Be Calm and Catch Fish

Hey Kids,

It’s pretty late right now. Actually, it’s really early in the morning, but I’ll count this as last night anyway.

“On business” we are back down to Lake Powell for the weekend. A couple of possible share owners want to see the boat this weekend so we volunteered to be the hosts. It was really just an excuse to stay on the boat, but why not?

The high winds were against us again in traveling down here. The kayaks tied to the top of the car made us sway across the road like we were listening to song but dared not to dance. It was nerve racking and it tests me. I get tested a lot lately.

I make it no secret that I miss my kids. For those who have followed this blog for a while, you know that I write this blog primarily for them. One day I hope one or all of them find it, read it, and if nothing more, learn a little more of who I am and what makes or made me tick. It’s why I always start out with “Hey Kids”.

Over the past several weeks, my emotions have been stretched thin. Sadness and anger are always waiting just under the surface. Little things, like the wind, can trigger a response that isn’t always the most appropriate.

I am also very susceptible to kind gestures as well. The feels overwhelm me and I become a little, well, let’s just say emotional. It’s a terrible roller coaster. Sometimes I wish I could settle out, be more stable. But then again, these intense feelings are my way of knowing that when I say I miss my kids, I’m not BSing myself. It’s not just words.

But tonight I’m back to my lake. A few hours here and I can relax. Already at the dock I’ve watched the boys fishing catch some nice fish. The stripers are prowling the young shad. And if you know nothing more about me, know that I love catching striped bass.

The winds are calming and by morning it should be kayakable for a few hours.

Let the healing waters do their thing. I’m here to catch some fish and to be calm.

Hope the kids join me here someday.


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Filling it.

Hey Kids,

18 feet in 22 days. That’s all I need.

Nearly 10 inches per day from now until the end of the month. Mother nature do me proud.

I entered a contest and that was my prediction. I stated officially that Lake Powell would be 509 feet deep at the dam on July 1st.IMG_0103

I’ve been watching the water flow daily. I’ve watched, experienced, and can witness to the nearly 30 feet of rise so far this spring. But I may have outpaced the run off in my last and final prediction.

It’s currently filling at just over 7 ½”, as of yesterday, which would leave me shy but I’ll hold my ground. I’ll stick to my earlier math. And if my total is right and I am randomly selected against any that may have tied me, I’ll use the winnings of one day’s boat rental with pride.

Yes. I am that type of geek.



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Hey Kids,

3500 was the number I believe I heard. 3500 cyclists. That’s how many riders were to participate in today’s event.

Every year, riders chosen by qualification and lotto converge onto the small town of Lewiston, Utah. Each is there to ride their choice of multiple courses ranging from 27 miles to 100 miles.

There is no race, no trophy, or even a way to judge their performance against any other. They do it just for the fun of it. Some dress up in fun costumes, others are as professional as an Olympic athlete. Actually the only thing they share is that they are all women.PART_1496529003754

I also participated, but not as a rider. Obviously. But instead I volunteered as course marshal. I rode along with the many riders who chose to ride the 100 mile course. I followed along, I blocked traffic, checked on riders pulled off to the side, and played cheerleader- minus the pom-poms. There are worse things than spending all day on my motorcycle, being a watchdog over 3500 women, and enjoying the backroads of the Cache County farm country.

And although I volunteered for this duty to show support for my wife and daughter who were part of the 3500 riders and expected nothing in return- I accepted the $20 of gas money offered.

Gas money is gas money, you know.


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Hey Kids,

This evening I sit here with no kids left in high school. This is not what I thought this day would bring.

Graduation today was supposed to be the celebration of my fourth child’s last day in High school. Happen stance would lead us to sit next to a teacher whose daughter happen to know that my fifth child had also completed enough online classes to qualify to graduate today as well. Luckily with the head’s up, I was able to watch both my boys “walk”.

I didn’t see that situation coming.

And what was going to be another year of a child in school has evaporated.

I didn’t think this would feel like how it feels. I didn’t think this would happen so soon.

I’m still in shock.


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Good Bye to the First

Hey Kids,

Roger Moore passed away the other day.rogermoore

I’m not one to make a big deal out of celebrities’ passing but it was Roger Moore who introduced me to the world of 007 and his licence to kill in the 1977 movie The Spy Who Loved Me.

Having seen the movie a hundred billion times as it repeated itself on HBO so many years ago, it’ll always be first movie I think of when I’m feeling shaken but not stirred.

Maybe not everyone’s favorite Bond, maybe not the absolute best of the series, but Roger Moore was my first Bond, James Bond. And he always will be.


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A Personal Shame

Hey Kids,

At the age of 8, I knew sheet rock. I was paid as a scrapper, hauling out all the discarded parts and pieces. I didn’t pound the nails into the studs to secure the paper-lined “chalk” boards to form the walls of the homes and buildings that my father was building but I watched. By the time I reached 12, I had enough lead in my butt to be able to carry and stock the sheetrock and studs. I continued to learn and by then, I understood how buildings came together.

At age 14, I found myself atop bulldozers and front end loaders. I worked at an Alaskan gold mine. I learned about mining and gold; about machinery and maintenance. I learned about fuel, oils, and hydraulics. I serviced motors of all kinds and sizes. I understood how pistons, valves, and diesel injectors worked together.

After school, I spent a couple of years in France and learned French. I learned of international travel and of borders and of customs. I saw my own country and culture against the light of another. France does not represent every other culture in the world, but from being there, I learned a perspective that has helped me make friends from all over this globe.

In my early twenties, I trained on wind turbines. I learned electrical systems. I learn high voltage systems, I rebuilt gear boxes, and discovered rigging.

Later on in life, I learned steam systems, HVAC controls, and industry specific knowledge that landed me a column in a national magazine.

My head has been filled with understanding of all kinds.

But at age 51, I’m ashamed to admit, I cannot figure out how to fold a fitted sheet.


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Hey Kids,

The human heart, they say, is somewhere about half a pound.

I’m afraid I have to beg to differ and say they are mistaken.

For my heart feels heavier than that and drags me to the ground.

It’s swollen with grief because it knows, it has been forsaken.


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Note: I’ve been out of the internet’s reach for much of last week, and experiencing problems since being back. So I’ll be posting the missing days, one a day until I’m all caught up. They’ll be posted retroactively.

To Dock or Not to Dock

Hey Kids,

The day of fire arrived.

The skies were blue, the air warm, and the winds calm. It would be smooth boating from our beautiful spot at the Rincon, back up the channel, and near our return to Bullfrog Marina. This would be the easy part.

The first three hours of traveling passed without incident, as expected, with nearly no traffic until we got within an hour of Bullfrog. Slowly more crafts began to share the channel. I had no worries. I kept the boat traveling from buoy to buoy and changed course only to give way to a few faster houseboats.CleatRope

As turned off of the main channel and steered into Bullfrog Bay, we spied our target: the waste pump docks. It was now time for me to pilot this boat into a bust marina and onto a public dock. Fortunately, the outer dock was open but that would not matter if I could not dock, or worse smash the hull into the crapper. As luck and maybe some acquired skill would have it I was able to guide the boat to a gentle kiss. And after our procedure, it was time to park the boat into the slip.

Our neighboring slip not only help its boat, but one of its owner sat on the back deck, with her yappy dog, and reading a book. Under her eye, I was able to pivot the boat and drive the boat into its slip without a touch to the dock on either side (with Annette guarding with dock poles of course) (in other words, I would’ve touched without her guidance).

Once the dock lines were secured and the motors placed at rest. The baptism by fire had ended.

And I confirmed a competent captain.

Potty dock confirmed.


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Brought and Taken in the Wind

Hey Kids,

The wind blows from the south tonight.

This usually means a storm approaches but the forecast says otherwise. Instead this wind brings with it warm temperatures for the weekend, sunny skies, and blue skies.

The windows have all been open and the pulses of wind that cause the drapes to breathe in and out like the sides of a dragon in a deep sleep, bring with them the dust from parts unknown.

What carries on the wind? Perhaps the dust of a gravel pit, or the dried dirt of a construction site. Or perhaps the mountain that once stood great after being thrust into the sky from an ancient force from the core the earth, now weathered and softened by the winters of millennia. Within this dust carries the shores of an ancient ocean, of the remains of its inhabitants. A volcano’s blast might also be mixed with the dirt caught on the grid of the screen door.691e80fd1f9f0d637cc02177b6831dba

Each gust of wind carries with it, the geologic memories of the earth.

The wind carries with it this night, other memories; memories of times not so ancient. Memories of smiles and laughter, of little hands, and kisses good night.

The mountain is not the only thing tonight being ground by the sands of time blowing on the wind.


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For Those who Dare

Hey Kids,

In French it’s: “La vengeance est un plat qui se mange froid.”

Or in English, or Klingon, it’s: “Vengeance is a dish best served cold.”Klingon_Symbol

Vengeance is payment sought for the misactions of others. Or at least actions that don’t agree with oneself.

It’s not the “drinking from the skulls of your enemies” type of vengeance that’s the most common (unless you’re Klingon), nor or the misactions in the realm of burning down the village of your ancestors. Instead I find other drivers who choose not to drive as I do, change lanes when I would, or, how dare they, go a different speed than I deem best for them to travel.

I wish upon such transgressors the issuance of a ticket, the curse of being trapped in traffic behind an 18 wheeler, or the dawning of the realization of their presence in the such a superior driver. Or at least the admittance of their inferior skills- possibly the best punishment of them all.

I find I get angry a lot lately. Things don’t go my way and I wish retribution.

Make me wait; I will curse you.

Buy the last of that which I wanted’ I will devalue that which you have.

Be happier than me; I will pray for your demise.

Don’t hold the door open for me; I will not hold it open for the person behind me.

Vengeance is a plate best served cold because it’s a dish you shouldn’t want to partake.

I need to relax and live and let live.

And as fun as drinking the blood of my enemies might sound, it’s the better person who settles for a nice iced tea, to let the others do as they would do, to maybe even slow down and let them through.

Aimer est plus fort que d’être aimé. To love is better than being loved.

Unless, of course, you’re a Klingon.



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