Sunday, July 27, 2008

Scout Camp discoveries

I made a few crucial discoveries while at Camp Bradley this past week. Here they are, in no particular order:

  1. No known bug spray repels no-see-ums-- at least not the no-see-ums in Cape Horn, Idaho. I came back with a miniature replica of the constellation Ursa Major on my forearms and a dot-to-dot pattern on my legs that probably ends up spelling out the secret plans for insects to take over the world. In that particular sense (the being-eaten-alive sense), the week was pretty miserable. But we did get some relief from the bugs on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday when it rained.
  2. Even a group of distracted, squabbling, firebuggy boys can amount to something. Troop 59 won the Cape Horn award for top troop in the camp. When the staff announced that award, the first words out of Scoutmaster Conder's mouth were either "How did that happen?" or "That must've been an accident!" (or some combination the two, possibly). It was a bit surreal because we hadn't been expecting it. It turns out, however, that just showing up counts a lot. In fact, because we showed up to flag ceremonies morning and night in our uniforms, had a troop yell each time, did our duty in the kitchen one day, and learned a bunch of knots (all seven main knots in 2 minutes or less), our score ended up edging out the other troops. We didn't start out to win, but these small and simple things added up to something. (There's a Sunday School lesson in there somewhere, I'm sure.)
  3. Jon Conder and I have no common sense. We stayed up way too late every night of camp-- talking. In fact, I am very sleepy right now and will be toddling off to bed in a mome..n..t...
  4. Even distracted, frog-obsessed boys can earn merit badges.
  5. Even 2nd-year, macho scouts are freaked out by unexplained noises in the dark.
  6. Camp cots are better than sleeping on the ground, but my Posturepedic loves me and I love it.
  7. I need to invent or learn new word games. All the boys now know "Black Magic," "Trokey Dots," "Snaps," "My Ship Sails," and "Crossed Sticks."
  8. Twelve-year-olds are both more mature and less mature than you might imagine.
  9. Fruit Loops without milk aren't bad, but they aren't that good either.
  10. Camp showers, as primitive as they are, feel pretty good after 3 days of smoke, ash, mosquito repellent, and sulfur hot springs.
I took WAY too many pictures, but you can take a look if you're interested. I culled these down from more than 500 I took.

It was a great week-- bugs, stink, and rain notwithstanding. The boys accomplished a lot. They had some spiritual experiences with Bishop White and President Hansen. They learned to survive without Mom and without Nintendo for a few days. I think I just might go back next year (if I can figure out how to keep the no-see-ums away).

Friday, July 18, 2008

The benefits of camping on the pursuit of scholarly knowledge, OR, Why I won't be blogging next week

Jacob and I will spend next week at Camp Bradley, north of Stanley. I went with him last year and enjoyed the week immensely. It was refreshing, restful, and I actually got some reading for fall classes done. I hope to be able to do the same this year. I’ll take several books from the fall lineup and spend at least part of the time prepping tasks and reading schedules. I’m actually looking forward to that work, which is one of my favorite parts of teaching.

Here’s what I plan to take:

  • Seeing and Writing 3 (I haven’t used this edition before and I need to vet the whole book for possible uses in Engl 101)
  • Fahrenheit 451 (I’m actually reading this one so I can comment on its suitability for David’s class at BYU-Idaho. Not having read it before, perhaps I can see it with fresh eyes and provide some insights for him.)
  • In the Time of the Butterflies (I’ve read this probably 6 or 7 times, but I’m teaching it again this fall after a hiatus of 3 or 4 years, so I need to refresh.)
  • Beowulf (same thing as Butterflies, I’ve read and taught it, but not for a while. Time to reacquaint myself with it. BTW, I’m reading both the famous Seamus Heaney translation that I’ve ordered AND a new translation that has quite a bit of promising ancillary material.)(I saw that the Norton Critical edition of this is the Heaney translation. I may change my book order.)
  • latest issue of CCC (College Composition and Communication) (After all, I need to keep up on what is happening in my field.)
  • Dreamers of the Day and/or Children of God by Mary Doria Russell (these, I’ll admit, are for fun.)

Beyond that, I’m sure I’ll hike some, nap some, overeat some (you can’t believe how much I ate last year– I’m a little ashamed of myself). There will also be the obligatory “bird dogging” (getting boys off to merit badge classes, etc).

I guess I’d better go pack. I may need to buy a bigger book bag.

See you all in a week.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Congratulations, Jacob

Take a look at the scoreboard in the background.

Jacob's little league team won their tournament tonight in a squeeker (how do you spell that?), 8-7. It was a close game and they rallied to come from behind and win. Jacob batted in the tying run, putting the team in the position to win. One of the shy, sort of awkward kids scored the winning run! It was a cool win.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Heading for Scout Camp

Last year's scout camp with Jacob was the most relaxing week of my summer (though I ate WAY too much). I enjoyed it very, very much. In fact, it was so refreshing and restful, and I have been looking forward to this year so much, I'm afraid this year will be something of a let down. It probably will be in some ways, but hope spring eternal-- I plan to have a good time, and rest and read a bunch.

The only worry I have is that Keri will do too much while I'm gone. It's been 5 weeks since her surgery, but her doctor told her full recovery will take 8 weeks. Hopefully Joshua will be able to help her a bunch while Jake and I are in the mountains.

More pictures

I went to the temple grounds early yesterday to take some sunrise pictures. I shot A LOT! of pictures (over 200) and got a number of nice ones (I think). Richard liked a few of them and put some up in his store. One, in particular, may be popular. A lady bought one while I was standing there showing them to Richard. 

Monday, July 14, 2008

Twin Falls Temple - Open House underway

The temple open house began last Friday. It is, like all temples, an exceptionally beautiful building. There several, places, online to see pictures, but above is one I took last night as we strolled around the temple grounds with our friends Jay and Gina Sneddon.

I, for one, am looking forward to regular temple time. Boise isn't so far away, really, but the quickest you can do a session is about 6 hours (and that is pushing it). Say 7+ hours is more reasonable. Not many babysitters will take 5 kids for that long. And if they do, it runs in to big $$. Anyway, the Twin Falls temple is like 3 minutes away from our house. I can run up in the morning to do a session before work. Keri can squeeze one in on a Saturday morning. We can go together for a date night. That'll be nice.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Plugging the photo business

Hoping to drum up a little more summer business, I've temporarily suspended sitting fees for portrait work. Summer is an excellent time to get family potraits done. The evening sun is better than any studio for flattering light and pleasing colors. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A few pictures for friends far away

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The temple is pretty much done. In fact, the contractor turned it over to the church a couple of weeks ago, and stake presidents and the like have gotten to see it. They are also doing training of various kinds. The open house begins next Friday. The dedication is on my birthday (how nice of President Monson to think of me, don't you think?), Sunday, August 24.

The kids are all getting big. Rather than post a bunch of pics on the blog, I've put a few (too many, I'm sure) on a web album. View them at your leisure.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

What a lame friend we have in Clark (or apologies to a Michigan poet friend who was trying to make me cool (ish) from a distance)

It's really dumb, probably, but I actually have two blogs. This one is personal (and not in any way associated professionally or by inference or any other link real or imagined with CSI). The other one is professional (where I pretend to be a professional, obviously). The dumber thing is that they have the same name... I think I'm pretty much the most unoriginal guy on the planet.

I was reading some old posts by my Michigan poet friend, Mark Brown, and I found that he had tagged me way last year. How lame am I that I missed it? Way lame, I assure you.

Anyway, here's what he tagged me for:

Four Places I’d Love to Visit:
1. Detroit. to see my friends Mark and Suzanne (not to mention their too-darn-grown-up daughters).
2. Whiterock Canyon (Uintah Mountains, Utah. Site of our annual "Draney Camp"). We go there every year, but gas prices are making me wonder if we'll get there this year.
3. The inside of a B-17. and go flying, of course.
4. Holland, with Keri. Again.

Four Things I Covet:
1. Mark Brown's sense of style. (No, seriously. Everything he does reeks of class.)
2. Automatic sprinklers.
3. That guy at the boy's ball game-- his Nikon D300 and that HUGE lens.
4. Dianna's sense of who her kids are and how to nurture them

4 Goals I Have:
1. Blog "daily" for a while
2. Pay off debt.
3. Be less critical of everyone.
4. See all my boys go on missions and marry in the temple. Catie is another matter altogether, of course.

4 Fads I Wish Would Pass:
1. Square sunglasses.
2. Lowrider pants (on either gender).
3. Reality shows (except Extreme Makeover Home Edition-- which we should be on).
4. Rice-burners with more amp power than horsepower (both of which exceed the drivers' brainpower, apparently).

4 Delights:
1. Chili Lime sunflower seeds (Spitz brand)
2. Going back to sleep after shutting off the alarm.
3. Cameron's laugh.
4. Colton's "Daddy"

4 Regrets:
That I am:
1. Too impatient
2. Too critical (see above)
3. Too slow to forgive.
4. Too critical (see above and above)

4 Things I Wish I Could Do More Often:
1. See my extended family (mostly in Utah) more often.
2. See stage productions (musicals, opera, etc.)
3. Go out to eat with JUST Keri
4. Paintball with my brothers.

4 Things That I Never Would Have Imagined Would Happen to Me:
1. Live in Idaho. (I don't have a thing against Idaho. In fact, I spent my summers in Idaho when I was growing up, and I loved it. I just thought I'd live right there "at home" in Utah. Idaho is home now, though.)
2. ?? My life is too predictable, I guess.