Tuesday, September 29, 2009

national parks

b and i have been watching the new ken burns documentary "national parks: america's best idea" and are really enjoying it. as expected, it's very informative and engaging. below are a few surprising things we've learned or just things we've found interesting.

there is a national park called something like general grant national park in california. who knew?

crater lake was one of the first national parks.

the grand canyon was originally designated a national monument.

teddy roosevelt was a good taxidermist. and he was a funny guy. i've always heard he was a character, but some of the funniest parts so far have been when during the roosevelt parts.

john muir was a super cool guy. too bad he died in 1914--he would have been such an interesting man to know.

yellowstone was originally known as the "wonderland."

there's so much more--but that's all i can think of right now. if you haven't been watching this, i'd strongly recommend it. i think you can watch it for free on pbs.org (to get caught up). or you can just start watching it on pbs this evening.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

the show

so brian and i went up to the built to spill show last weekend--and it was an interesting time. the opening bands were nothing special. some of their stuff was ok, and one of the bands had a pretty rocking lady drummer, but the sound seemed a bit off (ie the music was too loud and the vocals were too soft). thankfully they fixed the sound system for b2s.

it was really exciting when b2s finally came out. doug looked like doug, and that guy with the huge beard still had the huge beard. the first things that surprised me about b2s, or really doug, were that doug's head bobbles in a very strange way when he sings and that doug is not very personable.

so, first his head. his head was jerkily bobbling around as soon as he started singing the first song (liar). it seemed like it might be difficult to sing like that, but he pulled it off. as the show progressed, though, his head movements became a little less extreme and jerky. i guess maybe he just has to warm up his head.

and second his unpersonability. this surprised me, but i guess maybe it shouldn't have. doug was very into the music, but not so into the crowd (even though i thought we were a good crowd--lots of yelling and clapping). after each song he would give a canned "thanks." brian and i both agreed that if we didn't like b2s so much we probably would have found his performance personae disconcerting, but you can't not like them. the music's too good. to doug's credit, though, i did see him smile a few times, and he did say "thank you" a couple times instead of just his standard, lilting "thanks."

the important thing was that the music was great. they, and especially doug, are so good. we got in some good dancing. i particularly liked "strange," "going against your mind," and "big dipper," and i noticed that they played a lot of songs from their "keep it like a secret" album. i wonder if that's their favorite album...

after the show ended, i went up to the front and thanked one of the guys for coming to slc and for putting on a great show. he then gave me the play list. how cool is that? all-in-all, it was a great night.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

first day of fall

i woke up this morning to a cold house. it was at 66 degrees, then it went down to 65, and finally it got down to 64. at that point i turned on the heater. so i guess it is indeed no longer summer.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

the office

b and i are so excited that the office is finally back on. i listened to a bit on the radio awhile ago, and a tv critic was commenting on how the office went downhill over the past season. i guess i'm just a die-hard fan because i thought it was great. i think of it as pure entertainment, and i'm looking forward to being purely entertained tonight! and anyway, this picture reminds me that i need to go for a run today...and that i should find some way to support rabies prevention education research.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

a rocky mountain labor-free weekend

brian and i had a good long weekend. below is a quick run-down of the highlights.

we made it up to the swiss days festival, which was interesting to go to but not too swissy. it could have had any name/theme and seemed about as swiss as the festival actually was. that was a bit disappointing, but i guess not too surprising.

on saturday we decided to go up to the high uintas to do some exploring. while driving/walking around, we spotted three different female mooses. and one, as you can see from the pic below, was pretty close. we also did a little fishing--b caught one fine trout.

on sunday we took an afternoon drive up to sundance and then on through the american fork canyon road. it was easy to see why robert redford was so taken by the sundance area. it is really beautiful up there. it's amazing how the mountains can look so different. we see the front of these mountains all the time, but the back side is completely different--so striking. it also seems like we might have found a good place to go leaf-viewing once the trees start changing.

on monday we got up early and went back up the high uintas to do a 7-mile'ish roundtrip hike to a couple mountain-top lakes. we did some great fishing (i caught the fattest fish i've ever caught); found thimbleberries, raspberries, and blueberries along the trail/by the lakes; and had a nice, relaxing time up there. we caught several trout and cooked them up at a firepit close to the lake. then did some more fishing and brought those fish down with us. the hiking part was a bit rough (it's a really tiring hike), but we're feeling better today. below shows some of the highlights.

this is a pic of a pika that poked its head out of the rocks a few times while i was sitting by the side of the lake. it was only about 3 feet away from me. isn't it cute?

this is a view of the upper lake.

this shows me with the fat fish i caught. b is holding it beside my head as i'm taking the picture, which is why it's a bit wonky.

this is the proud picture of brian with the big trout he caught in a tiny pool at the upper lake.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

hittin' the hemingway (books and movies)

i'm taking an english class this semester on hemingway with an emphasis on his works put into film. so i'll be reading several novels, short stories, ect and then watching film adaptations of those. i'm auditing the class, which means i get to do what i want/show up when i want with no deleterious repercussions(ie a bad grade). but i think it will be fun and interesting--so i plan on staying on top of the reading and attending the class as much as possible.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


we just bought tickets to see our favorite band, built to spill, play in slc. this is a very, very good day in the roberts home. and we only have to wait til the 19th. and they're coming out with a new album on october 6!