Burnzz Blog

a running commentary

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The Park City Food and Wine Classic 2011

This weekend we found ourselves in Park City, Utah. An excellent place to find yourself on just about any weekend, but this weekend, it was hosting the Food and Wine Classic 2011.

Park City, July 10 2011

Saturday morning, we hiked amongst the deserted ski runs and skirted the town itself.

PC Classic July 9-6733

After our overland adventure, we checked into a local hotel and made our way over to the Canyons Ski Resort, where we stood in line waiting for Toast of Park City Grand Tasting.

PC Classic July 9-6781

We were serenaded and wooed by all the vendors with their wares.

PC Classic July 9-6802

PC Classic July 9-6784

All in all, a nice weekend at a nice place at a nice time of year. Needless to say, we had a nice time.

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Eureka

Eureka

So in the week that was the end of summer, the end of September, and the beginning of the end of 2010 – i look back and see that i’ve been out of the country, been out of the FaceBook, and out of television. The last one doesn’t bother me, the former not so much but the first was pretty awesome. Sitting at my PC in my environmentally controlled den, i see that not much has changed weather-wise, there’s a new page to the calender, and being home is a triumph of laziness over knowing the weather will change.

The picture above was taken a week ago in the hamlet in central-western Utah. We had left behind Seattle on Labor Day, embraced our hometown since, and not experienced any change in the weather. Why is this pertinent? Because it lulls you into thinking (this recent global warming) that things won’t change, that everything will remain the same, and that the garage doesn’t really need cleaning out.

The old fridge is gone, the forecast calls for radically different temperatures, and the pumpkins are out.

harvest time

harvest time

As i sit here contemplating change, something occurs to me that pretty much occurs to me every year – that the seasons come and go, that the cheapie calender i’ve been looking at loses pages as fast as i’m losing hair, but the one constant this world offers is the depth and breadth of the world is unknowable.

What a mystery tomorrow offers, what a divine revelation – even though the weather guesser tells you, you are in for more of the same it’s really a crapshoot if you*re going to pass the come line and get to roll the dice again.

i started to take pictures to bring the world in (well documented vision probs) but i realized that i take pictures to share a baseline, a common thread that someone could pick up and weave

row your boat

row your boat

after i was gone.

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The Jazz, the dancers, then and now

Last night the Utah Jazz unvieled their new logos and one of their new players. Thanks to Tania’s relentless quest for new pictures, somehow i got talked into going. As usual, Tania got her ‘picture of the day’, while i picked up 200. Anyways, here’s a first look at Al Jefferson, sporting a new Jazz logo jersey;

new logo? two thumbs up

new logo? two thumbs up

If it looks vaguely familiar, you can be forgiven. It bears a striking resemblance to the one the Jazz sported back in the Salt Palace days;

the Salt Palace Jazz

the Salt Palace Jazz

For the record, that is yours truly hanging out with two Jazz Dancers on the floor. But i’m not like that anymore;

yours, truely

yours, truely

Now i roll with four. [picture credit goes to Tania, who twisted my arm to pose.] i just noticed the hair and glasses changed, but same cheesy grin. Anyways, another thing i’ve noticed is one big irony, no racist;

a jazz band . . .

a jazz band . . .

What do ‘jazz’ and ‘Utah’ have in common, besides a basketball team? oh well, here’s hoping Treme returns . . .

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The Capitol, revisited

The last time we took pictures at the Capitol building was in April of ’09. This last Saturday we went downtown again, to take pictures and go to the Farmer’s Market. We never made it to the market . . .

the north side of the Capitol

The Capitol building has been very photogenic for me. Some of my earliest attempts of trying HDR were of the building, and alot of people at the time liked the pictures i posted. A few things have change since that April, including the camera i’m using. But the Capitol has had for me a timeless feeling, and it still has been good to me;

the reflection pool

the reflection pool

Having seen the building thousands of times from every angle, i was still surprised to see what i hadn’t seen before.

the Lions on the East Stairs

the Lions on the East Stairs

And it wasn’t just the Capitol Building we explored, we ventured around the capital city, as well. Salt Lake has hundreds of streets and dozens of neighborhoods too . . .

Second and Second

Second and Second

So, after being here for almost twenty years, i feel there is still a lot more to this city than i’ve already seen.

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Ten days into February

We’re back from Vegas, the Super Bowl is over, and the next holiday for me is Memorial Day. Yay. i got to help Tania create an HDR picture, and took a few myself. i kind of wish i’d put more panorama’s together. Las Vegas is full of excellent opportunities for picture taking, and this time we tried to get quality over quantity.

view from Bellagio

Now i didn’t have the same kind of luck i did with the machines as last time, i still feel Vegas is a good town to be for ‘events’. From the second week of February, i am looking forward to the rest of 2010. It’s been a pretty good year for me so far.

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One weekend in San Diego (cont.d)

Where were we? oh yeah, Mission Beach. We had made our way through MB on the way to Point Loma, but with the western part of the point closed down and the sun setting, we headed north back the way we came. Made it in time to watch the Pacific swallow the sun at the end of a nice day.

End of a surfing day

End of a surfing day

Even the surfers were calling it. Hallowe’en, and we decided to check out the Gas Light District, full moon, was going to be fun. Stop by the hotel, it’s on the way, freshen up.

Like a good intention, we never made it out. Oh well, the whole reason for our getaway was to see the Raiders, and we had $75 ducats to see a rematch that went pretty close, the last time they played.

Sunday morning came without fanfare, a quick bite from the In-and-Out and we made our way to the Stadium. It was Jack Murphy Stadium until they sold the name to some tech co named Qualcomm. Fuckers, it’ll always be ‘the Murph’ to me. We apparently weren’t the only Raiders’ fans to put in an appearance.

Raiders fans in San Diego

Raider's fans in San Diego

Dam near half the stadium was sporting the Silver and Black, and the Chargers were rumoured to be a power in the AFC West. Ha! The game ended 24-16 and i’m sad to report it wasn’t that close. What was awesome about it though was seeing the game live. i had forgotten how fun a real NFL game was in person.

midfield

midfield

i am happy to report i broke a personal record – $100 in beer consumed. The seats were in the upper bowl, and the total layout for the whole trip was priceless. Not an undertaking i’d consider every weekend during the season, but one i will look forward to every year.

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One weekend in San Diego

After work on Friday, October 30th Tania and i hopped on a plane bound for San Diego. It is my hometown, an area i’ve spent a considerable percentage of my life . For Tania, it was a rare visit to where she has some relatives, a place where we went early in our marriage.

We spent a day exploring the city, and the next at a football game. Saturday found us in Balboa Park, in the heart of what i always thought of as ‘San Diego’.

Balboa Park

Balboa Park

It is home to numerous museums, attractions, and a world renowned Zoo. As we made our way around this urban wonderland, we came across a museum unlike any other i had seen, the Museum of Photographic Arts;

Museum of Photographic Arts

Museum of Photographic Arts

A tour of this museum revealed an exhibit of the photography of grade school kids – astounding! These kids were given point and shoot cameras and told to ‘make something interesting’ and they did! There were panoramas, displays of depth of field, and captures that were truly art. We left envious,wondering if we’d ever approach the skill of preteen picture takers. With that thought we left Balboa, and headed for the beach.

San Diego has some of the best ocean front property in the world. As we were making our way towards it, we decided to stop and have a nice lunch. We had no idea how nice until the bill came later . . .In La Jolla, my wife whipped into a free parking space. It was jarring, and i asked her “What are you doing?” in loving and polite terms, of course. “I found a parking spot!” she answered triumphantly, as though that was the only excuse she needed to whiplash me. Turns out it was the best use of an unplanned stop EVER. When i asked what we were going to do from there, she answered “I don’t know” and i had looked over my shoulder.

Across the street was, nestled between to buildings and looking like a late addition, was Cafe Lavande. Being the only likely eatery within parking spot distance, we decided to try it. Turns out it was a country French style café  with an imported French waiter and cook. i had the lamb skewers, Tania tried the shrimp ravioli in a pumpkin reduction and for desert, we split a Creme Brulee . . .

Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee

Thus fortified, we headed south towards the Cove. A beautiful area, and if you are nice i will share pictures of this jewel later. We had wanted to see the only National Monument in the area, Cabrillo. It is on Point Loma, where they used to have a lighthouse.

Old Point Loma Lighthouse

Old Point Loma Lighthouse

Exploring the point, we were disappointed to learn that access to the tidepools were closed before we could get there. we made our way north, to Mission Beach.

to be continued . . .

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Southwestern South Dakota

My wife called me, a little while ago. She said her plane was diverted, as she was making her way home from Fargo. Two weeks ago, i was flying into Rapid City, S.D. to meet her.

Rapid City

Rapid City

She picked me up, and the next day we spent exploring that corner of the state. We saw national monuments, state parks, and alot of beautiful scenery. i even got stickers for the truck out of the deal.

Keystone, S.D.

Keystone, S.D.

Keystone is a fun little, well, townlet. i can’t imagine calling it even a town. It’s perched right on the boundry of Mt. Rushmore, and if you are afraid of not getting enough souviniers there i highly recommend you stop here. We went on to behold some spectacular sights, to wear ourselves out physically, and thoroughly play the part of tourist. i do not believe we left one tourist trap unvisited.

Wall Drug, S.D.

Wall Drug, S.D.

Until the next day when we went to Wall. Now i’m sure the good residents of this fine town are grateful for all the visitors they get here, they have to know that the prodigious billboard advertising for one of the premier tourist traps in North America are responsible for roping in unwary travellers to their part of the country. My mother in law read aloud every single billboard on the way to this timesink, gleefully. The shear amount of souvineers must be measured in tonnage. Thank goodness there was a bar across the street from this monstrosity, or i wouldn’t have enjoyed a respite from the overwhelming commerciallism of the place. That and the styrofoam ice chest in the back of the rental . . .

Which brings me to the next, next stop in our little tour. You’ll have to search the website for pix of our travels through the Badlands of South Dakota, but i promise it’ll be worth it. After a fun-filled ride from the furthest outpost of a Chinese souvineer beach-head, we found ourselves in one of the premier cities for celebrating American manufactoring prowess, the Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Sturgis is renowned for it’s gathering of people every year to pay tribute and revel in the two wheeled sub-culture of motorcycles.

Sturgis, S.D.

Sturgis, S.D.

i didn’t spend alot of time in Sturgis, and i can’t say i got a feel for Bike Week, but i was glad to stop here nonetheless. By my own admission, and the fact that we were a week early for the rally, i wanted to press on to the town of Deadwood.

Deadwood, S.D.

Deadwood, S.D.

A town nestled in the Black Hills, a place where Wild Bill met his untimely demise. i thoroughly enjoyed my brief stay in Deadwood, and who wouldn’t? It has gambling, and drinking, and spectacular views. i’m gonna go out on a limb here, and recommend that if you have limited time to spend in South Dakota, devote a day and a night to this town. You will not be disappointed.

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Salt Lake City

So, way back in 1991 (awesome palindrome) i was laid off from Taylor Made Golf. One of those ‘oh shit’ moments, i know. Live and learn, i guess. So, my brother Bryan’s all set to go on a mission for God, and my sister Brenda’s extricating herself and son from a ‘stressful situation’. My nephew (who today is serving his own Mission For God) is only a cookie-cruncher, and i got nowhere else to go. i made a go of it in Utah. i was twenty-six at the time, just caished a four-oh-one-kay. Single. On my own mission, as it were.

SLC Pano

So here i am, and barring a natural calamity or economical upheaval, here i remain. i was taken aback by the splendor of the place, and a little in awe of the history here. i’ve come to grips with the ‘in awe’ part of it (i’ve seen some awesome parts of the world since) but i feel this corner of the world holds plenty of splendor. Too bad so many Californian’s come and go, and hold no regard for this part of America.
Within an hour and half, i can be in four of the seven temparate zones found here on Earth. And, depending on the season, maybe the conditions found in six! My point is, there is such a varied and differant, well, topography here that if you can’t appreciate Utah, then you really belong in the Matrix. i guess, even though i could survive in a tent with an internet connection, i could not bring myself to live anywhere else right now.

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a Sunset

i was sitting on the back porch, under the awning.

i like the colors.

We were killing a bottle of Bordauex, softly. Bill Maher had just finished with Cameron Diaz (yum), Billy Joe Whats-his-Name, and Oliver Stone. i thought he got Stone to open up, and i agree with Maher; i’ve liked his movies. “W” was too soft on Bush, but oh well, i’m not a critic. Niether is Maher.
To push a theme along, this capture was 1/30th of a second, ISO 640, @ f 5.6. If this means anything Welcome to the Jungle. Since i got a bionic eye i’ve been seeing alot in terms of photography. Again, not in world shaking captures or iconic prints, (certainly nothing to quit my day job over) but my ‘new’ eye frames and takes a mental picture anyways. “Mental” is exactly how Tania looks @ me lately. i’ve been vocalizing most of my would be pics out loud.
i just now realize why i depended on photography so much, in my recent history. It was a way of bringing in distant images, and letting me see them on a computer screen, a medium i understand very well. Now, it’s about light and colors. i mother-effing SEE colors! And light registers, differantly for me now, don’t know how to explain it. Details, life is lost in the details. If i sound still ‘high on life’, well, that’s a fair assessment. i’ve been given back a basic sense, and i fully appreciate it now. Hell, i’ve never seen 20/20 in my life before! So, long-suffering reader, know that i’ve got one more avenue for presenting my world to you. It’s your job to agree/disagree, and tell me why. . . .

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