Saturday, February 28, 2009

Temple hill Symphony with Jenny Baker

Oakland, CA

(BTC - more Symph)
(BTC - Stacy)

I had three really cool experiences tonight. I saw Jenny Oaks Baker in concert. I met my dad's new girlfriend. And lastly I met 4 players from the Utah Wheelin Jazz who happen to be on temple hill as well. A very good night, that almost made up for what a waste of day it was.

Friday, February 27, 2009

carpeted clouds

Oakley, CA

The Battle Within

PeonCaptain we are under attack!
Captain – Where?
PeonIn the throat. A patrol group first discovered red and white mines this morning and now we are getting reports of other occurrences.
Captain – Immediately deploy a battalion of whites and reds to the battlefront. I’ll see if I can get a message to Central Intelligence to bring in the Fly Fighters.
PeonRight away Sir.

(a little later)

Captain – Peon what’s there to report?
PeonThe Battalions of White and Red are on their way. The Flyer Fighters have yet to arrive, but we have new a new problem.
Captain – What now?
PeonThe throat has received new damage. Overnight a group of their fighters flew in and laid a stretch of mucus just like pilots in Viet Nam with Napalm. The mucus is everywhere. It’s turning into a slippery situation.
Captain – Right. Get on the horn to CI and tell them we need immediate action. Have them send in bombers with Vitamin C and Sudafed. Have the White Cell Troop send up flares for drops and have them start dropping, Tell CI to get those bombers in there every four hours until I tell them otherwise.
PeonYes Sir. Right away Sir!
Captain – What is the status with the white and red celled troops?
PeonThey arrived late last night but they were fatigued. So they rested this morning and are on the attack. It is a hard battle. There seems to be a lot of cell to spot combat. The air war is helping but this is a hard fight.
Captain – Well give them time. Have them work in shifts so that no group gets too tired. And then -----

(All of a sudden the grown beneath them begins to shake and they hear the noise of a wounded duck quack.)

Captain – Oh crap! A Cough! A cough! We are in trouble now. Ignore everything else. Get ahold of CI and get the cough syrup dispensing fighters in the air now. Now!!!


– Report?
PeonWe are taxing the carrier but we are getting much done. The Syrup Dispensers went on full alert a few hours ago and are flying hourly drops into the mouth and throat. Additionally, The bombers are making 4-hour rotating flights into the throat. Lastly, the Flyer Fighters are dropping soup and water whenever they can get a flight in (and not get in a mid air crash with the Bombers or the Dispensers). The white and Red cell troops are still battling it out on the ground level and are making process. The mucus is breaking up and our troops are getting a stronger hold. They are still running into the occasional mine and we have lost many, especially from the white celled troops. But we are seeing progress.
Captain – Good. Very Good. Keep me informed.

(A Voice comes over the PA)
This is the Central Intelligence. We are declaring Victory at this time. Good work to all our troops and air force. We fought a hard fight but we won and are better for it. We mourn those red and white celled troops that perished in the fight, but we will continue to live and go out as a way to honor their memory. A very much thank you to our Captain and his Peon. We have been victorious.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

green (red) velvet cake

Antioch, CA

I'm taking Red Velvet Cake to work tomorrow. Two small problems: A, No red food coloring at two of the stores. So now it's green. B, I ALWAYS screw up the frosting so I'll admit the frosting is store bought. I know my mother would be so ashamed of me but I just couldn't bring my self to have disappointing frosting. Sometime when I'm in Spring Crik I can get my mother's teacher to teach me.

(The process)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Not interested

Oakland, CA

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

clouds from behind

I think I was still in Oakley, CA

One of these days I'll learn not to take pictures while driving down the highway at 70 MPH, just not today. I really liked the clouds in my tiny mirror as they chased behind me today so I just had to take a picture.

(if you ever see me in the obituary section, do me a favor and read to see if I killed myself while taking a picture at 70 MPH)

Facts of Frank

Frank the flying firefighter flew fast to every fire. Frank flew fearlessly to fields of fire with never a frown on his face, unless it was foggy. When the firefighting was fought, Frank would stop for food. However Frank wasn’t a friend of healthy eating so instead he would feast on fried fast food. Fast food makes Frank fat, which made flying ferociously difficult. When Frank the flying fat firefighter wasn’t flying, he would be getting friendly with his four square dance group or his connect five Sequence group. Frank thought both were fun. He always had a fantastic time forming five dot sequences. On Friday, Frank picks up Fredalina in his Ferrari for a night of frights and fairies at the fair grounds haunted house. Because he can fly, Frank and Fredalina get in for free. Even though Fredalina is very flexible, Frank is very respectful of her and there will be no Frenching or mating. Fredalina is Frank’s biggest fan because he is so faithful to her. He brings her flowers and tells her she’s super fine (even though she thinks she could have a flatter fanny). Fredalina is fraught with fear that her flying boyfriend frank might one day have a fatal run in with a flock of foul. She fears he will quickly figure out that the laws of physics apply to even him as he is falling out of the sky the flat earth below. However Frank finds comfort in a fatal fall if it allows him to have a freaking awesome funeral like this one. That would be fabulous. Frank doesn’t feel his final feat is soon though. Or maybe it is – Look! A flock of forty-five flamingos. In February? What a freak of nature! Flapping feathers finished Frank.

Monday, February 23, 2009

oilver moved

Antioch, CA

Oliver was looking so cute this morning on my way to work. So I bent down to take his picture and just as my shutter snapped Oliver stretched forward and smelled the camera. Even cuter.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Films that inspire

Antioch, CA

Tonight I stayed home and watched the Academy Awards. It was a very enjoyable evening until the second to last award. Sean Penn once again proved that to be an actor you don't have to be smart. He stated that those that voted for prop 8 should be ashamed of themselves but that those that voted for President Obama are a reason to celebrate. According to the polling information, stats released by the state of California and stats released by the LDS church - the people that voted for Obama and Prop 8 - are the same people. Sean Penn specifically stated that it was the voters that should feel shame. He should feel shame for an inability to comprehend who really elected a president and passed prop 8. My only hope is that Sean Penn gets called to the carpet just like Tom Hanks did. You simply can not say you love America and the rights of it's people to vote and then cast shame and "un-American" labels on people just because they don't vote the way you do. For example - I did not agree with those that voted for increased cage sizes for raised animals. But instead of crying foul, I have started increasing the cage sizes of my animals because I respect the law. Sean Penn should learn to respect others as well. Until then he just looks dumb for not being able to figure out that the African-American voters that voted for President Obama also voted for Prop 8.

Before I conclude my rant, I just want to state that I really love actors, actresses, and film. There were a lot of great movies presented tonight. I look forward to seeing some with my Dad (doubt, milk, slumdog millionaire to start), and I loved the ones that I saw and loved (the visitor, dark knight). Movies are so critical and important to inspiring greatness and to capture stories of hope. Over lunch today we discussed the influence of of Richard Dutcher's movies. Dutcher released God's Army and Brigham City before eventually leaving the LDS church. His movies challenged the stereotypes and process of a deep belief in God and how that can (and should) govern our lives. Dutcher eventually left the Mormon church (see farewell letter here), but before going he taught me about myself and allowed me to see aspects of me that I had never considered.
And that is what film should do. I am often heard commenting on how much I love and hate Aaron Sorkin. If you don't know, Aaron Sorkin wrote Sports Night and the first four seasons of The West Wing. His episodes were often very inspiring and educational and asks you to examine your belief system. There are some that say movies and TV are just meant to entertain, and I agree that sometimes that's right (though even Tropic Thunder was amazing with Robert Downey Junior) , but that is not the full purpose of film: The full purpose is to inspire and tonight we got to see some of that. I am so grateful for great writers and great directors and even dumb actors.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Jelly Planes

Fairfield, Ca

I had a very random full day. I started out going to an E-Waste Event. Next I picked up a friend and went to Fairfield to see the Air Museum, but on our way my friend saw there was a Jelly Belly Factory so we went on a tour there (sadly no pictures allowed). Then we went to the air museum. Afterwards I went to a party. Then a meeting, then back to the party. I have pictures from everything but the e-waste. Sadly I didn't get a picture of all the empty alcohol bottles. It was a great day.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Institutionalized rabbits

I've never owned rabbits before. In fact, beyond turtles I've never really had pets. The rabbits I own sort of fell into my lap which is the only reason I own them. You see, I was working on a fence in October when a very pregnant rabbit snuck onto the property and had a litter. The owner of the house didn't want to kill them, but he also couldn't keep them because of his wife's allergy. I told him if he'd help pay for a hutch, I'd take them off his hands. I bought a hutch and a book on raising rabbits and now I'm raising rabbits. However, the book on raising rabbits doesn't talk about the psychology of rabbits and it is in this that I think I might have done some harm.

Because the 4 full size rabbits are currently in one hutch (That will change on the 28th), the kids let the rabbits out each day into a caged area for grazing or eating. On Saturday evening the rabbits were out front and I was in the house washing dishes. Suddenly I see in the back yard a white fluff advancing along. It was Momma Rabbit (or Supper as the kids call her). I called to the other kids to let them know we had escapees. We all rushed out front only to discover one escapee. The boys were all near the opening in the fence, looking at it but not running. I don't think they knew what to do.

Supper has known a life outside the cage, but Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner know nothing of that life. They have been caged their whole lives. Without trying to do it, I think I institutionalized them. They are now caged animals and would prefer to live that way.

I'm trying to figure out if I can do this to mom or if I should undo this with the boys. I'm not sure which but I find it very interesting that those three boys didn't run.

happy Ansel day

Oakley, CA

Today is Ansel Adams' birthday. In light of that I give you black and white pictures. I was going to photograph the same trees from last year - but alas the City of Oakley has cut them down.

Also, Happy Birthday to Andria.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

better than a goat

Antioch, CA

Because they live in small cage, the rabbits are often let out of their cage during the day and put somewhere to play. I got home from work today and it was obvious to me where the rabbits had been on the front lawn. Can you tell?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

left over paint

Oakland, CA

For the past 40 years the Oakland InterStake Center has hosted a pageant called "And it Came to Pass." I worked for the show for ten years on crew rising the the rank of Assistant Tech Director. In 2008 the LDS Church announced they were suspending pageant, and then eventually decided to cancel it. Recently, the Church headquarters came and took the costumes and a lot of the equipment. Now the crew on Temple Hill are responsible for sorting and organizing what wasn't taken to Salt Lake. Tonight we fininshed working on organizing a storage room. After that was done, we started seeing what paint should be kept. For every color we kept we threw away twice as many. We had a lot of paint that was moldy and chuncky. Some of the paint was bought 40 years ago.

Interesting to me only, I was given a new title tonight. About 5 years ago I discovered that I didn't really like running theatre shows - but I loved working on theatre projects. Tonight my tech director mentioned that I'm on the "Special Projects Team." I only come into work on the projects going on in the background and not the shows that come through. I like that idea.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

raving rabbid competitions

Pleasant Hill, CA

Tonight I had dinner with some friends and had a weird conclusion come to my attention. I don't own a Wii. In fact, I am not a big video game kind of guy. That said, I have Wii Mii's on 5 different consoles. (Ben/Alyssa, Debbie, my Dad, Katie, and I assumed someone else's role where I live now). Even more interesting to me is I can track my different hair styles through 4 of those places as each Mii is a little different hair wise.

Monday, February 16, 2009

country driving

Pleasanton, CA

(BTC - Including a picture of a DC - 3 that my father flew.)
(BTC - Caught)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

fisheye temple

Oakland CA

I was playing with my new toy in Oakland tonight. I need to figure out a way to mount it to my camera. I think I have a way but it will take some work.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Mt Diablo Snow

Oakley, CA

It snowed on Mt. Diablo on Friday and today.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Cookies for Co-workers

Oakley, CA

I was nice to my co-workers today and brought in home made cookies to celebrate the two holidays tomorrow. For Valentines Day I brought in sugar heart shaped cookies with vanilla frosting. For SAD (single awareness day) I really struggled. I tried to find a cookie cutter that resembled a hand with a middle finger, but instead I settled on a black heart chocolate sugar cookie, for all the black hearts of scorned ex-lovers.

(BTC - I broke a rule)
(BTC - New toy for my camera)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Kid Lit

Oakley, CA

I stole the idea from Koch Co. These are a third of the books at my office. The Noodles book has got to be the weirdest.

(BTC - Who don't you see)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Where the hoses go

Oakley, CA

We had a gas leak at work and the fire department showed up to investigate. They beat PG&E by 10 whole minutes.

(BTC - One of these should be PAD but I am so chuffin tired of posting sunset pictures for PAD that they are going up as BTC)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pink Goo

Oakley, Ca

A favorite toy at work died today. As we researched to find out whether the stuff on the inside was poisonous or not, I played around with it.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Flight in Paradise

Antioch, CA

This vegetation should be easy for all ya all. I mean I even know what it is without Melinda's help.

I found this on a walk in my new neighborhood.


Sunday, February 8, 2009

purpleish pink

Antioch, CA

It's time for my favorite game (though sadly I don't have my favorite ecologist to play with) - Name that vegetation.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

what good photography can do

If you have ever wondered if photography ever did any good, I ran across this article in Newsweek this week (PDF). "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep" is an organization on photographers that help families with stillborn grieve. These volunteer photographers sacrifice their time and talents to give photos to people who have lost everything else. If you ever think your photo skills aren't worth developing, read this article. Good photography can heal.


Antioch, CA

I went with Katie on a hike today. There were creeks and streams and waterfalls. It was beautiful. At one point we saw these pair of deer and got as close as 300 feet to them. They stood still and just looked at us before scampering off into the hill side. It was a once in a million time. And I had my camera with me for all of it. I just didn't have my camera battery. Do'h! I'm trying to convince Katie to go again on the 16th and so maybe we'll get shot pictures then.

If you have ever wondered if photography ever did any good, I ran across this article in Newsweek this week (PDF). "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep" is an organization on photographers that help families with stillborn grieve. These volunteer photographers sacrifice their time and talents to give photos to people who have lost everything else. If you ever think your photo skills aren't worth developing, read this article. Good photography can heal.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Storm cleared sunset

Oakley, CA

It rained all day and then at 5 the rain stopped, the clouds parted and we got to see this, then at 6 the clouds gathered again.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Gayest Sausage

Antioch, CA

Every summer while I was in college at BYUI, I had a two week break between semesters. During those two weeks I'd drive out to Wisconsin to see my brother, Sister-in-law and the niece. While there my SIL would take me shopping for new clothes ("Sean you're in college now. You need to start dressing like you're in college"). One time we were at Target buying me my first ever POLO style shirt. One of the shirts my SIL had me try on was a red and blue striped polo. I told her I looked gay in it. (I mean that in the nicest way possible.) She told me I was being silly (and rude toward gay people), but eventually relented and didn't make me get it. Several hours later we were at a Brewers game. During one of the innings a bunch of sausages come out and race around the field. As the #2 Sausage came out I turned to Liz and said "See isn't that the Gayest Sausage you've ever seen." She choked on her Mike's Hard lemonade as she laughed.

On Wednesday, I received my birthday gift from my Wisconsin family. In it was the #2 Racing Sausages Mascot sporting his gay red and blue striped shirt. I'm not sure but I think this is in retribution for getting my brother a BYUI Cow Tipping Team T-Shirt.

read there

I already put the link up on my 25 things, but I just want to make sure this get's some notice. There is a funny article from Time on Facebook's 25 things phenomenon. Worth the read.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Find the bird

Antioch, CA

The bird was sitting on a leafless branch with full sun on it when I started to get ready to take the picture. Then after I was set up to take the shot, the bird flew to another branch and was in a shadow. Grr.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Broadband 101

Antioch, CA

Since moving into my new place, I've been having some internet problems. I got some helpful hints tonight.

for the fences

Olivia struggled off the bench; shoulders slumped as she walked down the concrete executioner’s path, passing others due to walk the same path after her. At the end she turned to the left and studied the options. Size, length, and weight all had to be processed in her little mind. Olivia made her choice and turned back onto her disheartening path. She climbed up the two steps and placed her feet on the earth’s solid dirt. Olivia mustered all of the saliva she could, pulling from the corners behind her gums, and spit down onto the red dirt. “Traditions! Might as well.” Olivia thought.

As her turn came, Olivia walked out of the warm up circle. Slowly she took each agonizing step. Put her out in the outfield and she would run out there, but this fate was worse than anything she could think of.

Eventually she makes it to her assigned place. She places her feet as she was instructed, beating her weapon against each cleat before placement. She crouched down, bending her knees slightly. In no time at all the pitcher released the ball and Olivia swung as hard as she could, hoping to murder that pitch on the first try.

“Strike!” the man with the black grilled face shouted.

Olivia’s confidence, already lacking, sunk.

She positioned herself again. Again the pitcher hurled the red stitches toward her. Again the man with the grille face called out the obvious as the momentum of her swing brought Olivia to the ground.

As she lifted herself off the ground and dusted herself off, Chad comes running from the bleachers, calling Olivia over to the backstop.

“Olivia, what’s wrong?” he asked gently.

“Daddy, I just can’t seem to hit a home run.”

Chad smiles,”Honey, you have no control over that. If that ball is meant to soar, it will soar. If that ball is meant to skip across the dirt and come to rest in the tall green grass, it will skip. But you are not responsible for that. You are just required to make contact.”

Chad smiled once more and suggested she return to the plate.

Being a little more hopefull, Olivia turned back and returned to the white box. She dug in her cleats. Turning to the pitcher, she watched as the man on the mound went into his wind up. She watched eagerly as his arm swung around and that ball flew out of his hand, on a direct path to her.

As the ball neared, the umpire prepared his well rehearsed shout. Before he could proclaim his words, though, he and everyone else heard an unfamiliar and unexpected sound.


Olivia dropped her bat and ran, all the while watching the ball do what it was meant to do.

Monday, February 2, 2009

finger lickin 'shrooms

Oakley, CA

25 random things

This list has been floating around Facebook for sometime and is now starting to show up on blogs. I tend to avoid list chain mailings, but I’m willing to do this one and then be done. I’ll add this one to the other shorter one I did in 2007. That will be 32 random things about me.

  1. I took Tap Dancing for 4 years.
  2. I took Piano lessons for 2 years.
  3. I haven’t shot a weapon since I was 14 but my favorite weapon that I’ve shot was a German Luger Pistol.
  4. I have had 41 roommates/housemates/flat mates not including missionary or family experiences.
  5. I’ve had four tumors.
  6. I hate flying. If I can’t get there in my truck I don’t see the point in going.
  7. I caught a foul ball at a baseball game in Oakland in 2008.
  8. I started a wheelchair basketball program at my University in Idaho that is now an official school sport. I also helped design the wheelchairs that are currently used.
  9. I have long since thought I would end up as an amputee in this life and state that as the reason I’ve never learned to drive a manual transmission.
  10. I often narrate my own life in my head.
  11. I am a news junkie and a random trivia seeker.
  12. The best birthday gift I ever received from a non-family member was a USA Today Snapshots daily desk calendar. I learned so much that year.
  13. I hate grocery shopping.
  14. I owned and operated three business – all started accidentally (“Bob and Fred Poetic Association,” “The Garden Club,” and “John and Sean Technical.” The first two were very successful. The third not so much.)
  15. My father has taught me most of what I know about irrigation, construction and working.
  16. I tend to date girls for either a really long time or a relative short time. I have three ex-girlfriends that I dated for at least 14 months and some two years. I have a plethora of girls I dated for less than a month. I can only think of one girl I dated for more than one month and less than six. We should have gone longer but I broke up with her for stupid reasons.
  17. I am allergic to bees, beer, wasps, wine, hornets and morphine.
  18. I love going to Laundromats to do my laundry.
  19. My favorite song is “Abide with me tis eventide.”
  20. I favorite books are “Snowmen at night,” “Charlie’s Monument,” “The Book of Mormon,” and “the five people you meet in heaven.” I have several other books I enjoy, but I can read these four books over and over again.
  21. Most of my psych and sociology friends would say that I am best described as a functionalist.
  22. I’m horrible at studying effectively.
  23. I am not really a competitive person and I don’t usually seek out competition. The only times I’m competitive is when playing wheelchair basketball or when around John.
  24. I struggle to make friends. This is due in part to my desire to have structured social activities. I crave structure so much that hanging out playing video games has no appeal to me.
  25. I love able-bodied baseball and football. I love wheelchair basketball. I can’t stand to watch the opposite of those.
(Though TIME says this is a waste of time)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

birfday mom

Antioch, CA

Today was my new land lady's 46th birthday, but instead of putting on 46 candles her 16 year-old daughter decided to be a little dyslexic and put on 64 candles. Here are the pictures from the cake looking like an infernal.

Waiting on a season

When I was a child, my father worked a lot. I know in part this was to support my medical bills and my mother’s medical bills. But the end result was the same – I missed seeing my father. My father was a world traveler for business and he was on the cutting edge of technology invention. (He shares two patens with a major computer company.) This meant for a lot of long hours.

However every summer I knew there would be one night where my brother and I would see him. Chad and I participated in the summer reading program with the Alameda County Library system. ACL and the Oakland Athletics had a deal worked out that if you read a certain number of books, you got a free ticket to go see an A’s game. You were actually given a voucher for a free ticket on a certain night in August. The A’s also gave you a coupon for a discount ticket for an adult to come with you.

Each summer Chad and I would race through our collections of books and read as much as we could at the library. And at the end of summer, we had our vouchers. We then got our coupon and Dad got our tickets. The seats were at the very top of the stadium and the view was never great (they actually don’t sell seats to the section we were in anymore because they got tired of people touching the bottom of airplanes.), but it was a welcome day to spend with dad in those hot Indian summer days watching a few men toss a ball around. It’s the days that dreams are made of.

Later today, football (My mother’s passion) will come to a close and I will wait. On April 11th my memories will be flush upon my mind and I will long to be beside my father once more, watching a few guys throw around a ball and allow me to be a kid one more time.

San Jose Giants Schedule Oakland Athletics Schedule