Monday, December 14, 2015

Read All the Books!

I had one class left to finish, I had put reading for fun and other pursuits aside. But know all the class work is done. After a final I will have my diploma. Which means... READ ALL THE BOOKS! I've missed reading for fun.


I started with Alyson Grauer's "On the Isle of Sound and Wonder" A delightful adaptation of William Shakespeare's The Tempest.

Shakespeare can be a tricky thing to adapt, taking on something like the Tempest can be a daunting task. Is it a comedy? Is it a tragedy? There are a lot of different conflicting elements in the play. However I was thrilled with many of Grauer's decisions and portrayals she handles the subject matter with grace and in an entertaining way.

Setting the novel in a steampunk universe makes the magic plausible and interesting and the exploration of the different possibilities whether mechanical or magical was wonderful and engaging.
To find out what else Alyson Grauer is up to be sure to check out her website. Recently she has been on a Disney Odyssey watching and writing responses to Disney's animated classics.

Next time on READ ALL THE BOOKS; Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn Series.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Get Lost! Episode 2 Loveland Living Planet Aquarium

I first discovered The Living Planet Aquarium because I was googling for Zoos and Aquariums in Utah. We were up visiting friends and family during the holidays and looking for something to do. I liked the old location because it looked like a run down pet store, square shaped, and design wise had an early 90's feel.
The new location does not have any of this vibe, it's modern, new and impressive. The creatures are divided up by region. Ocean Explorer, Antarctic Adventure (I'm still a little confused what the Jellyfish are doing in this section, but better than no jellyfish), Journey to South America and Discover Utah. The price is reasonable considering all the time and effort that has to go into maintaining exhibits, creatures and a building of that size. It is definitely kid friendly, weekends and holidays are crazy. I've found quieter days tend to be earlier in the week.
On the agenda first was Crocodiles. K.T. and I spent 10-20 minutes observing the caiman crocodiles. The crocodiles don't like to be seen they move slow and with purpose and when you aren't looking.

The Caiman Crocodile K.T.'s all time favourite and her P.O.V.

The river turtles also reside with the Crocs and where having a grand ol' time picking fights with each other and zooming around the tank. 

We had a particular order we were following, next was Sharks. In the video the Shark with the spots is a Zebra Shark. Which I've always called a Leopard Shark. Turns out when this species is young they have stripes, which they lose as adults. Either way they are fascinating to watch. For me it's therapeutic.

300,000 gallon Shark Tank. 

Around the corner from this viewing zone they have a tunnel. The first time I went through this tunnel Jaws 3 came to mind. I would like to reassure you there are no oversized great whites with a vendetta against man in the tank. We waited but seriously, no Jaws. Even though K.T. sang the theme song while in the tunnel.

This Grouper was having a good time.

I like to observe, aquariums and other places where people gather are great opportunities to watch creatures and people alike, to see how they operate. That came out a little creepy. What I mean to say is it doesn't hurt to take a moment to watch what is going on around you and see what you can learn.

Amongst the tanks I found some unique souls. The garden eels still make me think of Ursula's Grotto from the "Little Mermaid" The Octopus was in the exact same spot the last time we visited, squished in the top corner of his tank so you can barely see him. I wonder about whether or not he's happy in the tank. There is enough room, food and enrichment but sometimes a tank is still a tank.

Poor Unfortunate Soul!
The Nautiluses as always were chilling up against the glass. There was a Eldritch horror vibe going on with the new lighting in the section, it was awesome. They are master floaters thanks to their chambered shells.

                                                                  The great old one.

The Aquarium is continually updating and coming up with new exhibits, displays and enrichment activities for guests and critters. They are also really good about partnering with community business so they can be sustainable. If they keep up all the amazing work they will be around for a while. 

This conversation looked pretty intense.

Did I mention the penguins? The Gentoo Penguins at the Aquarium have recently had some chicks. They are grey, white and fluffy, oh so fluffy. They have been doubling in weight every week since they hatched. If you can't make it to the Aquarium you can watch them here.

But seriously, penguins!

This is a great day trip. If you are local and Zoos and Aquariums are of interest it's worth considering an annual pass which means you can visit year round. Of course you can find the Aquarium online at their website or facebook page.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Indicate or crash!

I woke up to rain this morning. Beautiful grey skies, crystal clear rain drops. That strange smell that I can't explain but I wish I could bottle and save for sunny days. I love the rain!
Until I got out on the road. My sister had been in town visiting and we went to drop her off at the airport. I got in the car did the normal routine of seatbelt and mirror check, as we got on the I15 the rain started falling a little heavier, visibility dropped and the haze that comes off of the road from other vehicles had started to fly. So on came the windshield wipers and my headlights. This was a visibility thing. So I could see and be seen.
Not everyone else on the road thought headlights were necessary. I watched several vehicles slam on brakes and swerve out of the way of cars, vans and trucks who just seemed oblivious to the chaos they were causing. Which leads me to the other pet peeve of the day. Why weren't these folks indicating? When I was in high school there was a campaign for road safety. A couple of phrases stuck with me, "Indicate or crash!" and "Merge like a zip!"
Last one I promise, If you are driving the speed limit and folks are passing you, move over. It makes sense to stay in the right lane, and use the left lane for passing. Just as a general rule of thumb in the U.S.
I'm not the best driver. Seriously, town driving is not my forte'. Every once in a while I've renewed the faith of a lost soul in god. But even I know to indicate.

A new edition of Get Lost is coming soon. I'll be writing about some trails I've checked out since moving up to Utah. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Just Keep Shambling...

When I was a kid I use to run a lot. I loved it. My favorite time of year in elementary was track and field.  In Minnesota the best time to run was Autumn, the grass crunches under your feet, you can hear the wind, fall leaves abound and it was crisp you could feel your lungs when you breathed in. At least that's how it was when  I was young.
I don't know what happened in high school, but I didn't run as much. I felt like everyone was better or faster. I spent a lot of time at block 8 in the dark room. I will forever be grateful to Brother Coffey for being a patient intro to arts and photography teacher, and high school is a blog for another day.
When I got to Hawaii there was the ocean, I spent a lot of time in the water or near the water. I wasn't some super athlete by any stretch of the imagination, but it was a good place to be. I still didn't run regularly and if I did it was down the beach in short sprints.
I've always felt better after a run. There is a whole lot of science to explain why someone feels better after exercise. I don't think we are meant to sit still. Yet for a multitude of reasons I feel into the trap of sitting still.
I haven't been running in a while, and I'm trying to start up again. As I write this I've gone out running two days in a row. However, when I say running I more mean shambling. A combination of sprinting, walking, jogging and putting one foot after the other. Consistency and me have never been bedfellows.
I've decided this is something I will do and need as a part of my life. I may not be consistent but I am stubborn. One thing that has been helpful for me is a running app I discovered a little while back, Zombies Run!  The premise of the game is you are a runner in a post apocalyptic world you go out gather supplies and complete missions. Then from those supplies you get to build your base. The story line is engaging the characters endearing. It's broken down into seasons and they are working on season 4 at the moment. In season 1 there was one cliff hanger that got me and I ended up doing a second mission that day. It also keeps pretty decent stats, how far you've gone, where you've been, how long your average mile or Kilometer was over the course of the mission. You can also choose to share as little or as much information from the app on whatever social media platform you happen to use. Today's mission will consists of rescuing some folks from a cruise ship. Works for me.
Do you shamble, Run, Walk briskly? Tips on getting moving are welcomed. There is only so much I can find out from google.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Get lost! Episode 1 In which I finally go to The Museum in Fillmore.

Recently, I was driving up from Southern Nevada to Utah Valley. I got back into an old habit that I had been neglecting, getting lost. Getting lost is where I take some time to go explore or see something I haven't seen before. I normally find out something new about the area I'm in and it helps me learn a little bit about myself along the way.

Fillmore Utah

So while passing through Fillmore Utah my daughter and I spotted a playground. I think we both felt a little better after mucking about on the playground. Then we went down the road and stopped at the old State capitol which has been converted to a state park you can check out their website here, Territorial Statehouse Park.  I love finding out about the history of an area. I use to run a heritage museum and you find out a lot about a community and where they come from when you get involved in the local history.
One thing I loved about the museum is that on the ground floor was quite a few original photos of the settlers of the area. I appreciate the museum had them somewhere were there was little to no natural light hitting the photos. U.V. light is death for photos. Many institutions are switching over to L.E.D lights to help prevent damage to artifacts and photos.

I found one of my Husband's relatives on the wall. 

Also coming up in November I get to go to Teslacon! This year's theme is Wild Wild West. While I was wondering through the museum all the inspiration hit. From civil war era guns to finding out what a cooper is (-a barrel maker) and  it got me thinking about how to piece together my own medical kit for a character I'm developing.


However a toddler's attention span only lasts so long. So we got back on the road and slept in our own bed's for the night. We woke up the next morning and got on the road again. We were heading to Thermopolis Wyoming for a dear friend's engagement party. 

Somewhere in Wyoming...

We took WY 28 to get where we were going. Not the loneliest road in the U.S. but felt close to it. I wish I had taken more photos but I was distracted by getting where I was going. Earlier in the trip we saw antelope, prairie dogs, deer, and lots of unidentified roadkill.  Thermopolis itself seems to be filled with the nicest people on the planet and I appreciate all the hospitality and kindness that was shown to me. It is also home to Wyoming Dinosaur's Center and Natural Hot Springs.

I'm going to start making a habit of getting lost and exploring what's around me. See you out there.