Technicolor Jamie

This is a filler post, but it's short and fun. I know I promised to post about the new thing, but I don't have a good photo of it yet. Next post, I promise ("yeah, yeah", I hear you say).

Saturday my daughter Jamie went with some friends to the Hare Krishna temple in Spanish Fork for the annual Festival of Colors.

She went last year too and attendance was over 10,000. The parking was crazy last year, this year it was also jammed but the shuttle helped.

Before the festivities they wandered around and saw some llamas. When Jamie put this photo on Facebook she tagged the three llamas as three of her guy friends. Funny. They were pretty good sports about it.

Admission is free, but the packets of brightly colored corn flour cost a few bucks.

Some people in the back jumped the gun, but it made a good picture.

Blast off!


Jamie and two of her friends.

Technicolor Jamie.

It sounded like fun, but Jolene and I went for a bike ride instead.

Pulled New Trail Posts

I just pulled two posts about new trails off the BST, here's why:

The Forest Service has learned of these trails and views them as illegal, which they are. Most likely they will takes steps to close the trails.

In my excitement of finding and riding these new trails I didn't stop to think about who owns the land, the legitimacy of the trails, and that my posts would encourage others to seek out these trails. My bad for not considering the bigger picture.

I have mixed feelings about this. I really enjoy these more rugged, rustic trails, but I can also see the Forest Service point of view.

I've attended a few trail work days in American Fork Canyon and met the Pleasant Grove District Forest Service people and they are pro trails. They also have a responsibility to mange this local chunk of public land. To me it doesn't seem damaging to connect up some deer trails through areas that no one cares much about. But I can also see that people shouldn't be doing whatever they want on public land.

I'm going to talk to our local Forrest Service trails person and see if these trails can be saved. It seems like it would be a win-win if local trail users can work with the Forest Service to propose new trails and get permission to build and maintain them. I'll let you know what I find out.

I apologize for screwing up.

Hurray For Corner Canyon

I went for a mountain bike ride up Corner Canyon today.

Yes, I know yesterday was a warm, sunny day. I chose instead of join my co-workers for a St. Patrick's Day lunch of corned beef and cabbage at the super Harmons. I can't say that was a bad choice, but it sure would have been nice to feel tires on dirt and sun on my bare arms and legs.

So I went today. 48 degrees, overcast and blustery. It had rained earlier but not enough to make mud.

I started up Lower Corner Canyon trail from the equestrian center to the BST. The ponies have bumped it up, and there are some damp spots, but no real mud.

Then BST north to Bear Canyon. Several mud puddles that could be easily skirted without widening the trail. I stopped at a small section of snow in Bear Canyon 50 yards before the bridge.

Coming back I took the Gasline trail then up South Ghost Falls all the way to the bridge at the falls. There were one or two patches of snow and shallow mud, but not enough to damage the trail if ridden.

Beyond the Ghost Falls bridge was snow and mud. Some bike tracks, but looks like a mess.

I turned around and went back down South Ghost Falls then took the stairs trail. It's good except for a downed tree at the stairs and a patch of snow there.

Looking across (south) to North Ghost Falls, Canyon View, Jamies - all snowed in.

Going down I took Creek View. Damp but no real mud.

The above route worked well. All the trails were damp and fast. I may hit it again tomorrow, weather permitting.

First Audiobooks

Back in January I announced I was trying something new: audiobooks. I started with A Confederacy Of Dunces and noted that I really liked the book, so much so that at times I wished I was reading it so I could really savor it.

Since then I've listened to two other audiobooks.

Les Miserables (Abridged) - I've seen the broadway production a few times and my wife read the book years ago and told me it was good. I've been meaning to read it for years. It seemed like it would be good to listen to (during my commute), and it was. The story is involved enough to make it interesting, but not so complex that it was difficult to keep it straight from day to day. And the story is excellent, truly a classic. And the writing was surprisingly vibrant and relate-able (I saw surprising because it's an old book, 1862). The themes are universal, yet personal and meaningful. This really is a book everyone should read. And it works well as an audiobook. (It has no US copyright, so you can read it for free, although it's unabridged and very long. I recommend an abridged version.)

A Walk In The Woods - This is the third Bill Bryson book I've read (1, 2). He has such an easy-going, conversational style I was pretty sure this would be good as an audiobook. And it was fantastic. I laughed at least once almost every drive. It's the amusing story story of hiking the Appalachian Trail. Bryson does his homework - the book is peppered with facts and historical details. It gets weaker toward the end, but still very much worthwhile.

Presently I'm listening to Peace Like A River. Some of the subject matter seems odd, but I'm enthralled by the splendid writing. I'm torn - I should read this book so I can really soak it up, but I'm into the story now and look forward to it each drive.

Avant Music

Occasionally I browse Amazon's free music downloads. Most of the songs are duds, but once in a while I find something good. For me, this has been a gem:

It's out-there stuff and predominately electronic. My favorite is Triple Chrome Dipped - I'm a sucker for a good bass beat and unique sounds. I also like Hyped-Up Plus Tax (it was used to promote the Motorola Razor). Also good are Night Court, Swamp, My Radio and Half Asleep.

Ghostly Essentials put together a list of their favorite albums of the decade. I recognized only a few names. Looks interesting.

If you like techno / trance / house, the Groove sampler album had a few songs I liked.

I've only listened to a few songs from the SXSW sampler, but liked what I heard.

There are two Metal samplers for the head bangers.

Cycling Update

Another road ride in Draper but this time I felt much better. That last, sluggish ride must have knocked loose some cobwebs. It was a sunny day and I had some kick in my legs so I enjoyed the ride. I still have fitness to regain, but I no longer feel like I'm in a deep, deep hole - just a moderately deep hole.

Shock And Awesome


Friday after work I went for a quick road ride in Draper. I felt OK for the first few minutes, then my breathing became labored and my legs had no snap. I kept going, but I felt sluggish. It was depressing to discover how much fitness I've lost. I have only myself to blame (although the weather has been particularly crappy for riding this Winter).

The previous day Kenny sent out the announcement for RAWROD TwentyTen. It's 6 weeks away.

These two events have been a good wake-up call. I'll enjoy RAWROD more if I shore up my fitness so I'm getting to work.


Saturday around noon it was raining, but Jolene and I drove to American Fork Canyon anyway to see if we could get in some cross country skiing. As we drove up, the rain turned to snow.

The snow was coming down pretty good and we were coated quickly.

There's something peaceful and magical about snowfall.

At the top of the track the snow flakes were huge and floated down slowly.

We've been seeing these bugs on the snow the last few times. What are they doing out this time of year?

It's embarrassing how quickly I forget the simple rule for enjoying Winter: get out and do something. So instead of kicking around the house and blaming the weather, this little ski successfully perked up our moods.

Gore-geous Die-orama

My daughter Rachel is taking French in high school. She created a diorama from a scene in the very long French poem The Song of Roland (the oldest surviving major work of French literature). Take a peek inside.

Yes, she chose to depict Ganelon being quartered - where horses pull all four limbs off.

I'd blame violent video games, but we don't have any.

Google Maps Does Bikes

Google Maps has rolled out a map layer and directions for bicycles.

Clicking the More... button and selecting Bicycling will reveal cycling features as different types of lines:

  • Dark green indicates a dedicated bike-only trail;
  • Light green indicates a dedicated bike lane along a road;
  • Dashed green indicates roads that are designated as preferred for bicycling, but without dedicated lanes
It shows the Provo River Parkway trail (see image below) and bike lanes in the Salt Lake Valley, but it only shows part of the Jordan River trail. It's in beta and will probably get better.

Also, when you get directions you can now select Bicycling as the mode of travel (as seen below). According to Google the algorithm will prefer bike paths, lanes and slower less congested roads as well as avoiding hills (which you can override by dragging the route to other streets).

Official Google Blog post about bicycle features

Sample map of San Fransisco with intro video

Weird Booth

Back-to-back trade shows for me. Last week was Seattle, now I'm in Orlando.

Seattle was OK, but the usual rain.

It's warm here in Orlando, but rainy today.

Not that it matters much - business travel is no vacation. I'm suffering from sensory overload and a brain stuffed with a hundred quickie conversations. Just one more day and I'm home.

Here is my pick for weirdest trade show booth:

I kept looking for the aliens that landed it. They must be able to take human form.

It appears to be constructed of white, curved air mattresses. After days on my feet I had the urge to knock over a wall and take a nap, but those alien ray guns can do bad things to humans (so says many SciFi movies, surely a credible source) so I resisted the urge.

Saturday I went cross country skiing with Jolene. Two laps of the Little Mill track. It was nice.

When we got home there was a little daylight left so I aired up the tires of the road bike and headed for the hills. I felt good for the first 5 minutes, then my lack of recent activity became apparent. The climb hurt. Muscles have atrophied. Aerobic capacity diminished.

Just to be sure I did another climb. Same result. Crap.

I was sore the next day. This Spring is going to be a rude wake up call.