21 July 2014

I'm Happy!!!

When I was at the MoTab recital 10 days ago, they were rehearsing a medley for this past weekend's annual Pioneer Day Concert.  I was bummed that I couldn't record it at the time but the official Mormon Tabernacle Choir page just released a YouTube video of the medley with the choir and Santino Fontana, the guest singer at the concert.  It's even better than the rehearsal, duh!

 Happiness is, morning and evening, day time and night time too... For happiness is anyone, and anything at all that's loved by you! 

16 July 2014

Warning, Sharks!!!

It was bound to happen.  All that water.  Is anyone surprised?

But hey, at least President Clark didn't have to use his ark.

What's a Little Flash Flood?

I'm staying up late tonight because I'm am just stunned by the videos and photos coming out of my home town.  Rexburg got hit with a slow-moving thunderstorm late this afternoon and a flash flood followed.  Yeah, that normally doesn't happen in the 'Burg.

Nope.  Not like that.  Not at all.  I think the craziest thing I've heard so far (other than people wading in water that has sewer in it) is that the house of my best friend from childhood's parents got flooded--and they live higher than the campus!  Like almost the highest point in the town--and their basement got flooded!

The thing that blows me away, beyond all that water,  is that I'm struggling to recognize the town I grew up in.  I haven't been there in years and it's changed.  A lot.  That's because of the switch from Ricks College to BYU-Idaho more than a decade ago.

15 July 2014

A Night Under the... Clouds?

I got a last-minute invitation last night to go to a Jim Brickman concert.  I like Jim Brickman so I was definitely willing to go.  It was supposed to be a "romantic night under the stars" but a windstorm blew in a couple hours before the concert and my date was more interested in playing Candy Crush on his phone than enjoying the love songs that were being played.  *sigh*  Oh well.  I enjoyed the music!

And the sky.  The sky was as much a work of art as his piano playing was.

 If I were to choose, I think my most favorite song that he's written is Love of My Life.

He's pretty good looking for an old guy, too.  ;)  And I was amazed that he had nearly two hours of music memorized and he played perfectly.

14 July 2014

BYU Lacrosse Camp, Week Two

He wasn't sure he wanted to go this week.  He was very upset when he found out that he didn't actually need to cut his hair.  I told him that he honored the university's request and that makes him a better person than the kids who ignored it.

We headed down to Provo this morning and stopped at Village Inn for breakfast.  He wanted to get a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts since we pass the store but we got a late start and he changed his mind.

This week he has a roommate.  Looks like the kid is 2-3  years younger than he is.  Should be interesting.

I got smart this week with the photos.  I know, you're probably not all that interested in them, but it's my blog and I like sharing them.

 His room mate walked and and said "you're going to be eaten alive with that shirt.  He left before the Caboose made his bed.  :)  Then there's the USU lanyard.  The hat.  The jacket.  The socks.
We are a USU family.

But you know what?  I wouldn't be all that upset if he actually did choose to go to the Y.  After all, for about half my life now, I was a BYU fan--and for my entire childhood, intended to attend BYU--after Ricks, of course.
 The fields they're playing at.  He also got smart this week and took his longboard so that he wouldn't have to walk the mile or so distance between the fields and Helaman Halls.

 He also got smart and took a hat.

It's about 100° out there on the turf.  Not fun.  Not fun at all.

 What can I say.  I've been a BYU football fan for as long as I can remember.  Back in the day when LaVell coached, I'd even cheer for BYU over my Aggies when they played.  Not so much anymore...

But I still get goosebumps when I see the stadium.

 And the Y on the mountain.  Definitely!  I know it's a purely Western phenomenon.  I grew up with a R on the Menan Buttes west of Rexburg and I'm very sad that the BLM is letting the butte return to its natural state since Ricks College isn't around anymore.
That's a volcanic butte, by the way.  If you look down on it, you can see that the prevailing winds were blowing towards the northeast when it erupted.

I really do have a love/hate relationship with where I grew up and where I currently live!

12 July 2014

Side By Side


Went to Scheels today with the Caboose and as I always do when I visit, I headed to the collegiate clothing collection area where my alma mater is.  The section had been moved.  I haven't quite convinced Scheels that it's okay to have more USU clothing than Oregon since USU is in the state and Oregon...  Isn't.   Have to admit, I've never seen this before.

I think that's a football.  I know what the other logo is inside the football
...  *chomp*

11 July 2014


What.  A.  Week.

As I mentioned a couple days ago,  I have been treated to the VIP treatment for the last three days.  I was more a tag-a-long to the "real" VIP, but she wanted me to be there, so I was.  And I was included, as I mentioned, in many, many discussions over a variety of things.    I don't know if I've ever been called "remarkable" before, especially for something that I do that is pretty selfish, even if it greatly enriches other people's lives.

All that praise that was being lavished on us (I wasn't alone there), and a couple of us struggled with it.  I don't know about DJ, but I wanted to discount it every time someone said something positive about me.  I didn't when they said it, I just said "thank you".  I did it in my head, though.  I really need to change that.

So, Tuesday and Wednesday were taken up with all day meetings.  I was really impressed with the desire that FSI has to listen.  It sure seemed like they begged us to be honest and open about things--and we were.  *wry chuckle*  (I'm still amazed that I'm a "remarkable person".  I'm being serious, too.  It blows me away--because I don't feel like I'm anywhere near remarkable.)

DJ is actually from Pennsylvania--Gettysburg.  She had never been to Salt Lake before and she really didn't know much about the parent organization of the organization that we were meeting with so the bulk of yesterday was spent on a VIP tour of various other locations so she could learn about, well,  us.  (I'm sure you can figure out exactly what organization I'm talking about by the tours we took.)

We started at Welfare Square early on.  In spite of living in the Intermountain West for a very long time, I've never done the tour at Welfare Square.  I've popped in at DI because G2 wanted to go there and I've volunteered a shift making cheese at the dairy processing plant, but I've never actually taken the tour.  It was enlightening.

We then moved on for a tour of the Humanitarian Center.  I wish people not of my faith would understand that we don't just take care of our own.  Joseph Smith said
“[A member of the Church] is to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to provide for the widow, to dry up the tear of the orphan, to comfort the afflicted, whether in this church, or in any other, or in no church at all, wherever he finds them." (Times and Seasons, Mar. 15, 1842, p. 732)
And the Humanitarian Center is proof positive that we do.  This is actually the video they showed us during the tour.
After the Humanitarian Center, we then went to the fairly new Bishop's Central Storehouse a little west of Salt Lake International Airport.  I believe my former bishop worked on the project because we had a chat about four years ago about it.  This place is amazing.  It has been built to withstand the 2,500 year earthquake.  You know, the "big one".  I was fascinated with the building itself. It's ginormous!

When we got there, we were met by this sign.  I blurred out DJ's name because it's not my place to share her name in public.  She was pretty embarrassed about all the attention she was getting.  From VIP parking to a "chauffeur", she was getting special, special treatment.  I told her that what we were doing was pretty special.  I don't think she realized it until later...  *tee hee hee* Some of the photos I took as we drove around the facility.
The monitors with the welcome for DJ were all over the facility.  BJ and MN and I thought it was pretty fun--and funny.  DJ not so much.  I think she was embarrassed by all the appreciation. Here's a video about the BCS.    During the tour, they took us throughout the facility, including the refrigerated and frozen sections.  The refrigerated section is kept at a constant 36°.  When I heard that, I was a little nervous about going in there.
Refrigerated area
Then he told us that we were going to drive through the freezer, which is kept at -16°.  Yeah, you read that right, sixteen degrees below zero.  We were in there for about 2 minutes and it was horrible.  The young service missionaries who were cleaning in there were dressed like they were in the Antarctic, complete with face protectors.  I actually used my hair to keep my bare arms warm The 36° when we drove out of the freezer was practically balmy!!!  I was too cold to even think about snapping some photos!

 After the tour of that facility, it was time for lunch at the Lion House.  I'd eaten at the Lion House Pantry before but never at the Lion House.  The poor host felt very bad when he realized that I don't like salmon.  I debated trying it but I couldn't get over the smell.  I told him not to worry about it, I'd just fill up on the world famous (at least among Mormons) rolls.  *wry chuckle*  (I'd probably shrivel up and die if I ever had to go on a gluten-free diet)

Next stop was a tour of Temple Square and the Conference Center.  I love this place.  I've actually never taken a guided tour...  I've walked it tons of times, but never had a guide.  It was pretty interesting, especially to see it from the view of someone who doesn't know very much, if anything about the Church.
A cut-away model of the Salt Lake Temple
The Tabernacle all dressed up for a recording session
After we visited the Christus, the next stop of the VIP tour was the Conference Center.  We got to visit the roof of the Conference Center, which was very cool.  Or hot.  It was actually very hot up there.
We met one final time after all the tours to collect and share our thoughts of the three day experience. And took some photos  on the 10th floor of the JSMB.

 The pièce de résistance, IMO, was the VIP visit to the MoTab rehearsal last night. Prior to the rehearsal, I wandered around Temple Square and the Plaza and snapped photos of the gardens.  (Facebook cover photo.)  The gardens there always make me feel closer to my dad because they are very reminiscent of flower gardens he did when he was alive.  The colors of the flowers were very bright and vibrant.  I loved them.  They're so different than the flowers that are in the gardens during Spring.
 A hilarious (ha ha) moment when I was taking photos.  I noticed a family taking photos and also noticed the dad speaking in a language I didn't recognize.  I debated going up and asking if they wanted me to take their family photo but I didn't know how I was going to communicated to the young girl who was taking the photo of her family.  I swallowed my shyness and walked up to her to pantomime and ask in basic English if she wanted me to take a photo.

Ugh. Well, that was awkward.  Note to self.  Unless you know for sure, always ask in English as if they can understand you!
Being a VIP to the MoTab practice was amazing!  Granted, I was just the "plus-one" but I enjoyed every minute of it.
MoTab and the Orchestra on Temple Square
Half way through the practice, Mack Wilberg turned around to the audience and introduced DJ to EVERYONE.  Poor lady was amazed, honored, and mortified, all in one.
In this photo, MoTab is practicing a mash up of songs that include Pharrell Williams'  "Happy" and "Happiness" from You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown.  I about came out of my seat when I heard the lyrics!  MoTab singing Charlie Brown?  SCHWEET!!!!  I tried to record it but my phone was about dead (I'd been gone over 12 hours at that point) and I forgot to turn on the volume of my camera so I missed it.  I have a friend who is in the choir and he told me they'll be singing it in their Pioneer Day concerts.

 After I said goodbye to DJ when the rehearsal was over, I wandered around Temple Square for a few minutes.  It was late and pretty empty.  A peaceful place.  I was able to get this photo of the Christus from outside the visitor's center sans people.
 I love the temples at night.  They have an ethereal glow to them that comforts me.  Makes me think of Heaven
 I went back to the 10th floor of the JSMB to get some photos from up there.  It was hard because the light was reflecting on the glass.  I got one that looks pretty good.
 As I was finally leaving at 10 pm, I got a text from G2.  He had been visiting his girlfriend up in the Avenues.  Jet lag and maybe a bit of food poisoning had hit him and he didn't feel well enough to drive home.  He was incoherent on the phone!  I went to her apartment to get him and headed home.  It was a blessing in disguise that this happened because I-15 had been shut down due to a fire and by the time I was ready to head home, only two lanes had been opened--the carpool lane and the one next to it.  If either of us had been alone, we both would have been stuck in that very long stau.  But because I was driving him home, we cruised on past all those people in the carpool lane.  Fortunately, he kept his dinner down and I didn't have to deal with that. He just slept most of the way home.

I am still overwhelmed by the experience of the last three days.  I even had a paradigm shift in regards to my health issues.  Our chauffeur is an important person at FSI and while we were talking yesterday, he asked me if I'd be indexing as much as I do if I were healthy. "No, probably not." "Well, there you go.  You are blessing the lives of so many people that you wouldn't be doing otherwise if you didn't have your health problems."  (Remember that I'm  remarkable?) "Oh.  I really hadn't looked at it in that light."  I can live with that.  *wry smile*  It's kind of like the saying that there's a rainbow behind every dark cloud.  I just found my rainbow.
(Better, much better. Probably wasn't even for me, but I can pretend that it was *chuckle* But why just not use that explorer account?)