Einar Nielsen Field House
Originally uploaded by rfin.
I'm an OK swimmer. I enjoy mountainbiking. I haven't been much of a runner, but now that's started to change with regular visits to the indoor track at the Einar Nielsen Field House.
I've hit the deadline for a writing contest, now we'll see what happens. For the last 46 The Deseret Morning News has conducted "The Christmas I Remember Best" writing contest. I've entered for several years now. Sure, it would be cool to have a story published, but the great reward for me is focusing on Christmas, trying to write for a general audience, and hitting the deadline. I sent the story off last night at about 1O p.m. Nice to have that done. Perhaps I'll now have a little more bandwidth for blog entries.
Old but gold...well in this case, silver: "Genius without education is like silver in the mine." -Ben Franklin
A – Autumn music like September Song
B – Beauty, buildings, bikes, beautiful buildings for bikes
C – Children as kids and adults, creative collaboration
D – Dedication, delight, deliverance from depression
E – Energy, exercise, education, encryption, encyclopedia
F – Family, friends, feasts, film, fruit, finance, frugality, fishing
G – Golf courses, generosity, good tidings, grief yielding growth
H – Hope, Handel’s Messiah, Seuss’s Horton Hatches the Egg
I – Insight, introspection, interpretation, timely interruptions
J – Jam, jelly, juice, jokes, gestures (I know, belongs in G)
K – Kitchen remodeling, gatherings, conversations, aromas
L – Light, love, luck, listening, leftovers
M – Music, mountains, mystery, mentors, minds, moments
N – Now, nature, nurture, networks, a sunlit natatorium
O – Opportunity, occasions for celebration
P – Peers, pears, pools, ponds, parents, places, planning
Q – Quiche quests quacks quarks quarters quiet questions
R – Rest, recreation, records, reason, relief
S – Snoozing, sneezing, sight, swimming, service, serenity
T – Travel, time, teeth, true walls, true tales, true friends
U – Utah, understatement, understanding, under the covers
V – Vitality, volume, virtue, verification, veracity
W – Wonder, wife, my wonderful wife
X – Xerography’s role in the development of laser printing
Y – Young and old, “yes” when you’re expecting “no”
Z – Zeal, zoos, getting some zzz’s
I'd forgotten all about this, but Randy hasn't. He told me today that those two words helped change his life. He says he took them to heart and the next year applied for two scholarships and won them both. As a young married college student with two kids, he says he really needed the money.
And now he says this is one of those stories he tells his kids about little things that sometimes make a big difference. Two words spoken three decades ago. Who would have thought? I guess I'll have to tell my own kids about this one, too.
Randy Ripplinger is Director of Public Relations at the Granite School District in Salt Lake.
There's more to the story, of course, but for now less is more.
The starter advised “take your mark,” the strobe flashed, the buzzer sounded, and this 80-year-old athlete extended his arm, caught the water, rolled and pulled himself forward almost as if he grabbing hold of the rungs on an invisible ladder. And he did it again and again and again for 800 meters, 32 lengths of that pool. He reached and pulled long, smooth, strong--yet relaxed and steady.
He finished in 18 minutes, 59 seconds. Not the fastest in his group of 80-84 year old men, but good enough for a bronze medal. He finished to applause and cheers of many younger seniors including me. People helped him out of the pool. Someone handed him his cane. He again walked slowly, but his face glowed, his eyes twinkled.
Competing at the Senior Games is new for me. I’ve only done it twice. But I hope to go back year after year as long I can. One of the rewards is the perspective it provides. I see what others are doing and I’m inspired to follow them
I’m also grateful for family, friends, runners, bikers, swimmers, even blog readers who’ve encouraged me this year. So many Saturdays my wife’s said, “You’d better get your swim in today.” So many lunch hours I’ve enjoyed taking a swim-break on campus. So many spring, summer and fall afternoons I’ve cross-trained on mountaib bike in Salt Lake foothills.
In their own way, my kids also encourage me. Three in college provide an unparalleled motivation to stay healthy and productive. Sometimes they give me tips on proper attire for exercise, “Dad, you're not going to wear that are you?” And when dinner table conversations get too one sided, they bring me back to reality.
Last year when I wasn’t quite sure about going to the games, I asked some neighbors for advice. “Of course you should go,” said one without hesitation. Not everyone was so positive, but I'm glad for the encouragement I got. I hadn’t yet discovered Wayne Gretzky’s quotation, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take.”
I’m also grateful to live in a community that encourages recreation. Thanks to the Utah Masters Club I’ve had fun swimming in a couple of local meets in Park City and Salt Lake this year. Thanks to Salt Lake County I’ve competed in the Magnathon, my first mini-triathlon. Thanks to Davis County I’ve howled at the moon while biking the annual Antelope Island Moonlight Ride.
And thanks to an old friend from way back in first grade who spirited me off to lunch on his Harley today, I’ve been reminded of the kid I once was and still am--still anxious, still excited, still looking forward.
My son planted this little plot of corn and tomatoes this spring. I can't say I've heard the corn grow, but its daily progress is great fun to watch. Ah life's simple pleasures. Which brings to mind the words and music of George Gershwin...
Summertime and the livin' is easy
Fish and jumpin'
And the cotton is high
You're daddy's rich
And you ma is good lookin'
So hush little baby, don't you cry
Picnicked with some of the extended fam up in Millcreek Canyon last night. My son organized this little celebration of nature and kept the menu simple but authentic: hotdogs, chips, watermelon and smores, oh and the best drink on the planet, ice water. Thanks for a great Saturday night meal and get-together, Joe!
In Memory of
Mrs. Elizabeth Tripp
Mr. Nathan Tripp
who died Aug 21 1809
Aged 37 Years
In Memory of
Mr. Nathan Tripp
who died Aug 18, 1802
Aged 38 Years
Beloved by all the virtuous and admird
As much lamented when they expird
Their lives where pleasant and in peace they died
Death could not long this happy pair divide
But when the golden trumpet shall be blown
Then will our friends appear before God's throne
Dear BR*, I've neglected you a bit lately, but I'm not really sorrry. If I'd just been loafing there might be some genuine guilt, but I've been doing some of that "other" writing--that non-blog writing--which usually bleeds over onto the blog eventually. So just watch for the red spot and in the meantime here's a great quotation from Eric Hoffer:
"Originality is not something continuous but something intermittent--a flash of the briefest duration. One must have the time and be watchful (be attuned) to catch the flash and fix it. One must know how to catch and preserve these scant flakes of gold sluiced out of the sand and rocks of everyday life. Originality does not come nugget-size. 1961
Please note that my RSS feed location has changed. Update your aggregator to include this RSS address:
I'm pleased to announce that my podcast is officially named, up and running, not just as a posted .mp3 audio file, but as a true, automatically-downloading-into-your-audio-player-via RSS-feed-Podcast. What does that mean? Simply that you can now subscribe to FINCAST here, or continue to listen to it via this blog, here.
Thanks to CodeFin for the original code to make this magic happen.
(yet another in ongoing series of Fincast Podcasts)
Swam, biked and ran my first triathlon today in Magna. Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation included a novice category in the Magnathon Triathlon so those of designated with an "N" only had to swim 200 meters, bike 12 miles and run one mile. I finished in 1:20.52 which was good enough for a first place ribbon in my age group. Dave and Dalon also scored blue ribbons in their age groups. All in all a great first triathlon experience. I knew I'd be OK with the swimming and biking but the run was the intimidating part for this former non-runner.
It's been a year since I first heard of the moonlight journey across the Great Salt Lake to Antelope Island. Friday night we rode the ride, howled at the moon, fought the wind, gulped free food and drink at the vistors center, fought our way back across the causway, then Jeep-pooled it back home--all by no later than 2:00 a.m.
Why do I donate? Several reasons. Probably the first is utlimately selfish. I like the way I feel. I like knowing that I've done something to help someone I'm connected with by blood type. B Negative is the second rarest type of blood. Only one in every 112 people is B NEG. Of course I had no more choice in the matter than my eye color or shoe size, but I do have the choice of what I do with it.
There's also the sensual part of the process. When I started, I distracted myself from the details, but now I'm an interested overserver of the the soft recliners and great view of the mountains at ARUP. The cold metal arm trays on the folding chairs when the Red Cross sets up at my neigborhood church. The foamy betadine scrub. The way my left arm accepts the needle much less painfully than my right. The burgundy color of venus blood in the plastic tubing.
I also like the idea that of all the ways to bleed throughout the ages--on the battle field, as a part of an initiation or sacrifice or torture, internally as a result of injury or disease, externally from a knife wound or surgical wound or self-inflicted wound, or medicinal bloodletting with lancets or leeches--this type of bleeding if preferable. True, giving your blood in battle (whether in war or sports or some other noble cause) has a certain appeal, but I'm glad a I live in an age where there's also this less violent way to give.
And then there's always that lingering question, do I prefer to drink cranberry juice after a donation because I'm replacing one red fluid with another?
Enough introduction, here's the piece.
*...And wasn't we happy together? Wasn't it all okay till she showed here? And wasn't we happy together? Wasn't it all OK? Till she showed here. Hoity-toity, describin' me like a ape.
And today is the birth of two FinCasts (i.e. podcasts by Finlinsons)
A beautiful colorful day engaged freely giving hopeful independents joining knowingly lyrical mandolin novices offsetting perfect quality recreation striving to underwrite vibrant whanging xylophones yielding zinging.
Still raiding the archives. This one reminded me of an audio cassette that got plenty of use on the freeway from Bountiful to Salt Lake.
"So you ride yourselves over the fields and you make all your animal deals and your wise men don't know how it feels to be thick as a brick." -Ian Anderson
Absolutely believe credible documentation enriching future generations, however important justifications keep lovable momentum near opportunities providing questions, refining structures to ultimately verify workable xanthocroid yearning zygotes.
A work associate asks: A friend of mine has played his saxaphone in lots of interesting places around the world (outdoors and indoors, like out of the way temples in the mountains, etc).....is there any interesting place in Salt Lake vicinity (in city or just outside) you might recommend he go and play his saxophone?
I replied with these questions: Has he ever played during the lunch hour at a University of Utah Natatorium? (or any pool of lap swimmers for that matter?) As a lunch time swimmer I would love to see and hear a sax player up on the bleechers as I swim my laps?
Or before a spinning class (indoor cycling) instead of the usual canned music?
Is he a mountain biker or hiker? Would he be willing to backpack or bike his sax up to the world-class Watch Crest trail? Or Ensign Peak? Or be helicoptered to Mount Vision?
A little closer to home...how about an hour of chat and playing (maybe even some requests) on Radio West? (I loved the time Dan had the guitar player on. Other than Garrison, live music on live radio is such a rarity.)
How about a duet with something unsual like a pipe organ (Organ loft?) or bagpipes or tuba or harpsicord or tin whistle?
Ok, ok, enough...you really got me going there. Thanks for the chance to brainstorm. Good luck!
I liked the honesty of a front page article in the Deseret Morning News today. It said that Mother's Day is a complicated time for mothers who have lost a child, children whose mothers are absent or would-be mothers because they're all reminded of what they don't have. I'm grateful my mom's alive and well at 84 and that the mother of my children is here to celebrate this day with her loved ones.
Now there are three of my daughter's generation with their college degrees. My nephew led the way a few years ago. Then my oldest daughter. Now my niece. What a great day for her parents, grandparents, her siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles.
I remember watching the Alan Shepard become the first American in space on this date (May 5) in 1961. I don't remember when I learned that Uri Gagarin of the former USSR had become the world's man in space less than a month earlier on April 12.
Sunshine, blue sky, 71 degrees. One of those days when it's hard to stay indoors. I surf through all those gray pictures I shot this winter and remember these are the days I looked forward to back then.
Swam on my lunch hour today. Haven't been to the pool for a few days. The water felt good, but I didn't breathe quite as easily as usual. It took a lap or two to get the message, "Don't get too comfortable. Remember I can still kill you with one false breath." Started reading Matthew Likona's "Swimming with Scapulars" today. On page four he's talking about the births of his four kids. "My wife, my pillar of strength and stability, is lost in a miasma of pain." I can already tell Matt's going to improve my vocabulary.
These Canadian Geese (or is it just Canada Geese?) spent about twenty minutes on the roof outside my office yesterday. They found their own reflections the most interesting part of their brief layover. They may have wintered in Florida or Mexico but will likely spend their summer in Canada or Alaska.
Today's lunch was a cup of soup, a cereal bar and an orange. I saved the orange for last and took the challenge of keeping the peel in once continuous piece. Why, I'm not sure. Then I wonderered what the peel would look like flattened out. That's when the seahorse appeared. I've seen elephants in clouds, faces in inkblots, but never before a seahorse in an orange peel. Oh the little things that make life interesting.
On April 25, 1912 Edith and Joe Finlinson welcomed the arrival of their third son. They named him Joseph. He grew up in Oak City and Leamington. Enjoyed collecting butterflies, swimming and good horsemanship. He liked sharp cheese, homegrown beef, fresh cream on warm bread and doting on his two little sisters. He served as a Mormon missionary to Germany. Graduated from Utah State University. Worked as an FBI Special Agent. Married a school teacher and musician he met in Detroit. Reared his daughter and son in Bountiful. Nurtured in them in his love of sunsets and soil, peach trees and sage, cameras, construction and conversation. He died at age 51 in Salt Lake City. Happy 93rd birthday, Dad!
Also on this day in history:
1859: Work begins on the Suez Canal in Egypt; it opens in 1869
1874: birth, Guglielmo Marconi, electrical engineer, radio pioneer
1908: birth, Edward R. Murrow, radio and television executive and commentator
1917: birth, Ella Fitzgerald, jazz singer
1945: Delegates from 50 nations meet in San Francisco to organize the United Nations
1956: Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel" hits number one on the music charts
Now that the ride's over, I find myself in the graditude mode. Glad that I'm basically strong and healthy, that I wasn't all that sore this morning (surprisingly mostly in my neck and shoulders not my legs). Glad I did this with friends. Thanks Dave, Kirk and Jim! Glad that I live in such a beautiful city than can draw more than 8,000 runners and bicyclists to such an event. Glad that there's a next year to look forward to.
We started here this morning at six. More than 1,000 bicyclists in the first Salt Lake City Marathon and Bike Tour. Beautiful morning. Great ride. Hard to imagine actually running 26 miles, but it was superb on a bike, a mountain bike at that. Am just a bit tired though.
Originally uploaded by rfin.
I like sharp photos, but I also appreciate some blurry ones. Perhaps here's part of the reason... Got my first glasses in fourth grade. Contacts at 16. Gas perms at 28. Soft non-torics at 36. Torics at 40. Progressive spectacle lenses at 45. Disposable torics at 48. Didn't like the idea radial keratotomy. Lasik holds some appeal, but wouldn't touch my progressing presbyopia.
Most smooth surfaces don't start out that way. The med school students who will use this classroom won't see the back wall took nine panels of sheetrock, but the wall's creators appreciate the process under the paint.
Most of us have only a few visible scars, but all lives no matter how seemingly smooth are a patchwork victory and defeat, conflict and peace, gratitude and frustration.
A building under construction needs light, especially in dark and sometimes dangerous places like stairwells. The light doesn't have to be fancy, but it needs to be reliable and consistent. I'm easier on myself and others when I see that we're all works in progress--that some of our seemingly dim-watted attempts may provide needed light as we prepare for more substantial illumination.