Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Geeks, Lizards and Zombies

If you know me at all, you're very aware of the fact that I'm a bit of a geek.  I openly embrace it.  I am not ashamed of my geekish tendencies.  However, you may not be aware of a certain aspect of my geekiness.  It turns out I'm a bit of a dinosaur geek.  I've always had something for dinosaurs.  I mean, they're great big lizards.  How could you not think that is awesome?

It should be noted that a big part of the reason I'm able to read is because of dinosaurs.  When I was a small child, I loved to be read to about dinosaurs.  I would pretend to be every dinosaur in the book.  I'm sure my mom tired of reading me my dinosaur book over and over.

When it came time to go to Kindergarten, I was afraid to go.  My mom promised me that if I went to Kindergarten, I would be able to read.  I eagerly went to school, with a laser like focus.  Every moment had specific intent to give me the ability to read about dinosaurs.  I was really cranky when I came home the first day and still couldn't read the dinosaur book. (They didn't even try to teach me).  The good news is that I eventually learned and have spent plenty of time reading about dinosaurs since.

This past weekend Robyn let me indulge some of my dinosaur obsession.  We went to Vernal where there is a famous dinosaur museum.  It was a lot of fun.  I'm still geeking out about it.
One is an Allosaurus, the other is me.  Can you tell the difference?
I'm so good at blending in.
It's a dinosaur.  It's also a zombie.  Does it get any cooler?
You would be scared too.  Don't judge.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Stewart is Falling

This weekend Robyn and I decided to hike up to Stewart Falls with my BFF Jared W.  I've been to Stewart Falls before but this was the first time I've hiked it during the day.  (It's much hotter during the day, the heat makes me sad.)

On the way there we felt it was important to stop and pose with Stewie. (That's the nickname that I gave the falls.  This shows that I have a close relationship with him.)
Robyn is more precious than Stewie
We also felt it was important to catch Jared and Katherine in their moments of preciousness.
They're even more precious than normal in the wilderness.
As we ascended towards Stewie the heat of the afternoon was slowly sapping the energy out of me.  Luckily, when we got to our destination, the mist filled the air and cooled everything down.  Even in the heat of the summer there were still several feet of snow pack surrounding the base of the waterfall.
The mist was a relief after the hot sun
We ventured into the mist to get close to the base of the waterfall.  The flow was so high due to the large amounts of snow this winter as well as the rain this summer.  The water was falling so fast that it shot five or six feet out from the ledge it was flowing over.
This was the closest I was willing to bring my phone for a picture
Standing in the mist, I took a picture of the waterfall but pulling my phone out even for a couple seconds caused it to get drenched.  But that didn't stop me from getting a kissing picture near the waterfall anyway.
It's all about the iphone self portrait.
After that Robyn ventured back out into the sunlight.  I felt the need to stand under the waterfall.  I walked through the curtain of water crashing down and ventured into the secret hideout behind the flowing water.  I stood there for only a few seconds before the water dripping on me caused my brain to freeze.  I started hyperventilating, I think it was because of the extreme cold.  I decided that my frozen brain and whacked out lungs were not a good thing.  I fled my little hideout as quickly as possible.  I took my frozen brain back out into the sunlight and for the first time in many moons I was appreciative of the summer heat.

We began our hike down and by the time we got back to the car I had not only thawed out but had resumed disliking the heat.  All was back to normal.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Bombs Bursting in Air

Tonight Robyn and I sat on our porch for a while and looked out at our view.  Our house sits on a hill and gives us an excellent view of Utah valley all the way out to the lake and the mountains beyond.  Tonight was particularly interesting because of the newly legalized fireworks that shoot into the air.  It was actually quite beautiful to look out and see the colorful explosions as far as the eye could see.

As I looked out, and also as I listened to the sounds of the fireworks exploding, it sounded somewhat like a war zone.  I became lost in thought for a moment as these "bombs bursting in air" brought some lyrics from our national anthem to my mind.
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
I just imagined what it must have been like for Francis Scott Key as he witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry.  I picture him hunkered down trying to stay safe but all the while looking up amid the flashing bursts of light to see if the flag still flies.  I can imagine his state of mind as he wonders to himself:
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
I started to run some of the rest of the lyrics through my mind.  The final verse is particularly powerful in my opinion.
O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand, Between their loved home and the war's desolation! 
I love that imagery.  I've never had to stand and protect my home from the destruction of war and I hope I never have to.  But I'm grateful for those who have done that and for the freedom they have sacrificed so much to preserve.
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation! Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, And this be our motto: "In God is our trust" 
I believe that God has protected this nation in order to preserve freedom in this world.  The more I study history the more miracles I find that helped us get by when our freedom was dangling from thin threads.  I'm grateful to God in Heaven for the blessing of freedom that I enjoy today.  I love that today we can celebrate the Declaration of Independence.  We can honor our God because "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights."

Today I am filled with gratitude and love for my country.  I am awestruck at the beautiful "bombs bursting in air" that can remind us of days when those bombs were not amazing fireworks, but enemies who sought to destroy our freedom.  I'm grateful that against all odds, freedom has continued to flourish for over two centuries.  I hope we can all do our part to continue to preserve that freedom for our children and their children.
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
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