Monday, June 30, 2008

Avoid a fist-fight with this guy or the people you meet in the back of the bus

Avoid a fist-fight with this guy or the people you meet in the back of the bus
Originally uploaded by Theorris

I was on the bus this morning, and sat in the back, as is my wont, across from "Walt" (so said his name badge.) Walt was asleep. He had one be-ringed hand gripped firmly on the side-ways seat back (pictured) and the other on his knee. He's a big guy in honest-to-god overalls, a plant manager (q.v. the name badge) and likes to wear lots of wizardly icons, both those pictured and those not. I assume he must be at least a level 57 wizard in D&D, and maybe some other level in Myst, if I knew what Myst was.

I would have liked to talk to Walt to find out what was really up with all the wizardly bling, but he slept the entire way to my stop, so I didn't have a chance to talk to him. His shaved head and quasi-wizard goatee no doubt would put some people off.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Entry for JM Bell's button contest

Here is my entry for JM Bell's contest to remake the Utah Republican Party button in a more realistic fashion:

Listening to:
Wilco - Summer Teeth
via FoxyTunes

Dude! your web site sucks, but is relatively fantastic! or Failing the Turing Test with your pals from North Salt Lake

In seeking out information on whether Redman Campground here in Utah up Big Cottonwood Canyon was open or not, my friend discovered this gem (also known as crap) in the Internet's tubes: Redman Campground - Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Utah. (Note the map puts the camp ground in downtown Salt Lake, right where the First Security building is instead of up Big Cottonwood canyon. It must be fun to camp at a bank.)

I have no idea who wrote this page but I have a pretty good idea how they did it. For those of you who don't want to follow the link, here is a sampling of the fun:

This campground is a good place to go to. A journey to Jordan River State Park when you're here at Redman Campground is a pleasant idea; an afternoon playing golf at Old Mill Golf Course is always a bliss. Ok, you've been cooped up for too much time, you need to get out of the house, and Redman Campground in Utah is a magnificent site to go. You can run the rapids of Jordan River next to Redman Campground, and Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail is one of the destinations that are great to stop at close by.

All of the things it mentions are miles away out of the canyon. Since when does the placid Jordan River have white water? Just in case they were referring to the creek that runs by Redman, I doubt many people shoot the rapids of the mighty Big Cottonwood CREEK, given that it is about 3 feet deep at the height of spring runoff, and the rocks in it would bash any kayak to bits. I suppose some adventuresome soul who wished to no longer own a kayak could give it a try, and perhaps has.

The author is obsessed with golfing too, with at least 5 golf courses mentioned (all of them within easy walking distance, if you have two days to spare).

Here is my favorite statement: "The caring personnel and all the exciting stuff to do are relatively fantastic." Relatively fantastic? Relative to what? KOA? Also, what do the caring personnel have to do with the extravagant amount of things to do in the entire state of Utah?

The above sentence is followed closely by my second favorite statement " Redman Campground you always meet someone from North Salt Lake. A lot of fun is at this campground." It is well-known here in Utah that the people of North Salt Lake are the funnest people to camp with. It has something to do with the refinery and the open gravel pit.

And speaking of relativity: "You'll wish for more hours in a day to enjoy all the enjoyable things at Redman Campground. City Creek Canyon is a good place to spend some time at, and great skiing awaits you at Snowbird." What the hell? City Creek Canyon is 12 miles away from Redman, and Snowbird is up the other canyon. Now that would be a fun hike! You get to dodge traffic and you will enjoy doing it. I know I enjoy doing enjoyable things.

Yet, perhaps you won't have to worry about spending a lot of time wandering around, since it seems that Redman Campground gives you the ability to bend space and time! After all, you can apparently gaze at the wonders of Ensign Peak from there. The eleven thousand foot tall Wasatch Mountains between cannot block your view of a six thousand foot mountain 20 miles away. Einstein would be proud of the gravity well that is Redman Campground.

My friend thinks this page was written by a drunken Korean child. I however, believe it was written by a computer program (most likely drunken) pulling out declarative sentences from other web sites in order to bump their Google Adsense revenue. The more keywords (like golf or hiking or camping) you mention, the more hits you are likely to get on a Google search, and then your advertisements on that page pay off through impressions and (no doubt) click throughs.

Well the program failed the Turing Test, but it sure gave me a good laugh.

You should look at their other campground descriptions. You might enjoy a "spree", for example, in Smith & Morehouse (a particularly beautiful canyon in the Uinta Mountains 75 miles away from Salt Lake City), with, you guessed it, your old pals from North Salt Lake. Apparently they esteem Smith & Morehouse especially.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New lens!

New lens!
Originally uploaded by Theorris

In honor of the anniversary of the marriage of me and my Nikon D40, I bought it a new lens. It is a AF-S DX VR Zoom-NIKKOR 55-200 f/4-5.6 G IF-ED (say that 3 times fast). I honor of the event, I took a picture of the same subject as the first picture with the D40 itself: the spine out in front of my house sculpted by buddy Catinlap. (I was probably 10 feet away from it when taking this.)
Here is the first-ever image taken with my D40:
First Picture!

I, Libertine

As we come up to the Forth of July*, I have to state that Jean Sheppard was indeed brilliant: WFMU's Beware of the Blog: The I, Libertine Hoax. May he rest in peace.

*One of Sheppard's works was the "Great American Forth of July and Other Disasters."

Listening to: The Flaming Lips - Bad Days (Aurally Excited Version)
via FoxyTunes

Imge Fulgurator

This fascinating device Imge Fulgurator manipulates the reality of people's snapshots. Basically it detects another camera's flash and puts whatever image or text the prankster (or artist) chooses. Watch the video if you don't understand German. It will make sense.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Go Reusable

Go Reusable Bags!

How happy and friendly is that little globe-bag-thingy with its happy arms? Come on, go reusable!

Listening to: Siouxsie & the Banshees - Cities In Dust
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

One little plastic bag

Remember a couple of years ago the news story about the gynormous raft of plastic in the Pacific? Apparently it has reached the size of Texas: Greenpeace | Pacific trash vortex showing drift of ocean pollution.

Grist for the mill

  1. Here is an excellent primer on how to talk to a climate change skeptic: Gristmill: The environmental news blog. Sometimes I fear, however, that it is a losing battle.
  2. Since gas has hit an all-time-high in our Pretty, Great State [TM], ridership on mass transit seems to have quadrupled. I have no reliable counts, but from anecdotal evidence, I have seen my regular route overflowing with new riders. This is particularly interesting since I was usually one of 5 people in the southbound TRAX car just a year ago. The northbound trains have always been packed in the morning, of course, but this is a first for the southbound trains. The high gas prices are the cause of this (and I have no doubts on that). I would hope, however, that people will maintain this behavior after the current gas crisis is over. Yes, gas prices will fluctuate as they always do.
  3. Anecdotal side-benefits noted because of the gas crisis:
  • Fewer teens & twenty somethings blaring down my street at ungodly hours.
  • More teens & twenty somethings on bikes having inappropriate conversations and offending little old ladies walking down the street.
  • Despite 2 red alert air quality days, we can still see the mountains. This is highly unusual in a high pressure inversion.
  • More people realizing that 10 minutes is not much to sacrifice for mass transit when you come down to it.
  • More people realizing that you don't have to drive to the grocery store that is just up the street.

Monday, June 16, 2008

World's Tackiest Tee Shirt

World's Tackiest Tee Shirt
Originally uploaded by Theorris

If it isn't the tackiest, it certainly is the ugliest. It would fit right into my collection. I would have bought it, but I didn't want to encourage them.

Friday, June 13, 2008

If this keeps up, I'm going to get a big head

KUER (90.1 on your FM dial) is using one of my pictures for a online news story about the SLC Farmer's Market: The Case for the Independent Farm (2008-06-13). The Market starts up this weekend. I think I'll head down, if I can pry my sorry ass out of bed, that is.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

My hometown does it again

I certainly am not going to have my precious (a.k.a Signifying nothing) become derivative of my home town, and its many problems, but here we go again: Salt Blog: The Daily Feed From City Weekly: Obama Sock Monkeys: Racist or Just Cuddly?

So I have to put up with Chris Buttars and that shit?


That's it: everyone out. I and my family were there first. You lot get the hell out.

Vengeance is mine sayeth Red Auerbach

Game 4 of 2008 NBA finals might be one of the best Celtic games I've seen since the era of Bird. All I have to say to the cursed ABC announcers who officially called that it would be 2 and 2 at the end of this game is would you like a nice Cabernet to go with that crow you've got to eat?

Again it was all Kobe and what a great "team" player he is. Aside from a 5 minute love-fest for Odom (who admittedly did have a great first half) and a minor affair with Azira or whatever the hell his name is, the man-crush for Kobe continued amongst the ABC announcing crew. I refuse to even name them, their partisanship disgusts me so. Why was Kobe a "team" player tonight? He wasn't scoring worth shit, that's why.

Best player ever? My ass.

The consensus at the Wilhelm is that the Jazz, of course, could easily take the Celtics, despite their stellar play. It is a hard one for me, as I was a Celtics fan before the Jazz came along to Utah, and would still bleed green if you cut me at this time of year.

In the name of Bill Lambier, amen.

Note 1--another post considered while watching the game if the Lakers had pulled it off:
The Lakers have officially changed their name to the Los Angeles Kobes, at the insistence of the ABC announcers.

Note 2 to Kobe--welcome to the MVP curse, baby.

Note 3--Celtics in 5.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Offended or the Scion of West Jordan Speaks or You don't fuck with family

I have no clue why I am so offended by this event that has to do with my family: Online Ticket Office | The Ghosts of Gardner Village
Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

What the hell? Ghosts? 13 bucks a pop?

What the hell.

They were my ancestors, not theirs to be exploited for your entertainment.

I had words with someone who doesn't understand family on this issue. I regret that.

Still, I am very protective of my family and was quite riled to see our name used in such an egregious fashion.

Yes, I probably am old-fashioned in that sense. Despite my rather unconcerned nature, I'm ready to come to blows over this insult.

I think what it is, is that someone is taking control of my family's history, other than someone who is of the family.

That's an extreme violation of taboo in my family. Only the family tells its history. All others are flat out wrong.

Wow. I'm surprised at the guttural nature of my feelings on this matter. In any case, I am right, and they are wrong.

Pure and simple.

That's pretty much how my family has kept it over the years. The first and best joke I ever heard was "The only problem with the X-family (insert a suitable name there) is that they think they are as good as the Gardners. "

Oh yeah, I am pre-disposed to think I'm better than you all.

Actually I've moved beyond that, but it is stunning how this little bit of usurpation really scritches me.

Funny what pride can do, ain't it? It is at moments like this when movies like the Godfather make total sense.

All fame is fleeting

Look familiar?
Originally uploaded by Theorris

Woo hoo: Salt Lake City Weekly published one of my photos. It is of buddy Catinlap on a disc golf outing to Solitude summer resort.

Update: "Disc-y Business"

Update 2: here is the original--

Myron, Discobolos in reverse

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Will no one rid me of these troublesome announcers?

So here it is half time of the NBA finals and I am about fed up to here -->_ with the ABC announcers are their sering man-crushes on Kobe fucking Bryant. There is not a single play where they aren't verbally drooling over him.

So, what I need is suggestions for a 3 hour play list for the next play off game (scheduled for Thursday.) Please offer up your long list of selections.

Hell, despite my dislike of everything bel canto, I might even listen to a complete Wagner Opera than this fucking drivel. Tannhäuser, anyone?

Monday, June 09, 2008

Peeve of the Pet Kind: "Veggies"

I really despise the quasi-word "veggies" meaning vegetables. I literally cringe whenever I read it, and if I hear it spoken I wince noticeable. Why do I hate this word so? I think it has something to do with its saccharine cuteness. I get a sense whenever I see this word used in writing that the person is around 5 years old or is treating their* reader like a child. (Speaking of which, I really dislike it when people talk down to children cutesifying their language ad naseum.)

Are people who use this term purposefully trying to be cute, or do they know no better?


Sunday, June 08, 2008

No one remembers Euell Gibbons

It is a shame: Euell Gibbons - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia .

I recall eating a tasty concoction of dandelion greens with my brother in the 70's.

Today, as I was trimming my rented arborvitae's, I remembered a quotation from Euell: "A cup of arborvitae will keep you strong and mighty."

In the mean time: the annual Gloucestershire Cheese Roll.

2007 was better.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

The name of the rose

The name of the rose
Originally uploaded by Theorris

Umberto Eco!

Actually the rose is quite emblematic of Christianity as a whole. Dante has God being enclosed in a rose in Paradisio. Of course the connection with the rose and Mary is evident. Christianity really doesn't treat women very well, but, ultimately, all their symbolism is caught up in the feminine.

Something Freudian going on there.

What a fascinating device

Musicovery : interactive webRadio

5.4 seconds


Friday, June 06, 2008


No one remembers the little old lady
Who planted the rose bush by the door

It blooms every June now
Blasting garish pink blossoms
Like sky rockets against a dark sky

Not even the neighbors remember
The woman when she dug the hole
And smoothed earth over
The young barbed roots

Her gnarled hands bled
In the last year of her life
Dripping red into the black

She never saw it bloom
She never caught a whiff
Of sweet tea through the open
Window while she crocheted
Scarves for soldiers
Who would never receive
Who would never return

But that was sixty years ago
And no one remembers her
Even in her own kitchen.

Only the rose remembers
It feels her in its roots
It feels her light touch in its

It remembers her
In the explosion of
Color and waft of
Tea sweetness
Each and every


Pen in hand, brushing
White petals from my shoulders
Her kiss is gentle

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Just asking for it

Oh my, the NBA is just asking for it: There Can Be Only One. My first thought was wondering where I could find a picture of a horse's ass to meld with Kobe Bryant's. There can be only one horse's ass like Kobe.

Thank the basketball gods for that.

In the name of Bill Lambier, Amen.

Fascinating Fact #4: Tennis Scoring

There is some debate as to how tennis gained its wonky scoring--you know: love, 15, 30, 40, deuce. Some say that it derives from a clock face that might have been used to keep score in the Rennaisance: 15, 30, 45, 60. "But wait!" you shout. "There is no 45!" It has been argued that "45" was shortened to "40" because it was easier to say. This may be true in French, (a language, I am told, which has a really odd counting system), but it certainly seems to be stretching it in English.

Others argue that tennis derives it scoring from a sphairistike (a game played by British officers in India) which named the scoring after the caliber of canon on ships.

The term "love" has obscure origins too, with various people making up etymologies as they go along.

As you can see, there is no clear history of either the game of tennis (which existed at least since the thirteenth century in some form) or its scoring. It is argued that early tennis (played inside on wooden courts) was a very different game indeed. Sphairistike, they would argue, is the direct predecessor of modern outdoor tennis.
So the fact is that the history of tennis is quite obscure. No doubt this is because people were much too busy playing the game than writing about it.


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Reminder of The Burghers of Calais

Reminder of The Burghers of Calais
Originally uploaded by Theorris

Friend Catinlap (q.v. on flickr) is the sculptor of this piece. It reminds me of Rodin's The Burghers of Calais. I'm not sure why. Maybe it is the political application of the piece: that we can all sleep through the most heinous of events only to wake and find ourselves in chains (research the The Burghers of Calais).

P.S. I'm still working that "Justice" theme, despite my earlier surliness.


Originally uploaded by Theorris

I've been riding Salt Lake City's light rail since it inception in 1999 and I've never, ever been the only rider in a car during the day. I suppose it could have something to do with the rain and the fact that this was a train headed to the University of Utah (the other ones head downtown to the "Intermodal Hub"--that's where I took the pictures of Front Runner earlier in my stream). TRAX, in fact, seems to be busier than ever now that gas prices have forced my of us poor working Joe's to either take out a loan to fill up our cars or lump it and take mass transit.

In any case, it was nice to be the only person on the train, as it allowed me to snap photos with abandon. I generally don't like taking pictures of people without their permission in confined spaces that move at 70+ miles per hour with no possibility of escape.

The graffiti on your left is typical of the TRAX corridor. I set my speed a little slower to get some blur.

The more I look at this thing, the more it reminds me of Kubrick.

I shall speak no more forever

I noted with interest what Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Daily News had to say about the Lakers/Celtics easy ride to quest for the NBA finals:
Halftime report sponsored by Lakers and Celtics in the NBA Finals, and isn't that just so convenient?
The two most storied franchises in NBA history.
Complete with all those historic battles from the 1960s and '80s. All those vintage clips.
And arriving just in time to save the league from another Pistons-Spurs ratings tanking.
Now, if you live in Utah or San Antonio, or even Detroit, this might be just a wee too neat for your tastes.
There, the conspiracy theories run rampant. Of course, if you live in Salt Lake City and San Antonio, what else do you have to do? Other than disavow Mormon extremists.
To think a billion-dollar enterprise like the NBA would actually be involved in any nefarious shenanigans is, naturally, absurd.
Destroying its credibility and free-flowing cash pipeline over an exposed scheme would not be smart business.
If NBA commissioner David Stern has proven to be anything, it's that he is one smart businessman.
Yet to the NBA's great dismay, curious evidence that something suspicious is afoot has been on the plentiful side this season. Particularly the postseason.
The Lakers' postseason journey has been, shall we say, fortuitous at times.
Unless you consider the Nuggets' bus catching fire on the way to Staples Center an everyday occurrence. Or the Spurs getting stuck on the runway until dawn a typical NBA episode.
"Every year they say that stuff," Lakers forward Luke Walton said. "They always say the NBA doesn't want the Spurs in the Finals, but they've been there every other year."
Everybody and his mother realize the Lakers caught a break in the last seconds of Game 4 in the Western Conference finals when Derek Fisher made like an MD-80 and used Brent Barry for a landing strip. And no foul was called.
Even the NBA found that a tad uncouth, and very uncharacteristically, released a statement announcing a two-shot foul should have been called.
(NBA commentary: Finals plot worthy of Oliver Stone - Salt Lake Tribune)
He didn't mention the numerous non-calls on the Lakers in the Utah series as well as the ticky-tack fouls called on the Jazz. There is a great shot of such a "non-call" in the current ESPN magazine where D-Will got pegged in the--shall we say the McFinegans with no whistle to be heard.

I have been true to my word and have not watched any basketball since the Jazz went out of the playoffs. Although I was a Celtics fan long before I was a Jazz fan I think I might just keep not watching. I may, in fact, boycott the NBA altogether.

I don't think so: then I wouldn't have any excuse to drink beer on a weeknight.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Iris study #1

Iris study #1
Originally uploaded by Theorris

Iris lay quiet
In their rhizomes until spring
Stirs them to riot