Saturday, June 28, 2008

Burning down the house

I woke up yesterday to the sound of fire engines. They were off in the distance so I wasn't worried about anything close. When I got up and looked out over Park City, I could see a big plume of smoke. Something was burning in a big way. I grabbed my camera and hopped on my scooter (eco-Steve).

Turns out that a small house had caught fire and was in the process of burning to the ground. The fire spread to a beautiful historic house, which is what you see in the picture. I don't know the history, but it is known as the Angel House.

The flames started shooting through the roof of the Angel House.

We've already been getting hazy air from the fires in California. This certainly doesn't help.

The small house was a total loss and the Angel House suffered over $1M in damage. This is a big event for a small town. It is even more worrisome when you see how Old Town has so many very old, very dry buildings within feet of each other. Many were built long before our codes that require fire sprinkler systems.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Free music on Wednesdays

Every Wednesday during the summer, there is a free concert over at Deer Valley. Yesterday was the first of the year and it was a lot of fun. There were over 1000 people there, which is amazing given how small out town is.

We went with Bill and Loris Benson and Jim Covaleski. Julie has the stylish hat. Everyone has the glass of wine. It is quite a picnic!

As the concert ended, the wilder fun began. From some source I never discovered, a ton of water came rushing down the grass hill. It was an area right behind the sound tent, so no one was sitting there. Then guys started diving down the wet grass.

Some went on their bellies.

Some used the knee method.

Everyone came up soaked, cold and filthy.

After a few runs by himself, this boy's dad went running down with him. It was nice to see father and son bonding in the mud slide.

Mom, we're ready to head home......

A gorgeous evening and well worth the price (free).

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Why wake up early?

I got up about 5:40 yesterday. The full moon was just setting behind Jupiter Peak over in Park City. The sun was just coming up so the mountain was catching some early light.

I took a series of pictures. It is interesting to see how quickly the moon moved down. You don't get long to get the shot.

This year's first big hike

Julie, Jasper and I took a hike up Bald Mountain over at Deer Valley. We've been getting in some good long walks but no real mountain hikes. When we got to the base, our favorite hike was still closed due to snow and mud. The alternative was pretty good though.

Julie, back in the forest.

The view from the top looking out over the Jordanelle Reservoir and off into the Unitah mountains.

Steve and Jasper with the mountains of Solitude and Brighton in the background.

Still some fields of snow big enough for skiing (and dog snowball fetching). You get a better idea of the sie if you notice the jeep track running up the right side.

A good first hike and some nice scenery. Many more to be done.

A little fawn

This came from my dad and Colleen.

Colleen's note with a very important warning:

Yesterday while Doug was working in the woods, he found this fawn nestled at the base of a tree. He curtailed his work in the area for the morning and I took some pictures. It is common for the doe to leave a fawn while she goes off to forage. A fawn remains still and, with its natural camouflage and lack of scent, is very difficult to spot or be sniffed out by dogs or other animals of prey. Never "rescue" or touch a fawn as this will leave your scent on it, making it more vulnerable to animals of prey and less appealing to the doe.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thinking Thin - End of Week Two

Yeah! I am still in the phase of easy lose. Hope the momentum keeps up. This week I am at 184. Down 4.6 pounds so far.

In other positive news, I shot a 94 golfing yesterday. My scores are beginning to go back down.

I haven't been shooting pictures lately (lazy) but I have to fix that this week. There is a momma moose and her two little ones that wander through the neighborhood almost every day. The little ones are about a month old and stand about the size of a big dog. Pictures to come soon!

A joke from a friend

The Smiths were unable to conceive children and decided to use a surrogate father to start their family. On the day the proxy father was to arrive, Mr. Smith kissed his wife goodbye and said, 'Well, I'm off now. The man should be here soon.'

Half an hour later, just by chance, a door-to-door baby photographer happened to ring the doorbell, hoping to make a sale 'Good morning, Ma'am', he said, 'I've come to...'

'Oh, no need to explain,' Mrs. Smith cut in, embarrassed, 'I've been expecting you.'

'Have you really?' said the photographer. 'Well, that's good. Did you know babies are my specialty?'

'Well that's what my husband and I had hoped. Please come in and have a seat'.

After a moment she asked, blushing, 'Well, where do we start?'

'Leave everything to me. I usually try two in the bathtub, one on the couch, and perhaps a couple on the bed. And sometimes the living room floor is fun. You can really spread out there.'

'Bathtub, living room floor? No wonder it didn't work out for Harry and me!'

'Well, Ma'am, none of us can guarantee a good one every time. But if we try several different positions and I shoot from six or seven angles, I'm sure you'll be pleased with the results.'

'My, that's a lot!', gasped Mrs. Smith.

'Ma'am, in my line of work a man has to take his time. I'd love to be In and out in five minutes, but I'm sure you'd be disappointed with that.'

'Don't I know it,' said Mrs. Smith quietly.

The photographer opened his briefcase and pulled out a portfolio of his baby pictures. 'This was done on the top of a bus,' he said.

'Oh, my word!' Mrs. Smith exclaimed, grasping at her throat.

'And these twins turned out exceptionally well - when you consider their mother was so difficult to work with.'

'She was difficult?' asked Mrs. Smith.

'Yes, I'm afraid so. I finally had to take her to the park to get the job done right. People were crowding around four and five deep to get a good look'

'Four and five deep?' said Mrs. Smith, her eyes wide with amazement.

'Yes', the photographer replied. 'And for more than three hours, too. The mother was constantly squealing and yelling - I could hardly concentrate, and when darkness approached I had to rush my shots. Finally, when the squirrels began nibbling on my equipment, I just had to pack it all in.'

Mrs. Smith leaned forward. 'Do you mean they actually chewed on your,'

'It's true, Ma'am, yes.. Well, if you're ready, I'll set-up my tripod and we can get to work right away.'


'Oh yes, Ma'am. I need to use a tripod to rest my Canon on. It's much too big to be held in the hand very long.'

Mrs. Smith fainted.

Monday, June 16, 2008

A movie recommendation

Last night Julie and I watched Juno. It was a wonderfully well acted, quirky movie. The plot was odd. The music was different. We both loved it. Ellen Page, the your actress playing Juno, is amazing and I would expect to see a lot more of her over the years. It won the Oscar for best screen play and was nominated for best picture, director and leading actress.

Rent it!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thinking Thin - End of Week One

One of the distinct advantages to having a metabolism built on bags of Fritos, bottles of wine, and Costco-sized jars of nuts, is when you finally stop your body goes into shock. It thinks it must be on a remote island, starving to death. All just because you added some protein, threw out some carbs and didn't snack as much. It makes losing weight pretty easy for the first few weeks. Then your body goes "Hey wait, we aren't really starving are we?" After that you have to earn each pound.

End of week one: new weight is 186. Down 2.5 pounds.

Oh yeah, it snowed two inches again yesterday and it is 31 here this morning.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

You have got to be kidding me!

Let's see. Yesterday I had a guy out working on the landscape irrigation system. Last night we were out grilling fish on the porch. This morning I have a 9:30 tee time with Rob. I wake up at 6:00 and look out the window.

It is still snowing. Meanwhile, back in Raleigh, today is supposed to hit 100 with humidity.

I'll take the snow.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Think thin

One of my favorite movies is Animal House and one of the most memorable lines is from Dean Wermer telling Flounder: "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life."

Well, time for me to take a health tip from the movie. My weight has gone from 181 to 188 over the past year. I feel it. I look it. Some part of it is from my love of beer and wine. I am hoping to use the break to Park City as the transition for my new diet and exercise. Enjoy my suffering. Today's weight is 188.6.

On the more positive note, my cholesterol dropped from 210+ to 158. I should be a poster child for oatmeal and cinnamon!

A tale of two cities

We left Raleigh, which is close to setting a temperature record today. The high is predicted to be 98 with the heat index way over 100.

We arrived in Park City yesterday. We drove through a bit of wet snow coming up I-80. The high was 48 with drizzle.

One is 15 degrees over normal and the other is 15 degrees below. Time to fill the hot tub.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Kathy's big 30th+ birthday!

This weekend Julie and I made a field trip up to Annapolis, Md. We spent Thursday night with my mom. On Friday, mom took off for a birding conference and we headed into town. Our reason for the trip was to help celebrate Kathy Covaleski's birthday. She is a friend and neighbor from Park City but she travels back and forth to their home in DC.

The party, and our attendance, were supposed to be a surprise. Unfortunately, the Covaleski's friends weren't so adept at the idea of keeping a secret. Kathy was constantly probing for info on "the boat ride". On Friday we hooked up with Bill and Loris Benson, Park City neighbors who had flown out for the weekend. In this picture, we have settled on the docks, watching boats and enjoying a spectacular day.

Jim and Kathy met us at our lovely B&B and we did the "SURPRISE" thing, followed by some champagne. From left to right, it's Julie, Kathy and Loris.

Dinner that night was at O'Leary's Seafood. It was some of the best seafood I have ever had. Try the crab cakes!!

Another couple, Gary and Tori (sp?), met us for dinner. After finishing, we went back to their sail boat for yet more drinking.

Leaving the sail boat, we had about a mile or two walk back to the B&B. We tried to get a cab, but no one ever came to get us. Half way home, we found a nice bar to stop at. They kicked us out at 2:00. When we finally got back, I felt obligated to take another quick photo. Notice that everyone seems happy and bright, as though they are heading out for the night. That is of course, except for Jim, who was quite ready for bed.

We stayed at the Annapolis Inn. It is a wonderful little place, very historic and only a block or two from the docks. Alex and Joe were two of the nicest inn keepers you could ever meet. Here we are enjoying our wonderful three course breakfast.

The weather was great the entire weekend, except for about 2-3 hours Saturday afternoon when a nasty storm blew through. This coresponded almost exactly to the time period the guys had decided to rent scooters and cruise Annapolis. I believe the line from Forrest Gump is "Stupid is as stupid does."

Jim and Bill, waiting out the rain.

Fortunately the rain cleared before the big party Saturday night. Jim had arranged the Lady Pintail, a 96 foot motor yacht, to take about 50 of Kathy's friends out for a three hour cruise. If you have ever watched Gilligan's Island, that should make you nervous. Fortunately, our trip up the Severn River was without problem.

Since it was Kathy's 30th birthday, I can't figure out why she is holding something that says "50 Sucks". Perhaps just planning for the future.

After the big storm, the boat ride was blessed with nice temperatures and a beautiful sunset.

Bill and Loris, enjoying dinner on the boat.

Kathy, blowing out the candles on her cake.

As mornings tended to get started kind of late, Julie and I would go for a walk around Annapolis each morning before breakfast. Annapolis is still wonderful little city and of course, Julie is a wonderful wife!

Jim did a fantastic job as a party planner. The B&B, the food, the boat ride, and the company were all superb. Jim, thanks for the great weekend!