Sunday, November 28, 2010

Leaf Reviewed

Book Review: Ranger Confidential ~ Andrea Lankford: Living, Working, and Dying in the National Parks

What? A book review? Am I on Britta's page? I know. One benefit to not having a working computer for a few days was that I finally finished a book. That I have been reading for three months. I'm slow.

Keeley and Will gave me this book on my birthday and I have to say it is in my all time top 5 books. LOVED IT!

I have a fascination and love for the outdoors. In college for a time I thought I would become a Forest Ranger. I didn't end up going down that path and there is part of me that has always kept that dream in my heart. This book did something I didn't expect. It made me glad that I didn't end up in that profession. But it did recharge a desire to visit every national park in the U.S. I have been to one. I have some work to do.

This book is a very in depth look into what its really like to be a Park Ranger. The author was a full-time ranger for 12 years and at the end of that 12 years and the death of a close friend, she threw her uniform in a dumpster.

She talks about how rangers go into their job wanting to protect nature and in the end their job is to protect people from themselves. You read stories about how criminals go on vacation too. And how prevalent death is within the largest parks. People come to Nation Parks specifically to kill themselves. And the rangers are the people who deal with that. Rangers perform life threatening rescue attempts all the time. Sometimes lives are saved and sometimes they put their live on the line just to give a family a body.

Its a very hard, thank less job. And yet they live in the most breathtaking places on earth. And that is their reward. This book definitely increased my appreciation for rangers and love for the parks they protect. The book is filled with adventure, love, regret and heartbreaking sorrow.

Its definitely a tribute to her love for the parks and those she worked with. It is also a candid look at how the job wears a person down. The book makes me want to just personally thank those who put in all the hard work so that we can have these places preserved and we can enjoy them and all that they have to offer us.

1 park down ~ many more to go...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Foto Friday

Few things. This is a typical day at our house. Will looking at star wars legos on his personal laptop while watching dinosaurs on tv. Could he be more of a nerd in training?

How about asking me to take pictures of him and the lego army guys while he poses like an army guy.

Will: I really want a puppy for Christmas
Me: I'm sorry but we can't have puppies at our apartment
Will: Then maybe we can get a new house for Christmas!
Me: Good luck with that

Tonight was the Provo City Christmas Parade which is ran by my department at work. I've never actually been to the parade because it is usually the first Saturday of December which also happens to be the concert for the choir I sing in. This year they decided to do a night parade with lights and it got moved to black friday. It was cold! My sister Maiken and the kids watched and got a few pics while I walked in the parade. Good times.

Before the parade they had a Santa 5K Run. Every participant receives a Santa outfit and they get milk and cookies along the route. Wish we would have gotten some pictures with a large crowd, but it was awesome to see a hundred people all dressed like Santa running down the street. (can click the pic to see bigger)

Our entry. Zippy (0ur mascot), reindeer, elves and one of the mowers decorated in lights.

It's officially the Christmas season!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It really sucks when you have something that you are really excited about, and want to write about when that excitement is still fresh. And then your computer crashes that night. Sucks. Luckily I have a great dad who was able to come save me from my own computer stupidity and get me back up and working. Thanks again dad!

So. Back to Saturday. One of my favorite websites for years now has been Remember I mentioned just last week? Well I have met a lot of friends through the community of followers, including Marty. Hi Marty. And through Marty met Gidget and through Gidget have met lots of cool people. And met a very close friend Ashley through the site and on and on.

There is a group of local followers who have met a couple of times and its been really fun getting to know them. We had a met up planned for Saturday and again my sister Maiken graciously watched Will so I could go hang out for a few hours. One of the new people to the meet ups said we needed to make sure to invite Heather (dooce) and her husband Jon. After several comments about it I had to comment that I didn't really think there was any way Heather would ever come. She hadn't ever made a comment about our previous meet ups and from comments she had made on her blog, I just didn't think it would be the kind of thing she would do.

So there we are Saturday night at a local brewery and just after ordering we are going around with more formal introductions. We are almost done when the girl next to me interrupts with a "oh my god." For some reason my first thought was that I was going to turn and see a bar fight. Instead we all turn to see Heather and Jon walking towards our table. You guys I don't know how to explain that feeling. Now I realize only about 3 people have a chance of understanding, but I was meeting a person that I really admire. Someone who's blog I have read for 6+ years. Someone that I consider a celebrity. And she was walking towards our table! To have dinner with us!!

It was awesome. Amazing. They were so friendly and open to hanging out with us, and it was just a great night. We talked about parenting, relationships, depression, the site, and a little nerd talk for the two guys at our table. And my normal shy self took a big step and realized I couldn't pass up the opportunity to tell Heather how much she and her site and community have meant to me. I got a bit choked up telling her and I'm sure everyone else at the table was wishing I would shut up, but when was I ever going to be sitting across a table from her again. And her site really has meant a lot to me this last year. And the amazing people I have met through the community are hopefully people I will be life long friends with.

They had to leave so their baby sitter could go home, but not before Heather left to go the restroom and stopped to pay our tab on the way out. Very nice. We were all in shock after they were gone. We weren't expecting it at all and it was just such a fun surprise. And although I feel really stupid for my comments about how she would never come, very happy to have been proven wrong.

I've never really had any "celebrities" that I have wanted to meet. And yeah I do realize that a lot of people have never heard of her, but she is my celebrity. And oh so happy to have met her. And thanks again to Maiken! Sorry you weren't there too!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Foto Friday

Something a little different today. One of my favorite websites,, is having a contest where you can win a really sweet camera. Go enter, the deadline is Monday but it would be really cool if someone I knew won it. And then let me borrow it.

So the contest is for Shutterfly and you have to make and submit a photo book. My sister Britta actually uses this site to do a calendar for the family every year and she made a photo book for my parents when Wade took family pictures for us.

Now the contest is judged on the book as a whole, not just the pictures so it said you could use pictures you didn't take but had permission to use. Good thing! And good thing I have some talented family and friends. I "borrowed" several from my brother-in-law Will who is an awesome photographer. My dad also helped and lent me pictures and a few are from my sister Britta, and one from Maiken. And the tattoo ones are from Becky. Wow did I do any of this book myself? I swear I did.

It is about my tattoo. (geez will this girl ever get over talking about her tattoo? doubtful) And mostly it was just fun to do and play around with the layouts and colors and everything. And try to come up with something a little different than most of the books submitted. Actually REALLY makes me want to have the camera they are giving away. And then maybe some motivation to go along with it to work on learning some skills.

Presenting, A girl and her tree

(you probably want to click on the link below to view larger)

Click here to view this photo book larger

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hidden Meaning

If you were handed this note and asked to pass it along to someone very important, what would you do?

Nope that's not a bad scan, that's the note (you can click on it to see it larger.) Was I given a bomb threat? I can read 500, Calvin and IRAQ. Are 500 guys led by Calvin attacking us from Iraq? Maybe I won something?

What would your response be after getting this, considering the person that gave it to you seems a bit crazy and just a tad scary?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Foto Friday

Why did the chicken cross the road...

My friend "A" and I were driving around the other day because he took part of the day off work to keep me company and entertain me. "A" is shy (or embarrassed to have me as a friend) so I'm calling him "A" for anonymous friend.

stopping at an intersection...
A - Did I just hit a chicken?
K - No I think it was a plastic bag that just blew across the street
A - No I think it was a chicken
K - You did not just hit a chicken
A - Look, its right there. I just hit a chicken. Is it alive?

Looking behind us there were feathers all over the road. Still not sure what happened other than a chicken tried to cross the road and got a bit tangled up with his car. I went back a few hours later to check on him and he was still standing in the exact same spot. This is one lucky chicken.

To keep the random animal theme going we stopped by to check in on "A's" horse, Sarco. He has blue eyes. And its weird. You don't realize till you see him but most horses have dark eyes. He's a beautiful horse and it sort of hits you when you see his striking eyes, they are almost eerie because they are so different. But he didn't like me. I think he takes awhile to warm up like his owner does. So I wasn't able to get a great shot that showed how beautiful and different he is, but gives you an idea.

So today, here's to being beautifully different!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Foto Friday

Nothing like a blurry photo to show your excitement! I don't usually talk about work on here, but good news is ok I think. On Tuesday a bond passed that will let us build a new recreation center. Anyone who has been to the current one, knows how desperately it is needed.

After working on this for 11 years, the mood at work has been, YAY! Now what. Its kind of a weird feeling. It will be an interesting two years with the design and build and then a very stressful time helping to open the new facility. So here's to the next two years!

And I'm guessing by the time we have the grand opening I'm gonna be needing some of the real stuff, and not just sparkling cider.