwight on the office. He is giving the thumbs up after I told him I have a Dwight bobble head. This was a Christmas gift from my brother in law, Marty.

If you have to have a nice shot, why have it of this guy? This is Dustin Diamond, who played Screech on Saved by the Bell. He was in town having a "collect the most SWAG" contest with Gary Coleman. Nice to see their careers have blossomed.

Steve Buscemi leaving his movie Delirious.

Puff Diddy. P-Daddy. Whatever....

... and a fur-lined Tara Reid.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Hanging with the boss

Julie and I went with my cousin Sara to the Stein Eriksen Lodge at Deer Valley for the Sunday Brunch. We were dining at the table next to Stein himself. He was nice enough to take time and pose.

If you don't know Stein, he was a Gold and Silver Olympic ski medalist in 1952 and won several World Championship golds in 1954.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

FINALLY!! The middle of the house is going in. You can see a few of the big trusses we have been waiting for, including one hanging from the crane. Yeah! Perhaps we can actually dry the house in now.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The big boy crane

This time they didn't mess around. To understand how big this is, look at the peak of the garage on the far right of the house. It is probably 25 feet tall. Gives you some idea of the crane's height and the size of the joists going in. They had to replace about five joists after the crane crushed them.

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sure, and would you like a crane with that?

While I was in Yellowstone, it appears I missed the excitement in home building. I have gone back and checked our architect's plans and I am certain there was no crane in the living room.

Either operator error or a jack malfunction occurred when lifting a very heavy truss in to support the living room's vaulted ceiling. Seems to have been a bit much. Fortunately, the crane operator and the four framers were all unharmed. It could have been much worse. It took two additional cranes and many hours to get everything back in place. Thank goodness Julie took pictures! She was outside playing with the dog when all this happened.

I think that this big crane boom would definitely ruin the view and mess up the deck.

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Where's Waldog Part 2

This time it is a tiny bit harder.

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Photographing Yellowstone in winter

I went to a week long photography seminar in Yellowstone. It was a lot of fun and a great way to improve your photography. You get new techniques and then practice them by shooting for 8 hours a day.

We had days that ranged from sunny and 25, to snowing and 0, to sunny again, but 35 below, and that is without wind chill. It was the coldest temperatures I have ever been in.

We stayed at the Mammoth Hot Springs hotel for part of the trip and the Snow Lodge at Old Faithful for the rest. The people were great. The animals were cooperative. The snow was soft and fluffy.

Click here for an album of my best Yellowstone pictures.
I include a quick mix of the types of things we ran across.

Trees near geysers get a mix of very cold temperatures and a steam bath. This is the result.

Some rivers freeze over, but others flow a bit longer because the water is coming from thermal features.

A big bull elk digging for food.

Mama bear, baby bear and papa bear. OK, not really bears. Brrr....

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Rose Bowl 2007

Julie and I decided to head to the Rose Bowl this year. Neither of us had been. Michigan had a great year with its only loss being a close game to Ohio State. The opponent, USC, was also a great team. We decided to invite Julie's uncle Tom, who in turn invited his grandson Micheal. All of us were part of the Michigan alumni tour.

The long weekend was wonderful with one obvious exception, USC beat Michigan. The weather was drop dead gorgeous. We got to see a lot in a short period of time. The Rose Bowl parade was as spectacular as you might imagine. We got to hook up with our friend Liz on several occasions although we never got to see her surfing.

It is painful uploading more than a handful of pictures to the blog, so I created a web album. Just click on the picture below and it will take you to the album. The easiest thing is to pick the
Slideshow option and then use the arrow keys to step through it.