Spring Chores

Yesterday was the first Saturday of the year that felt nice enough to work out in the yard. We got the garage cleaned out and did a lot of weeding around the front yard. Didn’t quite make it to mowing, Adria and I went on a date around 6. We went and saw “The Dance”, a new LDS movie. It was ok, right on the border of boring. I didn’t like the cinematography very much, a lot of near full frame face shots that were held for 5 minutes at a time. Here’s an idea, if you’re going to zoom in as far as possible on someones face while they’re talking, hire someone who doesn’t have crooked, scary teeth! One of the main actresses was the victim of this and all I could do was stare at and groan about her teeth. The other thing that bugged me was there were several scenes were I swear my kids must have been filming – people who were talking had their heads cut off! I mean, the top of the frame was at their shoulders, so you were basically looking at their body while they were talking, it was weird! I have no idea what it takes to produce a good movie with proper colorization, but whatever it is, this movie didn’t have it. Long, boring, but somehow pertinent speaking parts were thrown in throughout the show – at some points you just had to sigh, sit back and take it. But, overall it was worth going to, there’s a good message for married couples about staying happy and in love.

Things have been really busy with work lately and next week I’ll be in San Francisco for a few days. My Mom has agreed to take the kids for one of the nights so Adria can have a break.

Spring Color Finally Comes

Today I was on the phone for several hours with an investor, I was walking around my 2 1/2 acre yard while I was on the phone. I suddenly noticed that there were wildflowers blooming all around me (they weren’t there a couple days ago and I haven’t been home during the day for a while). So I grabbed my camera and took a few shots while I was on the phone:

Plum Blossoms

Flower

Old Bloom

Wildflowers

Dandelions

Crossroads Plaza gone, here comes City Creek Center

Yesterday I was in downtown Salt Lake on business, I went to park in the Crossroads Plaza and was astonished to see it GONE! I knew they were going to be re-working the mall, but I had no idea they were going to actually rip it down and do something else. I walked around the block a couple times, first seeing what I could see of the on-going demolition, then to see if I could get up higher for a better shot. I was there for a meeting at the Salt Palace and the upper floors there provided me with a decent birds-eye view. Here’s a couple pictures of it:

Crossroads Pit

On the far side of the pit, you can see two backhoes ripping stuff down and moving piles.

3rd floor of Crossroads

I thought it was interesting that you could see the sign that was right off the escalators, indicating you’re on the 3rd floor. You can also see ‘Haroons’ just to the right of the 3rd floor sign. I’m pretty sure that bucket is one of the planters that used to sit right by the escalators with trees in it – I wonder where the trees are?

View of Crossroads

Here’s that same shot, zoomed out. It’s weird, the building looks like a bomb went off in it or something – it reminded me of the Oklahoma bombing and of when terrorists blew up my old barracks in Saudi Arabia.

There were a couple big signs around the area that told about what they’re planning on doing. They’re renaming it to ‘City Creek’ and it will encompass 3 blocks. There’s more information on Downtown Rising apparently it’s going to take FIVE YEARS!! That’s a hec of a long time, they’ll finish the whole thing in 2011. The Downtown Rising website is interesting, it goes over the vision for downtown Salt Lake, it’s just too bad that it will be so long before it’s done. Isn’t construction just a ratio of money and manpower/project = time? Can’t they throw more people on it? It’s like taking 3 years to upgrade a freeway, I swear the government drags things out WAY more than they need to.

Bridal Veil Falls

This afternoon, Adria took the younger girls to see Strawberry shortcake while I had the rest of the kids. With all the snow we’ve had lately we couldn’t do a hike up the mountain so we decided to go to Bridal Veil Falls. It’s a very easy hike, more of a stroll, until you go up to the base of the waterfall, that was a bit rough for the twins. As usual, I brought my camera with me and got what I think are a few decent shots.

Bridal Veil Fall

This is the waterfall looking up from the bottom. You can see the ice cave at the base of the landing, that’s what we hiked up to (it’s about a 3/4 mile hike but goes up quite a ways).

The Kids at the Ice Cave

Once we got up there, we played around in the ice cave a bit.

Ice caves

Climbing through the ice cave, I got some pretty surreal watery shots due to the combination of water being all around and the sun poking through parts of the ice. Some of these I really love.

Water in the Ice Cave

Ice Cave

There are several more shots on my Flickr feed here.

This was a fun, quick hike and kids really love it – lots of water and cool things to see. The walk from the parking lot to the base of the falls is short and paved and wanders through a park. Watch out for idiots on longboards though, they think it’s a good idea to ride their boards 30 miles an hour down the hill at kids.

Hiking Battle Creek Canyon

This morning my Dad, 3 brothers and I hiked up Battle Creek Canyon in Pleasant Grove. While I truly love all the canyons along the Utah County Wasatch Front, and have hiked most of them, Battle Creek holds a special place for us. When we were kids we lived in Pleasant Grove and Dad would take us hiking up there all the time. It is where I first learned most of what I know about hiking and where Dad taught us to appreciate and love nature and the environment. There are many memories up that canyon and it was a lot of fun to go up there again with all the boys. We hiked up and to the north up to the ridge of Grove Creek and had lunch. I had to come back earlier than everyone and so I headed south and east to come down from the Baldy side of the canyon. There is only an improved trail for about a mile and a half, most of the day we were bush-wacking through deer trails. We found some shedded deer antlers, lots of moose, elk and deer droppings and spotted several elk along the path. Unfortunately I couldn’t get a shot of any of the elk. We had a special treat though – we came across a flock of wild turkeys with about 8 hens and 1 beautiful Tom in it. I was hiking along a ridge on the west side when I heard them calling. I started working my way around to them and flushed them out towards my brothers. I tried to get close enough to get a good photo of them, these are the best I could get:

Flock of Turkeys

Here’s the flock, they’re well camoflauged.

Turkey Hen

This hen sat and stared at me for a while, but took off when I tried to get closer.

Here’s a shot of us up on the ridge:

The boys up on Grove Creek Ridge

Battle Creek is right at the foot of Timp. By climbing up high enough (we were at about 9,000 feet) you can get right at the foot of the Timp Cliff.

The foot of Mt. Timp

There are several beautiful waterfalls on the hike up, here are a couple of them:

Battle Creek Falls

Waterfall on Battle Creek Trail

There are several more pictures on my Flickr photostream here.

Playing with bear cubs at Cabellas

So, I haven’t posted on this blog for quite a long time! I took a hiatus from blogging in general, but I’ve been more active lately on my technical blog. I’ve been wanting to start using this blog again instead of mixing personal stuff with my tech blog.

Today offered the perfect opportunity, Cabellas in Lehi (or Alpine or Thanksgiving Point or something) has a bear cub that they announced they were letting kids come in and hold and take pictures with – Santa Style. It was $15.00 for their picture (which we bought) but they didn’t care if you also took your own pics. I brought my camera with me and managed to get a couple decent shots – here they are:

Kids holding bear cub

The kids had fun holding and playing with her, the twins especially!

Bear Cub

Bear Cub

Long overdue update

After taking a month or so long hiatus from blogging, I’m back into it on my technical blog and now it’s time to get going again on my personal blog. So, for now, an update.

The kids started school a couple weeks ago. Talysa is attending a program called UCAS, it’s on the UVSC campus and it’s a great program. She’ll graduate high school with an Associates Degree from UVSC. Kaniho and Sarek are enjoying school – so is Talysa for that matter. Gibon started kindergarten this year and loves it! It helps that her teacher is one of our neighbors. The twins are 21 months now and are on the verge of talking. They are very independent and are a lot of fun. They do a lot of what I think of as ‘typical twin stuff’. They sit and hold hands sometimes, they take care of each other, and fight a lot as well. One funny thing about them – they hate to wear diapers and in order to keep their diaper on, we have to duck tape it to them. Everyone thinks it’s pretty funny to see a baby walking around with their diaper having a duck tape belt on it. Serenity is getting big – she’s almost 2 months old (on Sep 6th) and is holding her head up on her own a lot now.

We’re getting ready to sell our house so we have given the remaining animals to one of our neighbors. They were happy to get a new pony and several chickens. We actually still have the geese, but are planning on taking them to the local duck pond soon. I’ve recently started a new company and things are starting to look good there.

‘Bout dang time!

Adria woke me up at 4:00 this morning to have me help her through contractions – “CONTRACTION!?!?!? She’s coming?!?!?!?” Finally, right now they are about 3 1/2 to 4 minutes apart for 40 seconds. It won’t be too long now, we called the mid-wife and she’s heading out. We’ve never had a baby in the morning like this. Actually, we’ve never had a baby quite like this at all! :)