Christmas Past

The day of Christmas rarely holds up to the anticipation and wonderment of Christmas Eve. Once the morning is over, the day seems to take on a slow death.


My book available free on Amazon Kindle from Dec. 25- 29, 2015. Merry Christmas!

Once the kids had done their thing and out the door to the other family, the two of us were left to making the day spend on our own. I immediately burnt a pound of bacon. I repented with delicious waffles.

We spent time traveling across town to try to deliver gifts on the land of the terrible Ex. And learned once again, for the second time, the evils of custodial parents.

We took a diversion drive into the hills, spotting deer and a fox on the drive. Two feet of snow tested the 4WD of the 4Runner but 4-low got us out.

The Salt Lake Valley can be picturesque especially from the west side looking towards the Wasatch front, yet few ever see if from that side. The west side has many unique characteristics that east-siders will never know.

Baked some fresh rolls to enjoy more of the shredded pork roast from yesterday. Smothered in BBQ sauce, it was just as yummy.

A quick nap brought me to the time to come to work for the.overnight. The last minute shoppers from the 24th had really trashed the store.

I remember when Christmas was the time to wish for the biggest things a kid could imagine. It was on this holiday that the magic might happen. As an adult, I find that the day just passes.

Maybe I’m just too tired and a little hurt and angry about the gifts that will sit unclaimed because I’m not deemed worthy to give them, but I can’t just pretend tonight either that I’m OK with it all.

We had a good day, my baby and I, and we talked and consoled each other. We laughed and we cried. We decided how to fix it next year.

May the Force be With the New One

Hey Kids,

Remember, if you can, when the original Star Wars released. You know the movie, Star Wars. The one we all wondered why it said Episode IV.522679OriginalStarWarsposter (1)

First, I don’t remember it releasing. I remember talk of the movie, and then it was open, and then everyone had to go see it, and then they kept going. And going. And going. My family was poor and I still saw ghe movie three times in the theatre. And once at the drive-in when they re-released it a few years after. I heard of people who watched the movie at the theatre over a hundred times.

I knew jack squat about the movie before I went. No synopsis to read, or leaked stories. Except for Harrison Ford (who we knew as that guy from American Graffiti) and a couple of English dudes that my parents knew, they were nobody actors. We only knew them as Luke and Leah.

Sure merchandising came along, but not months or years ahead. After we all learned we liked the movie, then we went out and bought the crap.

Empty Christmas wrapping tubes made great Light Sabers and we all beat the crap out of each other. Cheaters used Hot Wheel tracks.

I’m not poo-pooing the new Star Wars movie, but I know it will never capture the imagination like the original did. That movie wasn’t a just a movie. It was a social shift, we grew up, we imagined again, and we had hope in our own world again. Look up the goings-on in 1977, there were some sad people and things then.

Funny thing, the episode was actually named A New Hope. Of course, this made no sense to anyone. It was Star Wars. I don’t recall ever thinking about a sequel until there was one.

I hope this new movie is good.

No, I’m hoping for great.


Day 290

The Day Before the Day After

Hey Kids,

Today was the day after.

Actually tomorrow will be the true day after but today felt like it for most of us at the zoo.

Er, site visit.

Er, site visit.

The past several days, we’ve been visited by our professional accreditation group. They come, they ask questions, write notes, and evaluate our ability to do our jobs, at least on the facility level. They call it a site visit instead of an inspection, but it feels more like the later.

It’s a grueling task to prepare for it and an anxious few days while they tour around.

The visitors were still around today but mostly with administration people, so for us normal people it felt like they had moved on.

We’ll know tomorrow morning whether their impression was a good one, or if we can expect to do a lot more work to correct any deficiencies.

And with a sigh of relief, it’s over.

NaNoWriMo: 19,317/50,000

Day 262

The Neighbors Upstairs

Hey Kids,

We’ve got some new neighbors recently.

The kind that live in the apartment directly over ours.

The kind that have invaded our quiet environment with their unexplained loud noises and thumps sounding through our ceiling. We can only guess as to what they might be doing.Upstairs-Neighbors-favorite-shoes

Jumping, pounding, running, laughing, playing, singing, dancing, skipping, hopping, gaming; to the wee hours of the night.

I think they might’ve even installed a bowling lane somehow.

Maybe I need to introduce myself and see if I can be invited up sometime.

They seem to be having a lot of fun.


Day 218

Movie Madness

Hey Kids,

Caught a couple of movies the last couple of days and I have a few thoughts about theatre movies in general.

The movies can never be as complete as the books. The movie is 2 hours long and the book takes a good reader 4-5 hours to read a typical book. The math doesn’t work.

There are actors and there are singers. They are not the same. Occasionally one or the other can cross over, but like switch hitters in baseball, it doesn’t mean you’re great at both.

Stop remaking movies. Yeah, I’m talking to you Top Gun people. And to all of the rest of us, please don’t go to them. They’ll just keep doing it.

I don’t do 3D. I do ID. Imagination Dimensional. I realize that the screen is flat and I’m not within the action. I also realize that I’m at the movies and it’s all made up. That’s real enough for

I would buy popcorn if it didn’t cost more than the movie. No, it isn’t part of the experience. Watching the movie on the biggest TV I can afford is the experience.

Aren’t there more Actors out there? Why is it the same actors, over and over? Are they really the best available? I can count on one hand the actors that can truly play any role and I forget they are acting.

Isn’t it amazing how much longer credits are today than even just a few years ago? Does it really take that many more people? And getting credit in a movie is pretty much like the legal notices in the paper. Does anyone see it? Actually, do they still print papers? I may have dated myself there.

And finally, but not conclusively, when did movies turn into dinner. We always did Dinner and a Movie, but we ate somewhere else. I know it comes back to the “experience” but it’s hard to get into the movie, of being on a tropical island, running and hiding from dinosaurs, with the smell of Pizza and Chili Fries filling the theatre.

Just a few of my thoughts.


Day 153

Independence Day

Hey Kids,

Independence Day.

July 4, 1776. The date atop the letter to King George explaining that the colonies had had enough and needed to break free.tattered-american-flag

The language of the Declaration of Independence states that when enough wrongs have been suffered, it is the not just the right but the duty to do whatever is needed to end such wrongs.

It takes a lot of courage to take a stand like they did and in that case, a stand against arguably the most powerful force of the day. Afterwards a war had to be fought and an entirely new government agreed upon and established. Otherwise the declaration would have been simply words.

Their reward was a new nation, from which we have all benefitted in some way or another.

Declaring your own freedoms is a huge step forward. But know that afterwards, the realization of your declarations comes the real work, the hard work, and possibly the fight of your life. If it’s spawned out of need, or duty to oneself; the benefits may be more than we could imagine.

Today for my own freedom, I fired up the Yamaha and went on an 8 hour road trip. It liberated me from the house, the need to watch fireworks, and didn’t include eating hot dogs. A personal Declaration of Independence. But that really wasn’t what I was talking about.

Ignore that last part.


Day 131

I Shall Not Feel It

Hey Kids,

The days are getting hot. 100° is just a few digits away.enhanced-buzz-25590-1387485879-12

I know that’s hot. But really, are we that wimpy?

Every car drives around with windows up, AC on.

The night air is full of house AC compressors rattling and humming.

Windows are closed.

Porches and decks are empty.

Everyone is huddled in their 70° cocoons.

When did we stop being part of this world and decided that outside of ultimate comfort, we can only be miserable?

Poem from elementary school that stuck in my head:

When it’s hot, he wants it cold.

When it’s cold, he wants it hot.

What it is, man wants it not.


Day 114


Tut, Tut; It Looks Like Rain

weatherHey Kids,

The weather is a subject everyone always seems to be willing to talk about.

I think it’s because it’s safe. The weather is nobody’s fault (ignore the global climate change discussion).

If it’s rainy and ruins the weekend, neither Bush nor Obama did it.

If it’s sunny, neither the Republicans nor Democrats can take the credit.

The Canadians didn’t do it. The Russians, despite the fact that they wanted to, didn’t do it. Nor the Chinese, French, Australians, or Mongolians.

We all live on this terrarium suspended in space together. And we all have weather. Granted some better than others. I wonder, how many issues we subscribe to our credit and to others, the blame; when in fact, it’s just how it is.


Day 87


Be You

Hey Kids,

Be yourself.

Isn’t it funny that we have to be reminded to do this?

In an age of the growth and complete immersion of Social Media, I would think we can be nothing but ourselves. Yet many people still struggle with this, myself included. Always wondering what I should edit, what might scare people away.

Granted, I think it’s OK to say a few less bad words when writing. But it’s not OK to be something you’re not. Or to be mean. Or to exaggerate to make yourself look better, more important, or sexy.

I think I’m a little more of a smart ass than I come across on this blog. But it’s hard to be a smart-ass to yourself. You need someone saying dumb things. Um, well, I mean someone else saying dumb things; and then you can be a smart-ass in response.

I think I am myself. I maybe not the first to air all my sins but I’ll get to them and admit them if you ask. (Not an invitation to ask about my sins.)

Mark Twain said that when you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember what you said. When you lie, you best keep an account of what you claimed. I have a terrible memory.

Sometimes I think. Sometimes it hurts.

Sometimes I think. Sometimes it hurts.

I’m just a guy. I write. I don’t sell a ton of books but a few. I still have a day job, some might say a career. Been there for 23 years but I hope to leave before the gold watch is shackled to me. This is too exciting of a time to stick to a real job. But then again, I do enjoy being paid. Oh, the trials of a social revolution!

Anyway, be yourself. Don’t fake anything and nothing will be fake. It’s OK not to be a rock star and to be a rock star in training. Or a Pre-published author, or a perfecting musician, or … You get the picture.

Be true.


Day 86