Thursday, July 31, 2008





So I go out on one of my famous road trips and spend two nights on a couch and three on hotel beds and the most expensive bed is too soft for my liking. I ate okay pizza and crap ribs and mickey d's and my favorite stretch of road isn't featured in any of these pictures. I put 2200 miles on the car. I walked into a casino and walked out with the same amount of money. I got sunburned and saw plenty of water I wanted to jump into. The younger me certainly would have. Overall it was okay and there is a place I want to go back to. I'll post those pictures tomorrow.
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, originally uploaded by Zona Boy.

The last day of July finds me very lazy. I go back to work on Sunday and I've been scheduled to work overtime. My son flies back to Edmonton tonight.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008





The birthday bowling bash was a lot of fun last night except for the fact that I bowled really crappy. We laughed and took pictures and bowled and ordered way too much pizza. This was my first birthday party that wasn't simply a family affair and I want to thank all those who came by.
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Monday, July 28, 2008


Well, here it is. My birthday. Sometimes I feel like being really philosophical about it and sometimes I don't

Let me just say I've been very very lucky and blessed in my life. I have a wonderful wife and great kids and beautiful grandkids. I have a well paying job and the only medication I take is for my cholestorol.

I've seen a lot and hope to see a lot more.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Les Hitchhikers

Maud from Paris and Jean Michel from Sherbrook. I saw them going to the highway from the fruit stand/coffee shop when I stopped to take some pictures. They looked like nice kids so I decided that if they were still waiting for a ride when I left that I would see where they were going. This was on the edge of Kelowna and I took them all the way to Lake Louise. It was just maybe 20 minutes out of my way. This is Maud's first time in Canada and the two came west to work picking cherries.

This picture was taken when we stopped to take pictures of a small store covered in hubcaps.

They said they would look up my blog. If you two drop by, I hope you made it back to Kelowna safe and sound and that you only run into nice people like me in your adventures because you are two really nice kids.

Bon Chance!!
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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Do I know you? You LOOK like Calgary

I am in the city on the prairie that stole my heart, but I had some panic attack time. As I drove around I was looking for my kids. The kids at the age they were when we were here. It was a very strange feeling.

Then I got up this morning and walked down the 17th ave to have breakfast at The Arden. It doesn't exist anymore. It's an Italian place now. Later in the day I drove out northwest where I used to live. I was going to have dinner at The Outback. It doesn't exist anymore either. In fact, they've even torn down the building.

It was hot as I walked downtown during the lunch hour. I was going to take pictures of Prince's Island Park but most of it is fenced off as they set up for the annual Folk Festival that begins tomorrow. You'll have to wait until I get home to see the pics.

I will spend tonite here in Calgary and leave for Medicine Hat around 1PM.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Something dawned on me yesterday. Hit me like a ton of Salt Lake City bricks.

SLC works on an 8 hour schedule. Not the 8 and a half hour silliness that I work here.


I leave for Alberta tomorrow early AM. I'm leaving the laptop behind this time. Just taking the cameras and a case of Coca Cola.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Doria Roberts

Doria Roberts, originally uploaded by Zona Boy.

Vacation? AGAIN????

Two weeks starting today and I'm sitting on my bed watching golf. I leave for Alberta on Tuesday and will be back on Sunday. Then my birthday party on Monday and the dyke march on Saturday. I'll fill in the spaces with golf and nothingness.

I'm still on my high from the news of my coming transfer. People at work are happy for me and some are envious. Salt Lake is a very nice place to work and the boss there is a great boss.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I'm very stoked because Doria Roberts is playing at the Vancouver Dyke March this year. (08/02) I saw her two years ago and bought a CD that I play quite often. Even got her to sign it for me. I'll be there shooting. I will have to work the day of the pride parade but once you've seen one pride parade....

When I told a gay friend that I was going to Salt Lake City, I told her that the Salt Lake Pride Parade consists of a car filled with multicolored balloons racing down I-15 at 100 miles an hour with 7 or 8 cop cars in hot pursuit.

Google Vancouver Dyke March 2008 for details and links to all the performers.

"This is the place"

Those were the words uttered by Brigham Young when he paused at the edge of the Salt Lake valley. There's a monument there now and on July 24th there's a parade down State Street to commemorate the event. Now there are many Mormons who are under the impression that the Salt Lake valley was empty but there were people there and not all of them were happy when they were overrun by the new settlers.

As you know, Mormons control most things Utahan and being born and raised in the faith I can tell you, as many other non-Utah Mormons will, that them Utah Mormons is interesting people.

Green Jello is their "poutine" and "oh my heck" is their "eh".

Brigham Young would have a university named after him but not in Salt Lake. It's about 100 miles south in Provo. The University of Utah is in Salt Lake and every year the football game between the two is called "The Holy War". For years the coach of BYU was a man named Lavell Edwards. During one of his many TV interviews he was asked about BYU fans. You see, BYU is a favorite invitee for college football bowl games because it guarantees big ticket sales. The Mormons really come out to see their team play. But, the interviewer mentioned, related sales (merch, restaurants, etc) in the town where BYU plays aren't that great. When asked why he thought that was, Edwards responded, "when a Mormon leaves the house, he takes two things. A fifty dollar bill and a copy of the ten commandments. And he doesn't break any of them".

So you see, Mormons like to poke fun at themselves and are pretty good at doing it.

Friday, July 18, 2008

, originally uploaded by Zona Boy.

I received official word today that my next duty station will be Salt Lake City, Utah. Exactly when I move there will be determined at some later date.

Reasons I like this move:

Center of the Western U.S.
Four seasons
Work can't be as nuts as many places
A day's drive from Southern Alberta
Great local economy

UPDATE: I have received emails from my boss in Salt Lake and a friend who works there. It sounds like heaven. I am VERY excited.

My soul is masochistic

because it wakes me up at 1:30AM every morning and tells me to look at my watch. without glasses I can barely make out the time in the green glow. I feel some weird sense of relief because I realize I can go back to sleep. and I do. but then it wakes me up again at 2:40 when I tell myself that trying to go back to sleep is futile because that would take 10 minutes to get 10 minutes before the alarm went off and sometimes the alarm goes of at 3:50 anyway.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I'm in love with a car. Got a feel for an automobile

The new Dodge Challenger. 77K sticker price. The day they rolled this baby off the truck at the dealership in Bellingham, WA, Ryan Stiles of The Drew Carey Show fame offered 5K over the sticker price. He was turned down. These first cars are numbered and for display only. Just a bit south on I-5 a man offered 25K over the sticker price for the black on orange model. He too was turned down. I offered $100 cash money for a test drive and got laughed at.

I hopped in my Stratus (which had just been given it's 60K mile makeover) and drove off sighing repeatedly all the way home.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


For putting a bullet in my skull if you see me walking into a showing of Mamma Mia

I'd try to be myself but myself will wonder why

Another day off has me talking to myself and hitting things back and forth like a tennis ball. I risked seriously jacking myself up. I walked out on a limb and swung, holding on with one hand in a strong breeze for a complete stranger. Somebody thought somebody was just kidding around when I knew he wasn't but he don't mean shit to me so it's no big deal so why does it bother me? People who can't do the job that I do have control over me when I'm doing it and now they're saying they have control over me even when I'm NOT doing it. There are cartoons on the TV that nobody's watching. Multitasking for me means not paying attention to the three things I'm currently doing.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Put the iPod on random for all songs and who are the 1st 20 groups to play?

Natalie Merchant
Spandau Ballet
Steely Dan
Jorge Negrete
The Beatles
Joni Mitchell
Neil Young
George Michael
John Thomas and Michael Conn
Shawn Colvin
Culture Club
Spyro Gyra
Dave Matthews
Pat Metheny
Spyro Gyra
Spyro Gyra
Our Lady Peace

What artists do you have the most of on your iPod?

Pat Metheny
Spyro Gyra
Joni Mitchell
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (and variations)
Matthew Good
Elton John
The Beatles

What are the 5 most played songs?

k.d. lang: Shadow and the Frame
Audio Slave: Revelations
Shawn Colvin: Tuff Kid
David Crosby: Triad
The Roots: The Seed
but lately The John Mayer Trio's Another Kind of Green is catching up very very fast

Friday, July 11, 2008

The doctor says I'm gonna live

I don't have a hernia problem. The diagnosis is a muscle strain that's causing the pain. He copped a feel and I coughed and he said, no hernia. I was fasting so they could take some blood for testing of other things. The doc said that my last tests showed that my cholesterol level is fine and gave me a new Lipitor prescription. My blood pressure is normal, (always is) and I weigh 255 pounds. I was SO happy to hear that my cholesterol is good that we celebrated by going to breakfast at IHOP. I had my usual side order of biscuits and gravy with three eggs over easy right on top.


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

uh, Barn, originally uploaded by Zona Boy.

I have been planning and plotting on how to attack and shoot this barn inside and out ever since I first saw it on highway 99 south of Vancouver. It would even come down to me trespassing to get the shots.

I missed my chance forever.

In the predawn hours yesterday, the barn was destroyed by fire.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

So how did the day go?

Up very early just like my father did for many many years and a drive thru the predawn to work. Started out at a normal post and then called upon to clear up a log jam of people. Did that and then on to another. Worked that one and had time for a breath before being tapped to help clear yet another. Did that then got some food court chinese.

Someone commented that I seemed quieter than normal.

The mail brought good news of my $1,200 economic stimulus payment from uncle sugar. It's the least he could do since he stuck me up for 5K this year.

Some slow time before the drive to the train station to work that crowd. Pretty easy going and then towards the end I went to the bathroom and a young couple were dying their hair black in the sinks. I spoke some words of reassurance to the girl, telling her that they were at the age where the wild times were appropriate. All while standing at the urinal and her bent over the sink behind me about ten feet.

The drive home and nothing on the TV and John Mayer Trio on the laptop carried upstairs to bed waiting for the lights to go out.

Today marks four years since my father's passing.

If your dad is still around tell him you love him.

If he's gone, send him a message.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Wanna know what regret is?

Four years ago today my dad and I played golf and we ended up paired with another father and son. I had my camera and I wanted to ask one of them to take a picture of me and my dad but I was too afraid of looking like a fool asking, "hey, will you take a picture of us?"

THAT'S regret

Friday, July 04, 2008

Today is Independence Day

It's the day that a bunch of men signed a paper saying that 13 colonies were no longer part of England. That they were going they're own way. It's the day that those delegates became fugitives and subject to hanging were any of them to be apprehended. Many of the colonists did not share their dream. Some say about half of the people in the colonies felt loyalty towards a king who wasn't even British. George III was actually German.

Back to our fugitives.

Those men had strong arguments between each other. Even as some of them later became Presidents of the United States there was open hatred among them. Yet they held together in this one thing. They had strong religious differences and yet held it all together.

I have been in the hall where they signed the Declaration of Independence on a hot, muggy July day in 1776.

I have been to the battery in South Carolina where cannons would fire on Fort Sumpter, starting the civil war. I have been on land taken from it's original inhabitants. I have been to places where people cross the border in the dark of the night to search of a better life. I have been from sea to shining sea and on the fruited plain and over the purple mountains majesty.

For all it's faults, for all it's missteps, for all it's errors, for all it's accomplishments, for all it's glory, it's my country and I am proud to be part of it.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Fireworks are on sale in Washington for the 4th of July

SON: Let's get some!
ME: They're illegal in Canada
SON: They're not illegal. They're just frowned upon.
ME: We can't take them across the border.
SON: What would they do if the found them?
ME: They'd comfiscate them. It would be embarrassing and it would get back to my boss.
SON: What did you guys do when you got them?
(referring to when I worked on the Mexican border)
ME: We lit them and threw them at each other.


WEATHERFORD, Texas — A man was sentenced to more than 4,000 years in prison Wednesday for sexually assaulting three teenage girls over two years.

A day after finding James Kevin Pope guilty, jurors sentenced him to 40 life prison terms — one for each sex assault conviction — and 20 years for each of the three sexual performance of a child convictions.

At the request of prosecutors, state District Judge Graham Quisenberry ordered Pope to serve the sentences consecutively, adding up to 4,060 years. He will be eligible for parole in the year 3209, according to the Parker County District Attorney's Office.

If he would have been convicted on the day that Christ was born, he'd have served just under half his sentence, and he'd still be in jail.

'nuff said

I am a ball of pain in a house of horrors

My sinuses are all plugged up and when I sneezed I pulled muscles in in my upper back. Probably not pulled but they hurt. Nine years ago when I got a complete physical to come to Canada the doctor told me that I was borderline hernia. That was the "turn your head and cough test". Every now and then, like last night, it tells me it's thinking about going out on me. I was on the sofa and when it leaned forward it felt like somebody had inserted a probe inside me and poked the inside of my navel. I'm trying to think of a delicate way to say it wasn't my bum. I really should go see the doctor and see if it can be fixed before the breaking point. You just know that it will be at the most inopportune time. Like that dancing with the stars audition or in the middle of some therapeutic session where the pain will leave me unable to utter the safe word.

Oh, and the house of horrors part? Both grandkids have some kind of stomach bug and are flowing at both ends

I dreamt last night that i was pitching softball batting practice to Jose Canseco and he hit mostly pop flies and I dreamt that I was in Bolivia and the Chinese were looking for Americans to have detained because of something we had done to them. I dreamt that a friend had a school for grade school aged kids and we went on a field trip.

That's all I can remember.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

July is here and it's the most significant month of the year for a few reasons

My oldest son was born on the first. Happy birthday son. Getting him on the phone is pretty hard because he's a social butterfly.

The 6th is the last day my dad and I played golf and the 8th is a day I get really quiet.

Four years.

The 15th is my "twin" sister's birthday. I'm a year older but for 13 days we're always twins to our family. It drove us both nuts.

I drive over to Alberta again on the 20th or so.

The monsoons arrive towards the end of the month and they bring the thunderstorms that I adore to the desert that I adore too.

Then there's the 28th. The big five oh. Golden.

The party's at The Commodore Bowling Alley on Granville.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

A peek into the future

, originally uploaded by Dan Lilly.

After an illustrious 30 year career with the government, I retire to an easy life of relaxation, and the occasional round of golf.

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day!, originally uploaded by Dan Lilly.

From warm sunny Vancouver!

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