Saturday, February 14, 2009

A groupie for Mormon celebrities

At the convention mentioned below we hired a couple of singers to perform a new theme song that we will be featuring for the next couple of years. Sam Cardon (local arranger) wrote the music and lyrics for "A Season of Sunshine", and it was performed by Jenny Frogley and David Osmond. I picked up both of them at the airport and it was fun to get to know them. David Osmond had just been booted from American Idol (he said he had laryngitis). I was most anxious to visit Jenny Frogley who has been singing on Mormon productions for years and who has a really interesting quality to her voice.
They did really well and it helped make our opening night more interesting. Here's a little background on Jenny:

"She has opened for Ray Charles, filled-in for Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight, and has recorded on more than 100 albums. She has performed at the 2002 Winter Olympic torch lighting ceremony and as a guest soloist with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. She toured Europe with the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and has performed at Radio City Music Hall. Jenny has recorded everyting from commercials for CBS, the Discovery Channel, the Sci-Fi Channel, and Disney to film soundtracks as well as classical, pop, and inspirational albums."

The indulgent backstage photo op

A return to my first home

We had a company convention in Los Angeles recently and it's always a little interesting to return to my old stomping grounds. It was held at the Marriott Hotel just east of LAX which is in the community of Westchester, my home time. I haven't lived there for 38 years, but I know every street like the back of my hand from countless bike rides, paper routes, etc. Unlike the children of today, we rode our bikes everywhere--having your mom take you somewhere was for "little kids". Boy, have things changed! A lot of things have changed, of course, but Westchester remains a tidy community in a sprawling metropolis. As a person who loves the outdoors I love living in Utah, but I miss the beach and it seems I get cabin fever every year about this time. When visiting California I get excited twice--first, upon feeling the buzz of a big city, and second, when I see an open stretch of desert on the way out.

I now live in "Pond Town" (Salem) If I had had this little fishing hole nearby as a kid I would have been there every day.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

This is how crazy I am!

If someone offered me a week's vacation right now in one of the two spots above -- Waikiki Beach, Hawaii or beautiful Kennebec, South Dakota, I'd take South Dakota.

I'm not kidding. This is the depth of my insanity. I'd go to snow covered South Dakota in January. And why? Because South Dakota is Mecca for pheasant hunting... and I love hunting pheasants.

Kennebec is home to about 260 people... and a gazillion pheasants.

Even at the end of the 79-day hunting season it is not uncommon to step into a field and see 500 pheasants flush over the course of a minute or two. It's incredible, but not unbelievable because people take care to provide lots of cover and food, especially during the hard winters.

This is a food plot (a narrow strip of milo grain) that has been planted in a section of CRP land. The grain is left unharvested and feeds the pheasants all winter long.

Note: The CRP program encourages farmers to convert highly erodible cropland or other environmentally sensitive acreage to vegetative cover, such as tame or native grasses, wildlife plantings, trees, filter strips, or riparian buffers.

Here's a day's limit of pheasants from my last trip between Christmas and New Years. The weather was biting cold and the wind blew constantly. It was no day at the beach... for me it was better... because I love pheasant hunting.
ps. I had one of these for dinner last night--tasty!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Grandkids make Christmas fun!

Dylan assists Kate in the traditional gingerbread house construction.

Nate opens his first present.

Nate loved his motorized train so much he didn't want to open any other presents.

According to Dylan, Pirate Legos are one of the best presents you can get.

Meanwhile Colin was having hysterical fun with Eva's remote control Pretty Pony cars.

Eva received some nice accessory items. You can never have too many of those.

Darren and Dylan examine the "Meal Makin' Kitchen."

Chris always provides high end footwear for the ladies.

A favorite activity at Grandma's house is bathing in the bubble tub.

Story time is the best!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I love living in the wilderness!

Sometimes I think I will never get used to it...
I grew up in the middle of Los Angeles, so for me, to come home and see a big beautiful buck feeding a few yards from my back door is a unique experience. Tonight Susan and I came home from a movie to see a big deer in our backyard. His buddies (seen above in a less than idea photo) were just over the fence in the pasture. In L.A. as a boy I would ride my bike to a rare empty field to see a rabbit or dove. Now I've got a herd of deer out my back window. I love it!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Mediterranean Cruise

In late October we cruised from Athens, Greece to Lisbon, Portugal as part of an incentive trip for Nature's Sunshine. We had another large group -- 680 people. Everyone seemed to have fun even though we had a few rough nights at sea.

One of the first stops was Ephesus, Turkey which has some pretty amazing ruins including this library dating back to 100 AD. Paul's New Testament Letter to the Ephesians was written to the citizens of Ephesus.

Susan somehow managed to get me agree to buy one of these oriental rugs before we got back on the ship in Ephesus. That was a costly tour!

Susan's admirers outside the Colliseum in Rome.

The famous Trevi Fountain

The prinicipality of Monaco. There's a lot of money floating around (literally) in this tiny country!

Spanish Flamenco!

We visited some amazing Catholic cathedrals.

The Gothic Cathedral in Seville, Spain was unbelievable! This is supposed to be the tomb of Christopher Columbus.

A trip highlight -- getting to know the Barberry Apes of Gibralter.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Larry Discovers Cutthroat Trout at Strawberry

I've been telling my brother Larry that he needs to come up from California in October so he can experience the great trout fishing at Strawberry Reservoir. Every year when the temperature gets cooler the Cuttroat Trout start to cruise the shallows looking for chubs to eat. Plastic tube jigs work great and it's not uncommon to catch 20-25 fish in a single afternoon. This quantity of fish is possible because the Fish and Game Department wisely established a "slot limit" regulation which requires you to release any fish that measures between 15" and 22". The result is a large population of beautiful 18-19-20-21 inch trout and fantastic fishing. If you get one over 22' you get to keep it as a trophy.
Larry loves fishing but has to settle for small "planters" he can find in lakes near his home in San Bernadino. I called him last Thursday to tell him the fishing was hot and he was on the road a few hours later. He throughly enjoyed his time on the reservoir and I think he will be coming back next fall. As you can see the weather was very coorperative.