Sunday, July 26, 2009

Blogging sabbatical...

Well, folks. Scout camp is nigh. The gear is packed, the arrangements have been made, the alarm clock is set. Come tomorrow 5AM (or as a friend of mine sometimes says, "5AM in the morning"), Jacob, Joshua, and I will be headed for the Stanely Basin area - Cape Horn, specifically. There ain't no computer, internet, or even cell service there, so I'll be incommunicado for a week or so here. See you on the other side.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Don't do it

Don't check your work email if you're not at work. I made the mistake of looking at mine today and found work I didn't want to know about.

I'm on vacation, don't you know!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Scout Camp approacheth

Okay, let's tap the collective wisdom of this social network...

I'm off to scout camp with two boys next week. (Keri will have her niece here to help with the heavy lifting. Thank you Anne.) Last year I made a short list of things I was glad I had at camp and a few things I wish I'd had. Here are my lists:

I'm glad I had:
  1. Shade (awnings, umbrellas, tarps)
  2. A cot
  3. Extra socks and shoes
  4. One rain poncho (for Jacob)
  5. Camera
  6. Scriptures
  7. Word games (for fire side)
  8. Reading material (work and leisure)
I wish I'd had:
  1. Something to repel no-see-ums (they were legion last year!)
  2. Another rain poncho (for me)
  3. A small mirror
  4. LONG, warm socks
  5. Antihistamine lotion (a la Caladryl)
  6. After-bite stick
  7. more than 3 pairs of pants
  8. Short, short haircut
Here's my question for the cloud of human computers out there (all 3 of you who read my posts): What are the essential, but rarely thought of, things one should take to camp? Assume that all the standard stuff like toothbrush, pocket knife, comb, etc. are already packed. What nice little item turns out to be indispensable?

Part of my inspiration for this post comes from the most recent issue of Wired in which Scott Adams's spasmodic dysphonia (check it out, cool article) is explored in some depth. The part of that article that relates to this little post is the part about the DUH (Dilbert Ultimate House, or something like that). Adams gathered ideas for his cooler-than-cool house from the human cloud, including a Christmas tree closet, an additional laundry room on the second floor (where all the bedding and clothing is anyway), and cat walkways (and, in fact, a room for the cat).

Anyway, give me your best ideas-- stuff I wouldn't think of on my own.

with bated breath...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A week plus ++++

Yikes! It's been a whole week since I posted a note for the edification and enjoyment of my 3 loyal readers. Sorry, folks. Being chief cook and bottle washer is keeping me plenty distracted, if not plenty busy.

Truth is, doing all the mundane things that gotta be done around here isn't much to blog about. I mean, who really cares about how many loads of laundry I've done or how many times the dishwasher gets loaded and unloaded in a single day? It's important stuff, in its way, but not particularly blog-worthy.

I liked to think that I helped out around here plenty. I mean I'm not adverse to changing nappies or folding socks (actually, I draw the line at socks :) )... I mean ... folding undies, etc. I push the rug rats to clean their rooms and I even pitch in to do the floors (my job since day 1 of our marriage). What I've discovered, of course (like many a Mr. Mom before me), is that there ain't no such thing as a non-working momma. Doin' this work is a full-time gig, for sure. Keri deserves a raise and a cruise to ... wherever she wants to go.

I won't pretend that I haven't kvetched plenty. I'm kind of a complainer by nature (though I'm working on that one). Picking up the same pillows and blankets every morning gets me going a bit, I'm afraid, and having to ask boys more than once to get up and eat breakfast before 2PM makes me a little cranky.

Still, is this the stuff of scintillating blog posts? Nope. Not really.

So what is? What types of stuff bring you, the loyal trio, back here from time to time? What are the things that make us all so interested in the facebook news feed? Why twitter, for crying out loud?

On a slightly different note-- being home all day gives me a chance to take pictures of the funny places the kids fall asleep.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The weekend drama . . .

As most of you will have gathered from various posts and replies, Keri went backpacking while I was in Boston. She went, with a group of young women and leaders from our ward, to the Sawtooths-- 4th of July Creek area. It was a great trip, with one little glitch...

A few years ago, while we lived in Pocatello, Keri hurt her back quite badly and was down in bed for several days recovering. Her back has never been the same since, and she takes quite a bit of care to avoid things that might bring on a recurrence of that pain.

Unfortunately, hiking in the back country, especially over landslides and avalanches, was just the thing she didn't want or need. She came down off the mountain with monstrous pain. She's pretty much flat on her back and trying to figure out a way to recover.

When I say she "came down off the mountain," I don't mean under her own power, unfortunately. In fact, she came down in a helicopter. Life Flight, to be exact. An adventure, to be sure, but one I'd rather she could have avoided.

The bottom line is that we're trying to figure out how to get her better, and I'm pampering and taking care of her. Please think positive thoughts for us. And hope that our insurance will pay for that helicopter ride.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Back from Boston

I'd hoped to be able to blog from Boston, but, as I tweeted the other day, that posh hotel where Pearson billeted us charges extra for Internet service. (Have you noticed, by the way, that the budget hotels often include "free Internet access," and the nicer ones have those pesky daily charges?)

It's been a crazy weekend, but I'm finally in a spot where I can post a picture or two from Beantown.

If you follow me on Twitter, you will recall my query about a salmon BLT. Not everyone agreed that such a combination should see the light of day, but I found it excellent!

I guess Mike's Pastry is a rather famous joint in Boston. It's just a few steps off the famed "Freedom Trail," so I stopped in. This picture shows about half the crowd waiting for service. On the wall were pictures of Bill Clinton dining here. The brownie was really good. The eclair was just okay. Maybe this is one of those places that is famous for being famous . . .

Personal indulgence. I like the colors of the buildings here. No other reason for posting this one.

Robert McCloskey's 1941 children's book Make Way for Ducklings is set in Boston's Public Garden which happens to be across the street from the hotel where I stayed. This bronze statue was erected in 1987 in honor of the famous story. It's just about impossible to take a picture of this statue without a child or children in the shot (and a parent or parents standing by with camera in hand).

Above is the Granary Burying Grounds were many patriots, including Paul Revere, and early New England leaders, the first mayor of Boston, for example, are buried. Phyllis Wheatley's owner, Samuel Sewall (a Salem witch trials judge), John Hancock, and Mother Goose (probably not the original Mother Goose, but a woman named Mary Goose who had many children and was well-known at the time for her knowledge of nursery rhymes) are also buried here.

It was a fun, if brief, trip. The food was wonderful and the publisher's presentations were bearable. I made a couple of new friends, and I got some ideas for fall classes. All in all, a pretty productive and enjoyable three days. (Oh, and the woman in charge of our trip said I look like Kevin Spacey. What do you think?)

The picture I didn't get (my camera was already "stowed" for landing in SLC) was of the Oquirrh Mountain temple. We flew right over it in our approach and the afternoon light was wonderful. Ah well.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Off to Boston

I hope I'll be able to get some fun pictures of Boston. I'm going there for a couple of days to learn about Pearson's MyCompLab-- an online writing space.

Today I've got to get a couple of lawns mowed, some clothes washed, a few technical things sent to Pearson in advance of the conference, and figure out if I need to take a computer. If I take a computer, I can blog from the road. If I don't, I have less to schlep on the plane. What to do?

More soon.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Quarterback Cate

Your team stands the best chance of victory if this little captain calls the plays.

Saturday was the Peck Familiy reunion and Cate had to be involved with everything. She went from one group to the next-- sometimes quarterbacking, sometimes dancing to the ukelele, sometimes snitching an extra bite of brownie. I think she had a good time.

That was, as I said, Saturday. Today, Keri and I (and Josh) walked the canyon. Keri is helping to take a bunch of girls on an three day backpacking trip this week, so we were testing out the shoes and the pack. The following was part of the view from the mid-point in our walk.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


About 30 minutes after we got back to Twin today it started raining buckets. There was some wonderful lightning and thunder too.

I wonder what kind of record rainfall we've had this year so far. It's got to be a lot. All the rain makes me happy because then I don't have to pay for as much water. Nice.

We haven't had to pay for as much AC either, so I can sink all my money into blogging and making videos.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

It's Good to Be a Peck

If I felt more energetic and/or creative, I'd post something witty about the relationship between family and the 4th of July... about how the one is the meaning of the other and that freedom to worship as we please, and to raise our families how we please, is an essential and important right. I'm sure those things are true, but I don't have pithy or eloquent words for the idea tonight.

Instead, I'll just post the pics...

For those who may not know, Peck is Keri's maiden name. I asked Dad Peck if I'm a "Peck" and he said I'd been adopted into the family. Of course.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Mustangs and Legends...

... is the name of an airshow someplace (I'm so lazy I didn't even look where it is). They had the following as the opener to their show. Pretty cool for this holiday weekend. Whitney Houston's "Star Spangled Banner" is one of the all-time greats. Do you remember when and where it was recorded?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Frog hunting

When we were at the falls the other evening, the boys found a pond and creek that had lots of frogs. They were dying to go back to see if they could catch any, so we went there again today. The water was too slimey and deep in get into really, so we ended up taking a bunch of pictures. That's just as well because I know Keri would not be interested in having a bunch of frogs around the house. ;-)

I also took some video of the falls and made a little movie.