Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Another one for you English teachers.

Swallowing the city.

I know this is a bad picture, I didn’t have the good camera with me, but I was up in the Aves last night and the city looked like it was being swallowed by a cloud.

Then we ended up going past Skyline High, where a bunch of teenagers were doing donuts in the snowy parking lot.  I decided to recreate some pictures that I took just about a year ago, with my old Wrangler.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Somebody should have paid better attention in English class…

I was reading stuff on the Jeep forum today and came across this question:

I took my jeep to the dealer ship to get looked at because it was shaking and my whole jeep would shake but I was wondering would death wobble make me shake even at a stop I hit bumps all the time and I never shake like what what some people are experiencing and went mudding recently and radiator fan has mud all over it would that my make jeep shake Im all out of answer Ive searched so much and have come up with nothing and the dealer ship doesn't do shit it's under warranty but if I have to I'll learn and fix it my self.

At least I think it’s a question.  Or maybe a statement.  Or maybe a little bit of both.  I don’t know, I’m not an English teacher.  But even a math teacher can tell this is a literary atrocity.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Desert snow.

How many of you out there, when you hear the word “desert” and picture this scene from Spaceballs?

Go ahead, raise your hand, I know you do.  Or something like it at least.  And snow in the desert?  Nah, no way, are you kidding?  It’s too hot in the desert.

Well, ok, a lot of you already know that ‘desert’ is defined by the amount of rain (or snow) that an area averages in a year, not how hot it is.

Today I went out to the west desert with my friend Lisa Shafer, to get shots of the desert in the snow.  If you’ve been following my blog at all, you’ve probably seen pictures of this area before, but here it is in the snow:

The marsh area at Horseshoe Springs Wildlife Area.

A shoe tree along Skull Valley Road, just south of Horseshoe Springs.

Coming back down from Lone Rock.  We would have spent more time there, but there was at least 3 groups of target shooters and it kind of felt (sounded) like we were in the middle of a battleground.

Lone Rock, from the foothills on the other side of Skull Valley Road.

Looking away from Lone Rock – the foothills I took that last picture from.

A washtub, out in the middle of nowhere.  What’s it doing there?  Enlarge the picture and you’ll see it’s riddled with bullet holes.  The west desert is a popular place for going target shooting, and even a wash tub can work as a target.

The snow super-highway.  This road parallels the highway, about a half mile east of it, and goes almost the entire length of the valley.

More target practice.  There was also an empty donut box with a target taped to the back right next to the pallet.

Stansbury Island, from atop the mountain between Skull Valley and Tooele Valley.

We had dinner at the Subway in Grantsville, but right across the street was this place.

Fun way to spend a Sunday.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Another great Christmas…

Had a fun day.  Went over to my brother’s house, all the siblings and their families were there.  We ate, we drank, we played games and we watched M*A*S*H.  My favorite part of these family holidays.

The presents were minimal (for the adults).  We each brought one small gift and then did the white-elephant pick a gift or steal a gift thing.  I ended up with a small tool kit for the Jeep, and a ton of AA batteries, both things that I can definitely use.

My sister-in-law gave me this shirt that she made for me (she also made the graphics on my Jeep).  Not only is it hilarious, but it’s also fitting for me.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas eve sunset pictures,

out by Knolls, Utah.  That’s on I-80 right before you descend onto the salt flats out to Wendover.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Vegas for dinner.

Friday was the last day of school before the Winter Break, and the very next day I went down to Las Vegas with a friend for dinner.  She’s got ciliac really bad and can’t eat anything with the slightest hint of gluten without getting sick.  At the edge of the strip in the Fashion Show Mall, there is Maggiano's Italian Restaurant, which according to my friend has the best gluten free pasta in the west.  She goes down there every year for her birthday, the last time she went alone.  She was planning on going alone again this year, but asked me in passing if I wanted to join her.  I said yes.

So we left late Saturday morning around 10:30 and headed south on I-15.  Somewhere around Spanish Fork we noticed a Subaru that was driving erratically, it liked straddling the center line, sometimes even when there was a vehicle next to it.  Turns out she was texting, talking on the phone and who knows what else while driving.  We tried speeding up and getting away from her.  10 minutes later she had pulled her head out of the cloud and caught up and passed us.  We tried slowing down and letting her get ahead of us.  10 minutes later she would be in the middle of a particularly interesting slew of texts and had slowed down and we caught up to and passed her.  This went on over and over again for over two hours.  We nicknamed this driver-vehicle combo “Psycho Subaru”. 

At one point “Crazy Kia” joined in on the fun.  Psycho Subaru would take an opening in the right lane to pass several cars, Crazy Kia included, and squeeze back into the left lane as she came to the back end of a semi in the right lane.  Then Crazy Kia would do the same thing 5 minutes later.  This kept up for a while, to the point where I started giving blow-by-blow descriptions in my best NASCAR announcer voice.  The Kia left the freeway somewhere before Cedar City where the Subaru pulled off, and the rest of the drive was uneventful.

We stopped in St. George for an hour or so, tried to figure out the license plate on the sports car above, then went to Mesquite just long enough to check into our rooms and head off to Vegas.  There was a 1 hour wait for a table at Maggiano’s, so we walked around the mall until our table was ready.  Had a fantastic dinner, way too much food, and then spent an hour or two walking down the strip to the other end and back.  After that we were exhausted and headed back to Mesquite for the night.

Sunset somewhere between Mesquite and Vegas.

Sunday we got up at the crack of noon (well, just before the 11:00 check out time), went to the Black Bear CafĂ© in St. George for a great breakfast and then headed straight home.  The weather was beautiful (in the 50’s) all the way down and back, until we hit the rain right around Nephi.  Even with the rain, pretty heavy at times, the drive was easy and I made it home around 6.

Sunrise in from the hotel room in Mesquite

Great, short trip out of town.

Nice trailer for sale somewhere near Toquerville, Utah.  Interested?

Can’t see the forest for the trees.

Heading into the storm.

Low flying clouds near Mona.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Saturday, December 06, 2014

New bumper, new Tackalicious Christmas.

The stock bumper on my Jeep has a big shelf in the back that collected a lot of snow when I drove it last winter.  That’s why I decided I needed to spend the money to get a new front bumper.  (If you’re thinking I’m just rationalizing spending $200 on a bumper I would have wanted even if snow catching wasn’t an issue, then you’re absolutely right.)

I picked it up the middle of last week and today my older brother came over and helped me install it.  As he pointed out, the directions were pretty simple:  “Take old bumper off, put new bumper on.”  Fortunately the actual process wasn’t much harder than that.  Unbolt 8 bolts and unclip 2 clips.  Get out new brackets and install the new 8 bolts in their proper places.  Done in just over an hour.

Here is the Jeep with no grille or front bumper.

With the new bumper, but without the grille replaced.

And a couple of shots with everything back where it belongs.


A few years back my friend ‘Adele’ and I spent one evening looking for the most over-done Christmas display we could find.  This is what we found back in 2007, out in the Taylorsville area.  We thought this was the most over-done display we would ever see.

Until tonight, when we were cruising the upper Avenues and saw this:

We counted up to 7 nativity scenes, and didn’t even bother counting snowmen – there were too many.

They had several “A Christmas Carole” era figures,

a Christmas Tweety?,

a palm tree,

and a penguin rolling his eyes.

And it seems they were quite anxious to get their Christmas display up, they missed taking down a few of their Halloween decorations.