Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Merger

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Out in the mountains, there isn't much that scares you. At least, not that you eventually survive. So today, on this festive day of frightening, nothing out there scared me. At all. At first I was feeling left out. I mean, all my friends are enjoying trick-or-treating, haunted houses, parties, or something else that provides potential of being frightening to some degree, and here I am, waiting for an elk to prance out into the meadow. But, fear not! Something scary did happen today! And it was the first time I had the pleasure of experience this scare.

I heard Dad singing in the shower.

Yep, we all took showers tonight, and Dad was obviously in a festive mood (must be Halloween), and kept singing different songs while showering. Why did we all have to shower tonight, you ask? Well I'll tell you.

Today we brought out the big guns.

Of course, this isn't the one we were on. I wish. But it gets the point across. So, at 7 this morning we all loaded up 3 of these (6 of us, 2 each) and set out through the mountains. Now, understand this - it hasn't rained here for a few weeks, and the roads through the mountains are not paved. Enter dust. Lots and lots of dust.

That is why Dad was taking a shower tonight. And singing. And scaring me. (Hahaha, I put scarring first. Hopefully that didn't happen...)

Back to hunting. Today we got to cross out a few more tiles on our Mountain Wildlife Bingo cards. In addition to a couple more deer we found, we can cross of moose (our guide and his girlfriend saw one), 4 elk (nearly ran Ben & Dad over in the dark, hence the hunt continues), and a dozen wild turkeys (nearly ran Grandpa and me over while we were hiding in a thicket). Why is it that we keep finding animals that we could hunt if only they were in season! I mean, come one, what are the chances that 12 fat, wild turkeys could run, literally, right into us sitting there?!? Food for thought...

So, we didn't get an elk yet, but we will continue tomorrow. Once again with the ATVs, which allow us to cover much more ground. In order to cut down on dust in our eyes, Ben and I (who were the designated drivers today, and will be till we leave) got driving goggles that look absolutely hideous. Tomorrow I'll post pictures. As for now, these will have to do.

Dad & Ben walking around a meadow; Dad gazing into the depths of a mountain stream...

It was colder today, so I dressed warmer :)

Yeah, yeah, sometimes you get bored.

Me, upset that we haven't found anything yet; Ben being patient; Smokey, who doesn't really give a hoot either way.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hunting, hunting...

Well, today was a day full of seeing deer, chipmunks, mice, but no elk. But hey, that's hunting! But seeing 10 deer was definitely a confidence booster for us. Which isn't really necessary yet, because our confidence hasn't had enough time to plummet, but it still feels good. It was quite chilly this morning, but by midday the temperature soared into the mid 60s, nearly melting us in our hunting gear. After a Subway lunch (now 72 degrees!) we waited at the motel for our guide, who had car trouble and couldn't show up, so we left around 4:30 to scout out an area for tomorrow and do a little more hunting. We found a good place and saw more wildlife, which is a good sign, and then came back home. Not much done, but a lot done, depending on how you look at it.

I did get a lot of pictures in, too. Here's some - I'm tired and won't be typing much. :)

Some small nature pictures :)

Hunters in action - Dad & Ben laying down, Grandpa hopping logs.

General nature pics

One thing that I absolutely love about hunting is how much time I get to just sit and think and reflect on my life, decisions I've made (MARRIAGE!), and just enjoy the marvelous world around me. I can hear so many little creatures, birds, the wind, branches rustling, elk bugles (I think they were human...), that just testify of the majesty and divinity of the earth. Just wonderful.

On a totally different subject, Ben made the quote of the day. While we were watching buzzards and golden eagles today, some huge black birds got our attention. We decided that they were ravens, but HUGE ravens.

"You could eat those!" Ben exclaimed.
"Well, they're definitely bigger than chickens," I replied.
Ben continued, "They may be bigger, but the question is: How big are their breasts? Chicken breasts have increased 50% in size since 1940."

The last sentenced was lost in strange, awkward flood of thoughts that came from his "big question." In our apartment we put awkward, funny, and just plain wonderful quotes on our fridge. This one definitely merits display in the kitchen. :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Orion, the Great Hunter

I didn't know that in Greek mythology Orion was a great hunter that Zeus placed in the heavens as a constellation. Either way, right now I'm in a Super 8 Motel getting ready to be a mini-Orion tomorrow with fellow mini-Orion cohorts, namely Ben, Dad, and Grandpa. It's our male bonding time. And we've already started bonding, in a slightly macabre way - we're all injured or stricken in one way or another. Ben decided to up and throw out his back last night; Dad did something to his back that hurt it and makes his hip stick out to the left for the first dozen or so paces; Grandpa hurt his shoulder pretty bad a few weeks ago (I think), and at 76 that takes a toll; and I have mono. What a team we make. The good news is that I'm getting over the mono and actually am not that affected by it, except for sleeping a little more than normal. Which means I'm the pack mule, the hired muscle (those of you who know me well can start laughing), and the guy who has to bend over to pick up anything lower than waist-level.

Ben and Dad stretching in the truck bed.

I enjoyed taking this video ;)

But it's not all bad. Actually it should be somewhat entertaining, being the only one not physically disabled to some degree, helping the gimps hunt for perfectly healthy elk. Oh, those poor elk. How embarrassing would it be to be hunted down by smaller, weaker, disabled organisms in blaze orange. Poor things. ;)

Gettin' ready for the hunt tomorrow. Ben's doing what he does best...

Trying to get Ben's attention for a picture. Didn't happen.

Orion?? Nope, just me. Close, though ;)


(In advance, I'm apologizing for two rapid posts; this is the first of the two.)

Happy Halloween! It's not Halloween yet (it's just the 29th), but Angie and I carved our first pumpkin together on Friday night. We pondered and fretted over what we were to carve (come on, sometimes a jack-o-lantern face is just too boring), and we finally decided on Domo!

This is what Wikipedia says: "
Domo (どーもくん Dōmo-kun?) is the mascot of Japan's NHK television station, appearing in several 30 second stop-motion sketches shown as station identification during shows. The name "Domo" was acquired during the second episode of his show in which a TV announcer said, "dōmo, konnichiwa" (どうも、こんにちは?), which is a formal greeting meaning something along the lines of, "Well, hello there!", but which can also be interpreted as "Hello, Domo!", and thus is a convenient pun (dajare). The kun suffix on "Domo-kun," the name used to describe the character in the Japanese versions, is a Japanese honorific often used with young males."

So, this was our rendition of him. It's not the best, but, hey, it's not bad ;).

And it was fun! We found him online, traced him on the pumpkin, then I (yes, just me) got to cutting for about an hour. Angie helped. A little. ;)

(From Angie: "
I think you need to rephrase a few DOMINATED the pumpkin carving. I tried to help but was rejected. Your description makes me sound lazy ;)")

Scary, huh? It's like a fire-breathing Domo! :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Good and Bad Signs in a Relationship

Good signs and bad signs. The main reason for this post is that I didn't cut my nails for the longest time, and decided that it's a bad sign if your fingernails are longer and whiter than your fiancée's. Yeah, mine were. I got them taken care of, though ;).

We also registered at Target this last week, and it was a very good sign, to me at least, that we have the same opinions and likes/dislikes in most things with bedding, kitchenware, bathroom decor, etc. It was really refreshing, actually, after years of little arguments with roommates about kitchen stuff.

What other good and not-so-bad (more humorous, really) signs are there in a marriage (which I will soon be in)? What are your thoughts?

Friday, October 24, 2008

I'm getting old

I know this is gonna be a dumb statement to my parents, but I really feel like I'm beginning to see major things in my life change, or become obselete. Isn't that something that makes you feel old? I mean, when fashion styles you had when you were young begin to reappear and seem popular again, doesn't that make you old? Or when some major things or infrastructure changes contrary to what I was used to or raised with. Does that sound weird? Let me expound.

Fashion. I'm not a fashionable person by any means, but I do follow the trends and try to not look like a dweeb. But it's been strange to see fashions that I followed in the 80's begin to come back, watching my sister and her friends in high school. It's strange to see fashions roll back around and come back in style. Not all of them, mind you (sorry Madonna), but the skinny legged jeans, the color palette, the earrings, the longer hair, etc. Not that I think it's bad or anything (au contraire) but it's odd to see these coming back. And it makes me feel old.

Missionary work. Now, here's where I feel weird. Monday, in Family Home Evening, we were talking about nothing really for a few minutes, and I happened to mention the flip charts that I used when I was a missionary in Costa Rica (somehow it applied to a humurous line in our conversation). I was chuckling at my own joke (I do that a lot) when one of the girls said, in reference to missionaries having flip charts, "Yeah, if you were in like the 70's!". I was quiet for a moment, trying to figure out what she was trying to say under the seemingly nonsensical statement. I gave up eventually after a couple seconds and asked her what she meant. "Well, you know, the flip charts missionaries from the 70's used."

"From the 70's?" I inquired, still confused.

"Yeah, you know, those ones with the First Vision, the Plan of Salvation, that stuff, that they discontinued a while ago." She began reciprocating my confused look, throwing it back at me.

"They discontinued them?!?" I said in shock. "The purple flip charts?!?"

Others began to be drawn into the conversation, seeing my obvious level of distress and shock.

"Yeah," others chimed in. "The missionaries haven't used those in a while. Preach My Gospel doesn't use flip charts."

My heart sank. No flip charts? First no Discussions, then no Missionary Guide (aka, Purple Dragon), now no Flip charts? I felt like a small part of the meaning of life was stripped away, like when I learned that Santa and the tooth fairy were nothing more than a guise continued by my parents (though I loved it, don't get me wrong).

Upon returning home I quickly pulled out my missionary stuff and just began flipping through the pictures, reminiscing, getting misty eyed. It kind of felt like holding an old friend, now decrepid and near the end of his life, being nostalgic and chatting of old friends and funny stories. It was a sad moment.

Either way, I'm feeling older than before. Granted, I am older than before, and later I'll be older than I am now, know. It's an old moment.