Wednesday, July 29, 2009



Stupid, stupid, stupid.


Stupid, stupid, stupid.

What's more stupid is that our backups have apparently been broken and not backing up for the last month. At least I can't take credit for that.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Burro Wash

Burro Wash! A canyon in Capitol Reef Park. My last canyoneering trip of the year, according to Child. For some reason, she doesn't want me to be gone when Nine is born. I'm not sure what the big deal is...

Anyway, five of us went on this trip. From left to right Rob, me, my brother Enoch, Mike, and Randall. I took Enoch on this canyoneering trip as a birthday present, so I hope he enjoyed it. He seemed to have fun.

At the very beginning, Randall's GPS wouldn't work. We also had a topographical map so you'd think we wouldn't have a problem, but when your only directions are, "leave the trail when you see a faint miner's track going roughly southeast," and that miner's track isn't on the map, then the GPS coordinates all of a sudden become more important.

After debating about the relative "faintness" of a track we saw leaving the main trail, we finally kept going. After becoming thoroughly lost and facing the prospect of either scaling a sheer 200 foot cliff or doing a three mile end-run around a mountain, I finally suggested Randall try his GPS again. This time it worked, and realized that the first track we had seen had indeed been the correct one.

We backtracked, but rather than go all the way to the proper ascent to the saddle we were looking for, we struck off a little early (or a little late, if we had been going the right way) and found our own way up the cliffs.

Here's a shot looking down. Straight down.

With that sort of drop below us, and nothing but loose sandstone underfoot, you can understand why Rob is a little cautious in his climbing.

At the top at last. We stop for a break before slipping through a crack in the wall behind us and immediately seeing...

Burro Wash.

After a bit of downhill scrambling, we get into the first narrows. There's four main sections, with the possibility of water. Considering the heat (101 degrees) and the openness (and therefore sunniness) of Burro Wash, we opted to forgo the suggested wetsuits. It was a good decision. There were only a handful of pothohles with water, and it was never more than waist deep. Coming out of the water, we dried in minutes.

Between four sections of narrows were plenty of sunny, open spaces.

There were also four or five rappels.

Either the water or a conservationally-minded hiker placed this log to hold up the rock overhang.

There was also a snake.

And our first water. It actually felt sorta nice considering the heat, and considering that my feet were burning up in my neoprene socks and water shoes I was wearing.

Hanging out over a pool of water for a rappel.

A water slide. Except despite what the sequence of this picture and the next would have you believe, there was not actually any water at the bottom of the slide. It had apparently already dried up, along with most of the potholes.

Ooh! Rookie mistake! Getting the route description wet.

Interesting rocks. They reminded me of popcorn.

I was trying to take this picture while I was hanging half-way down a rappel, but I still had the camera in video mode from something, and while I was trying to change it with one hand without dropping the camera and keeping myself braked on the rope, the picture subjects below lost interest.

The hike out.

Sorry for the brief descriptions on most of the photos. It took so long to upload them that I've sorta lost interest, and Child is making dinner downstairs.


It's always fun looking through the pictures on your digital camera when you haven't emptied it in a while. So, without further ado, here is the last couple weeks in review.

Okay, one further ado: "Starting with the most recent event and working back, since for some weird reason BlogSpot uploads pictures in reverse order of what you selected:"

Ripe tomatoes! We actually have a lot more now, but these were the first two.

My dryer-vent cleaning tool. Three screws stuck through a metal lid and duct-taped to a broom handle. On the other end: a flashlight. The broom handle is stuck into the vent, and lint is scraped out.

I'm worried that I only succeeded in shoving the lint further in...

No- yet-ripe tomatoes! Would have been cooler if you hadn't already seen pictures of the finished product. This is why BlogSpot is wrong to put pictures in reverse order.

Grasshoppers ate the three pepper plants on the ground into nubbins. In revenge, I invented a new use for grasshoppers: cat toys. Acouchi loves them.

Child's Fourth of July dessert! It was amazing!

As it turns out, I thought I had more pictures to post, but the rest are of people and events who I understand would rather remain un-Internet-posted. I wasn't even planning to post their Social Security Number, just their home address and telephone number.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Wow, almost two weeks since I last posted. Part of that I blame on the missing camera cable; I have pictures of Acouchi chasing grasshoppers, pictures of the first tomatoes from our garden, and more, but they're firmly ensconced on the camera with no intention of making their way to the Internet until I found the cable.

For now, here's something that's already on the Internet:

It's a website Child and I built for the infant massage business she is starting. Thanks to Child's eye for color, I think it turned out fairly nice.

On an even more time-consuming note, I finally finished the first draft of the first novel I've completed in years!

Working title: Mockingbird Rebellion
First draft wordcount: 67,000 (goal: 80,000)
Number of important characters with names that begin with J: 4 (goal: 1)
Drafts remaining: about a million.

Friday, July 03, 2009


Power is a heady thing. You get a little, then you want more, and more, and more.

A few days ago I got a monocular, which is like half a binocular, or a tiny telescope. It has a 7x zoom, and I use it for bird, people, car, fox, and deer watching from my second-story window while I work during the day. There's a giant empty field across the street, then a major road on the far side of that, so there's plenty to see.

The 7x zoom gets the job done. I can read the "For Sale" poster on the house across the field, and watch the family setting off their model rocket in the middle of the field. But...I want more now. I want to see the eye color of the deer, or the license plate of the car parked on the far side of the field. I want to see the fleas on the birds! More power! More zoom!

* Pant pant * On second thought, maybe I should stick to my 7x...

Normal picture of a sign from my camera (1x):

My camera zoomed in to 3x.

Taking a picture through my 7x monocular. It doesn't quite do the monocular justice, since I can see a little more clearly than the picture--perhaps the camera can't focus quite as well. Anyway, I can actually read the big words and logo on the sign, even if you can't in the picture.

Taking a picture through the camera at full zoom (3x) and the monocular (7x):