Monthly Archives: April 2011

The Death of my Dell

On Good Friday, my 5 year-old Dell Inspiron laptop died.  It did not rise from the dead on Sunday.  Perhaps it is in paradise.  In any case, I had long since stopped saving things I actually care about to the internal hard drive, but rather to a set of external drives, so I don’t really care.  Only problem is, we weren’t planning on getting me a new computer until at least November.  I know, for $150 I could have a brand spankin’ new machine complete with all the built-in garbage software I could ever dream of, but I’ve got my heart set on a Mac, and those don’t come cheap.

And so, for the time being, it looks like I’ll be writing my blogs the old-fashioned way–on pen and paper and then hammering them out on Tara’s laptop when I can get a hold of it.  At least I can make use of that leather notebook.  Listen to me!  My whole family shared a single machine for pretty much all of my childhood, and now I’m freaking out because now my wife and I don’t have our own, separate, computers.  No computer until November?  Challenge accepted.

“Was that girl topless?”

This past weekend, Tara and I tried out a new style of camping: Yurt camping.  A yurt is a Mongolian style dwelling.  Chances are, you’ve seen one before, you just didn’t realize that it was called a yurt.

Cheating, for sure.

There is a fair number of these dwellings throughout Utah backcountry.  We chose the ones at East Canyon State Park (no, not the place that the Donner Party spent the winter—I made that mistake myself).  These are by no means rustic or in the backcountry, but it was a fun, unique way to ease into the camping season.  The yurt had a thermostat-controlled propane stove for heat.  As much as we liked this feature, we were slightly disappointed because it meant we didn’t get to try out our new 15 degree sleeping bags.

Could have been made by Amish people


Must have one of these in my backyard some day!

We set out Saturday afternoon after we got there in search of hiking.  We were headed up a highway that we knew was closed, but were hoping that we’d find a trailhead before the closure.  Just beyond a sign that said “Road closed ahead”, we rounded a bend and stumbled upon what was apparently a nude photo shoot.  A topless girl took off running, covering herself, to a vehicle parked just off the road.  The photographer stayed by his equipment—in the middle of the road, laughing as we drove by.  We were utterly confounded by it all.  The guy looked pretty legit—he had quite the setup, but they couldn’t have picked a less scenic spot.  And did they really think nobody would drive up there just because the road was closed ahead?  We never did find the trail.  We ended up walking up the closed road for a ways.  We did not encounter any more nudity.

After dinner that night, I gathered up my own photography gear, and we headed down to the lake for our own “shoot”.  And by “shoot”, I mean the sunset, of course.  I found a good spot long before sunset, so we passed the time with Tara throwing rocks in the water and me shooting the splashes.

I think that one nailed a fish.


Thank goodness she puts up with my "artistic" attemtps


Then we played Hide & Seek.  Sort of…

Used manual focus on this one.  Is that like the photography equivalent to tuning by ear?


I love sage


Then Tara said I should photograph my tripod down on beach.  It ended up being a pretty good suggestion. 😉

Stay away, duck  


Then at last the sun was low enough.




The next morning it rained heavily, so we curled up with our Nooks in the warmth of the Yurt enjoying the patter of rain drops on the canvas roof.


Then when we got back down to the valley that afternoon, it was sunny and warm, so I had to mow the lawn…