Sunday, February 27, 2011

The End-of-the-Month Sunday Update (February 2011)

It is a quiet night in Sweet Haven.  We had a short power outage - maybe 20 minutes earlier, but aside from that it has been a quiet Sunday.

Last week was Stake Conference, and our Bishop was called to be the new Stake President.  So the ward is going through a little transition.  We are going to miss our bishop - he is a good man and very kind.  I'm sure he will lead the Stake well, but it was always kind of fun to have him in a meeting.  He could bring both spirituality and wry humor to a meeting and it was a pretty good combination. 

Last Monday Andrew and Caren and the kids came down and spent the day with us.  We had a good visit, and I think the kids had a good time.  We had tater tots, chicken nuggets, and pizza and the kids seemed to be happy with that menu.   Annie and I have our normal everyday favorites but they would be boring for the kids I think.  We had to think a little bit about what kids like to eat.  It was not a real warm day, but they played on the swings for quite a while, and Seth got pretty good casting with an old fishing rod - no hooks.  It was a good day with not a lot of schedule.  We just visited and played.

Last night I finished my mainsail.  All the sewing is done, both machine and hand stitching.  The reef points are installed, the grommets are installed and it is ready to be bent (tied onto the gaff, boom and mast).  This whole project has been in the works off and on for about four years.  Two of those years were spent with me looking wide and wild eyed at all the sailcloth and then finding something else to do.  Anything else to do.  This stuff is hard to work with if you don't know how to handle it.  You can't stick a pin in it - it is too stiff.  The way the cloth is made is by rolling a very finely woven, resin covered dacron cloth between two heated rollers at about 50,000 psi.  This melts and smashed the resin into the cloth fibers and pretty much eliminates a bias sag. 

After a couple of years of piddling around the edges I found some video clips from Sailrite on YouTube and was able actually to see how they handled the cloth.  They don't pin it together at all, they tape it together.  Buying the double sticky tape, and a cheap sewing machine from WalMart kind of got the ball rolling.  Then I just had to learn how to sew.  Fortunately, I am married to an amazingly talented seamstress who is a pretty patient teacher as well.  But a lot of things that work on quilts and clothing don't work as well on sails, and I still had somethings to learn the hard way.  But such is life.  Anyway, the mainsail is done, and the mizzen sail is done but for the grommets.  So I should be ready for Lake Powell by September.

I guess that is about all.  It has been snowy and cold, and so my hopes for getting the early garden in early have been in vain.  The Spring Outage is around the corner, and that will keep me out of trouble until the first part of May.  Then two concerts, a concert trip to D.C., a Messabout at Starvation Reservoir, a 90th birthday party, the Crash Up Derby, Pioneer Day, One Camping Trip, Labor Day, the Gala, the Lake Powell Messabout, trip to Mike's (maybe), Thanksgiving, Christmas Concert, Christmas, New Years, .....and it all starts again.  I didn't even mention putting in a garden, finishing the fences, fixing the roof, putting up the new antenna, cleaning the shop,..... there truly is no rest for the wicked, and no time to repent.

I hope you all have a great night, sleep well and wake.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Bono Voce in the Rabbit Den

Annie and I had a nice evening.  The Sweet Haven High School madrigal choir (Bono Voce)  has a fund raising event each February - a Valentine's Day concert with a catered dinner.  It is held in the Rabbit's Den - the high school cafeteria, and it is pretty sweet.

We don't hear too much music that is made by our friends, neighbors, and family.  We hear mostly  professional singers whose voices have been washed and scrubbed through a million dollars worth of electronic gear.  Blended, echoed, and polished it really does sound nice.  In a way, a lot of this music was like music our great-grandparents might have listened to - music that was made by 'just people' that they knew personally, and before recording sound was common.  From re-reading this last little bit I suppose you might think this is a criticism, but what I'm trying to say is that what you saw (or heard) is what you got. I liked it, and thought the kids pretty brave for singing in public.

While we got our salad and ate our meal,  the choir kids (individually or in small groups) went up on stage and sang a variety of songs that had a variety of polish.  But all of them exhibited more courage than I could ever pull together.  I think I would rather take a beating than get up in front of a bunch of strangers - even friendly ones - and perform.  So I appreciated their performances.

SH High School was built in the late 60's I think   The cafeteria is brick walled and the ceiling is acoustic tile.  Lighting is fluorescent.  The floor is linoleum.  There is a 7 foot tall mural of a rabbit that probably had a long history with anabolic steroids on the West wall.   There are vertical window  along the South wall, each in a little alcove and with a small table in it for a little privacy.   It's not fancy by today's standards and to make it fancy would cost quite a bit, but it seems to work fairly well, and it that room could talk, I'm sure there are thousands of tales it could tell of a couple of generations of teens from the SH area.  Even though I graduated from a high school hundreds of miles away,  I'm a little nostalgic about it as all of our kids graduated from it.  I don't think that our kids are very nostalgic, but in years to come they might be to some degree. Nostalgia, I think, is a measure of what you feel you have lost, and we often lose our innocence and sense of safety as life drags us along.  I suppose that part of the reason that I came away so content was that the whole night took me back to when our kids were not the polished and sophisticated adults that they have become, but to when they were somewhat unsure of themselves and their futures.  Their self confidence would come and go like a breeze in the summer, and seeing these kids tonight brought a lot of those memories back.

Since it was a fund raising dinner, the kids served the meals, brought the deserts and then entertained us.  They were alternately polite and poised when they were serving tables, and then when they were off with their friends you could see a variegation of teen behavior from timid to teasing, from confidence to boredom. Just kids being kids.

The teen years are fairly hard on parents too, but even though I don't think I got more than an hours worth of sleep each night for 15 years or so (only a slight exaggeration) I have fond memories of working on cars for the the girls, and they would come out and tell me about the boys that they liked.  It was a pretty good system as they usually had a LOT to say about the boy, and I would be under the car and wouldn't hear but about 10% of the story.  It was just sweet to have them come out and talk to me.  It was great to go out to DMAD with the boys (and J) and plink or fish, mostly just fool around often ending with a marshmellow or hot dog roast. 

That's about it.  We had a nice evening, and I don't know about Annie, but I had a nice walk down Memory Lane.  I hope you all have a great Friday.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Early February Update

It was a quiet week in Sweet Haven.....that is what I think I will be calling our little town in the future.  After reading the headlines and watching the new, it does seem like a quiet little haven.

It has been pretty quiet here, and pretty cold too.  The cold isn't so unique as I know that it is cold over most of the West and Mid-West.  Well, it is February so I guess it isn't too surprising.  Still, zero degree temperatures mixed with even a light but steady wind makes for a pretty cold winter camp.  I was kind of getting in the mood for an early spring, and getting in an early garden, but I don't know if that will happen or not.

Annie and I have been staying indoors quite a bit.  She has been sewing on quilts and I've been sewing on my mainsail.  It makes for a cozy and companionable day - fire in the fireplace, book-on-tape playing and a little conversation when we have something to say.  It goes well with chicken-noodle soup and whole wheat bread.

The sail is almost done.  I'm just putting in the reef points now.  It's very tempting to not put them in as they are little reinforced squares of fabric sewn in lines in the middle of the sail.  I'll put grommets through their center, and when the wind gets too frisky, the reef points become the new bottom of the sail and are tied to the boom, effectively making the sail much smaller.  It is tempting to leave them off because I'm tired of wrestling with the sail and want to have it done, but I've never seriously considered leaving them off.  In fact, I'm sewing in two rows of them.  I actually should start the mizzen sail.  It will be much smaller, and won't have the pesky reef points.... we will see.  

At work the Spring Outage is getting closer in a hurry.  Usually we have four week outages, but this one will be six weeks long, and run from March 12 to April 21.  It might be kind of a strange long outage as this will be the second outage in this fiscal year - everyone is worried they might go over the budget, and weirdly, that is more important than fixing things.  So be it.

I'm in Week 10 of P90X - the exercise program that a few of us are doing at work.  I'm getting stronger, but not lighter, at least so far.  Tony Horton, the creator of the program uses 'muscle confusion' workouts - a different set of muscles each day.  Which pretty much guarantees that a different part of you will hurt tomorrow.  There is a lot of core body work, and flexibility work built into the routines as well.  So, we will see.  I'm very tired each night, and not too feisty.  A friend at work has been using this program for the last three years and has not had an exercise related injury in that time.  This is a pretty important feature as injuries effectively kill exercise program momentum.

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It's Monday night, and it sounds like a big storm is blowing in.  If the storm is as big as the wind, well, we will need snowshoes.  I'm guessing we might get an inch or two of snow.  We had a nice Saturday, making a quick trip to SLC to celebrate Thomas' 1st birthday.  We had a yummy dinner that Jeff and Megan prepared and then played some fun games.  Janet got home from a month in Denver about the time it was time for us to go, so we got hugs all around and made a quick stop at Becky's for a little sewing discussion, and then headed down for a quick stop at Andrew and Caren's.

It was good to see everyone, even though some of the visits were brief.  Sunday wasn't a day of rest, but it was OK.  Today was a quick run to the dump, running a few errands, some sewing for both of us, and a short nap for me in the afternoon.  Subway for supper, and chicken soup cooking for tomorrows lunch.  A quiet day, and we got to spend it together.  That's the best part.  Hope you all have a good week.  Sleep well, and wake.