Monday, April 26, 2010

Friday Flashback: Panorama

For anyone who checks up on this, no, today is not Friday. But the flashback described here did occur last Friday. It was graduation day for my brother-in-law, Bruce, and my nephew, Eric, whose mother, my sister, attended. She also brought a few loose pictures left over from our mother's house.

I was able to arrange four of them into a panorama. A fifth could alternate near the middle, except it is a little larger than the others (and features my daughter*).

This was taken on the day my son, Andrew, received his name and blessing. The living room window was decorated with a picture painted by neighbor, Kent Jefferies, MFA.

Kind of a fun picture. I will have to get these properly scanned and stitched together. There exists some video footage taken the same day, so I have some editing work to do.

On a morbid note (time passing at the usual rate of one second per second), only 5 of the 12 people shown in the panorama are still alive.
*Even though it was not her party, she was the star of the day, dancing all around. Andrew was not yet mobile.

Friday, April 23, 2010


Sara and I took the train to San Francisco on April 10. During breakfast we were seated across from a couple we did not know. They are from France, and were planning to rent a car in San Francisco and drive to some of the wonderful sights in California and the southwestern states.

They spoke of a desire to drive along Route 66 and that led to her mentioning her approaching birthday. I was astounded, because it is the same as mine. Well, that has happened before, and I even have a couple of cousins sharing the same day. But, this was the same year also.

We are twins! And we became friends. They adjusted their travel plans to visit with us in Salt Lake City for two days. We had a great time, showing them Temple Square and the Family History Library on Saturday. On Sunday morning, they witnessed Music and the Spoken Word in the historic Tabernacle. In the afternoon, we showed them around Antelope Island.

Here is a picture of us with them and a son, daughter, grandson and granddaughter.

The three of us on the left are all the same age. Those on the right are younger and much younger.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How weird am I?

Recent reflections have convinced me that I am a bit different, if not totally weird. I seem to have a little system for everything.

Here are three examples.

1. I have a technique for sneezing while driving. As you know, when you sneeze, your eyes involuntarily close for a second or two. At sixty miles per hour, your vehicle is covering 88 feet per second, so during the sneeze, your car will travel as much as 176 feet (55 yards or half a football field). All with your eyes closed!

The technique is this. When you feel a sneeze coming on, close one eye deliberately. When you sneeze, the other eye will remain open. I don't know why, but that's the way it works. This way, you'll be watching the road during the sneeze.

2. I have a technique for buttoning up a dress shirt when in a hurry. There are six buttons (not counting the collar button, which I normally leave open). This is the order that I button them in:

This way, after the second or third button, if there is something going on in the next room and I have to appear there right away, the shirt is modestly closed up while I complete the remaining buttons.

3. I have a technique for putting the lid on a cup of hot chocolate to avoid drips. Here is a drawing of the cup showing the seam that goes the length of the cup on one side.

If you put the drinking spout on, aligned with the seam, then the drink will leak out as you tip the cup to your mouth, and spot your shirt. So, I align the drinking spout of the cover with the opposite side to avoid that problem.

There you go. Three tips for the day.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday Flashback: Mom's flower basket

For many years, our mother had a flower basket, which she made herself, and which contained a display of plastic daisies. This was always in her kitchen.

I saved it when we cleaned out the house after our mother was through with it, and brought it down to Utah. The sprigs of daisies gradually fell out and got lost.

My dear wife, Sara, surprised me yesterday by rejuvenating it. She replaced the floral block inside, which had disintegrated, and added some more flowers in an attractive arrangement.

Mom's flower basket is now enthroned in our kitchen, hopefully for many years to come.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday Flashback: in which I cry defending Santa Claus

Shortly before Christmas, in my grade six class, the teacher asked those students who (still) believed in Santa Claus to please stand.

One girl stood up right away. I hesitated, thinking about lying by not standing.

But, I thought I saw some movement outside through the corner of my eye. That could be Banjo-eyes, the elf specifically assigned to monitor my behavior to see if I was good or bad. Clearly, denying the existence of Santa Claus would be bad, and could lead to no presents that year. So, I stood, too.

The class tittered. Then one of the boys in the front said, "Look, now he's going to cry!"

Obligingly, under the full attention of thirty-some pairs of eyes, I quietly shed some tears. More tittering.

That night, safely at home, I thought through the math of the situation, and decided that Santa Claus couldn't possibly get in all the visits in one night, and a bit of innocence was lost. Along with a few tears. And the cause of Santa Claus lost one defender.