Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Cecret Lake

It's pronounced "secret", but somewhere along the line so many years ago, somebody decided that the rational spelling of the word wasn't cool enough. It just HAD to be different. So Cecret Lake was spelled with a C.

But enough about the spelling.

Cecret Lake is nestled into the highest reaches of the Albion Basin - which is found at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon. I had the day off yesterday due to plans to go to Aruba (which never fully materialized) so Tyler and I decided to do some hiking.

We left at around 1:00pm after soaking ourselves in copious amounts of sunscreen. My experience from hiking Timp a few weeks before taught me that if you're going to where the atmosphere no longer offers it's friendly protection from the sun, you should wear sunscreen, or face the consequences of remorseless UV rays. One thing I did forget yesterday, though, was a pair of shoes. I learned quickly that hiking in flip-flops brings a great deal of blunt-force trauma to your toes. Shoes are for more than just support. They protect you from the evils of rocks.

We had a great time, though. The hike up to the lake is pretty chill, and once up there we lounged for awhile on the rocks near the water and watched a slew of salamanders carelessly drift from rock to rock on the muddy bottom. Ty decided we needed more of a challenging hike, so we made our way up away from the lake to what looked like a ski-patrol tower. We were up there for a few minutes enjoying the view from our newfound steel edifice when we suddenly heard an enormous BOOOM. It didn't sound like lightning, nor tumbling rock, but had the distinct report of high explosive. The deafening roar echoed off the walls of the canyon for a good 10-15 seconds before fading into the alpine calm we'd known before. We saw no smoke, nor any evidence of an explosion, then, nor when we were driving down the canyon.

We never figured out what it was.

All in all, I had a great time with Ty. I couldn't think of a better way to spend a day off. :)


You all know how I love my wildflowers.

Ty and the lake.

Gotta love that camera timer.

Salamandus Cecretus.

Up on the ski patrol tower, I found this wonderful bolt.

And these wires crossing.

Be free log. Be free.

This little guy (or girl) kept peeking out at us as we walked by.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I think it said, "Give"

I went up to the Horsetail Falls trail head on Saturday to check out the stream below, where I had previously heard water running, but not seen it. It turned out to be very beautiful down there, albeit a little difficult to navigate from rock to rock without spilling yourself in the icy water.

Here are the pictures.

This area reminded me of something out of Lord of the Rings.

The moss really brings this picture to life by keeping things from becoming too monotone.

Such a beautiful little area!

The clouds were absolutely gorgeous coming down out of alpine, so I took a picture right through my windshield!


Friday, July 25, 2008

Hiking Timpanogos

Last weekend we hiked Mt. Timpanogos - which rises to an elevation of 11,749 ft. above sea level. I returned exhausted and sunburnt, but I went to bed that night completely content with the day. I love long, arduous hikes like this one. They test your mettle.

The Group at the trailhead. So fresh and so clean!

One of the many small, but beautiful waterfalls that cross the trail as you ascend.

The wildflowers were stunning!

More of the gorgeous wildflowers.

Here, an old man carefully makes his way across a small snowpack that covered the trail. One wrong slip here and you slide 50 feet down the mountain onto jagged rocks. I was worried for him, but he made it. :)

I wish I knew the names for these flowers. They were so fiery!

This panorama was stitched together from 8 or 9 pictures.
Click on it to see a larger version.

Here I am on the saddle, which is the first area from which you can see Utah Valley.
Most of the hike takes place on the back side of the mountain.

There was a herd of 6 or 7 mountain goats on the trail. The goat in the foreground was very protective of the her child behind her. I didn't dare get any closer than this.

Isn't this lichen lovely?

Emerald Lake (which actually looked quite turquoise) from the peak.

Me, on top of the peak, with Utah Valley below.

The panorama from the top.

I put my long sleeve t-shirt on my head when I realized that my neck was frying.
I could totally pull the middle eastern look, no?

The group was ascending the final climb and Mike and I were coming down. We FLEW up that mountain.

You see pictures like this and wonder if you could ever live without the mountains.


Fire on Y Mountain

Hey, everyone, I'm sorry I've been a slacker with blogging lately. I've got a few really great posts to get up, and I promise they'll be up soon.

In the meantime...

Tonight, as we were driving back from watching The Dark Knight on IMAX (which is amazing, by the way, and much better than the regular theater) we spotted a fire on Y mountain. We drove up there to get a better view but were met by firefighters blocking the road to the Y trailhead. I rolled down my window and asked a firefighter if it was caused by fireworks. He responded with, "I don't know. We've got a fire. You need to get out of here." He was a little cranky, but just doing his job.

When we got home, I decided to shoot it - which was challenging due to the heavy amount of background noise from a streetlight only 50 feet from my window. Shooting through the window doesn't produce the cleanest images either. The picture actually turned out really well, though.

Crazy, no? I'm betting that fireworks are the culprit.


Saturday, July 19, 2008


I've found the answer to my post below. It lies in this blog:


Damn, I wish I could write like that guy.

But seriously, after reading my post below, and then this guys review of the movie, you'll see that what I thought I was missing was simply the purpose of the movie. It's brilliant. And it makes sooo much sense now. :)

I'm happy, and so I now go to sleep.



The Dark Night

It's been heralded as the greatest superhero movie ever made. It's been compared to "The Godfather II." It's received praises from every corner of the movie-viewing globe.

And tonight, I saw it.

I thought it was a very well made movie. It was certainly the most complex and philosophical of all the superhero movies I've seen. There are so many quotable lines that after the first dozen, I decided to stop trying to repeat them in my head for later enjoyment and just appreciate the movie as it played out before me.

This movie contains every facet of a great blockbuster. It has the guns, the explosions, the villians and the heroes. But even more importantly, it has great character development, stunning twists and turns, and brilliant acting, all rooted in a lively discussion of deep philosophy. Much like "Batman Begins," the movie seeks to uncover and examine the boundaries between morality and criminality, good and evil.


I feel like it was missing something - that elusive peice that would have turned this from a movie I enjoyed watching, to a movie I would rant and rave about. There is something that doesn't quite complete the movie for me, and I can't quite figure out what it is. And it's really killin me. (Which is why I chose to leave the "k" off of Knight when I titled this blog.)

Don't let my thoughts deter you from seeing the movie, though. It's certainly worth $8.75. Heath ledger's performance is worthy of the Oscar buzz. Yeah. And the messages in the movie are both intriguing and intellectually stimulating. Plus, the audiovisuals are simply astounding.

Lemme know what you think when you see it, and I'll let you know what it is that it's missing when I figure that out. *sigh*


Thursday, July 17, 2008

I Heart Magazines

It all started a few years back when I got Sports Illustrated and ESPN, the Magazine for free. I'm not even sure why they started coming. I assume that I signed up for something, but I was never charged and never heckled to renew these ghosts of the periodicals. They just showed up at my door every month and I happily read them. Some issues were lame (like baseball and hockey crap) while others were priceless tomes of data, filled to the brim with the latest college football predictions and NBA forecasts. I kept all of the magazines for the possible future use in a collage. Old magazines are, in that sense, the antithesis of the butterfly. Instead of beginning their lives ugly, and metamorphosing into something beautiful, they begin with shining, smooth leaves of print that eventually turn into the jumbled, mish-mash of collage.

Today, I subscribe to PC Magazine and Wired Magazine - two magazines that might as well join forces to become "Nerd Monthly." I love them, though. There's something comforting in the knowledge that after 5 minutes or so in the bathroom, I can come out with an improved knowledge of multi-core processors and future spy technologies. My love (and obsession) for technology probably rivals the love most women have for fashion and design, and the love that some men profess for a fine, Cuban cigar. I don't smoke, and I'm not gay, so for me technology prevails. : ) I don't see myself subscribing to any more magazines in the future, though, not because of lack of interest, but because I wouldn't find the time to read any more than two a month. Also, I have the internet, which pretty much beats the hell out of any magazine out there as far as information goes.

But enough about MY magazine tastes! I want to know what YOU read. Please. Humor me.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Deep V

Tonight, while on facebook, I saw this ad you now see to the left. (Take a moment to view the ad... then continue)

All I could think was "The Deep V - Guaranteed to make a man look gay!" I mean, WHAT THE CRAP!? Look at that dude! He almost looks like a chick! ... a chick with a beard!

Dude's thoughts: "Man, I wish I had chest hair. This deep v would really show it off. Oh well. I'm still so bad in a new-age, indie, rebellious, gay sort of way."

And why do the models in these ads always look like emaciated Hungarian prisoners of war? Is that look in?


Besides that, Sunday was really great. :)


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Horsetail Falls

With the weather as superb as it was today, I had to go hiking. And with a plethora of choices available to the nature-loving connoisseur, I chose Horsetail Falls. (By the way, by nature-loving I don't mean the tree-hugging, save the whale type. That's just not me. They can do their thing, but I'm not gonna stop eating chicken for them.... err... whatever.)

Horsetail Falls is nestled into the Wasatch, in that beautiful little corner valley above Alpine. It's probably one of the lesser known waterfalls of the Wasatch Front, but is easily one of the most beautiful. The hike takes about an hour, and the trail is generally littered with the dark, steaming droppings of our equine friends, but it's well worth it.

Remember, though, that you don't have to take my word for it (Cue the Reading Rainbow tune) I'll let the pictures do the talking. :)

That's where I was when I started.

Very big Dandelion... or something similar.

This butterfly was GREAT! It just sat there for the longest time with my lens literally inches from it!

Small streams like this one crossed the trail two or three times, providing some ICE cold relief from the heat.

Horsetail Falls

A view of the top plume of water from the side. That sucker was gushing.

Looking out, toward the valley from the base of the falls.

The area surrounding the falls is also quite lovely.

So is this guy.

Happy meadow.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I found a bottle of extremely potent hot sauce in my cupboard the other day. It's called "357" - a reference to it's scoville units, which amount to 357,000. By comparison, a jalapeno pepper amounts to a mild 8,000 scoville units. After reading the warning label, I decided to face the beastly culinary torture caged within the handy little bottle. I made a quesadilla (curse you if you just pronounced that "kay-suh-dill-uh") with plenty of mozerella cheese, and some chicken. Then, I carefully (emphasis on CAREFULLY) let ONE DROP of the hellish liquid fall onto the bed of gooey deliciousness below. Using a knife, I spread it around the entire surface area of the cheese, figuring this would dilute it nicely and give it a healthy kick without making me want to cut my tongue out.

First bite: "Mmm... not bad. It definitely adds a little kick."
Second bite: "Wow... yeah, thats... "

And then my mouth turned into a bed of coals.

I finished the quesadilla without tasting a single bite after that second one. And now I'm eating popsicles.

The warning label. Click on it for a larger version. You need to read this.


Monday, July 7, 2008

A Lan Party and Rockband

On Saturday, I got together with a bunch of high school friends and had a blast! My good friend Jake is on leave from Iraq for a few weeks so we took advantage of the situation and had a LAN Party. Basically this means we bring our computers to a centralized location to wire them together for some multi-player gaming. It's nerd heaven.

Phil and Cody with their laptops. We were in Jeff's basement.

Jeff and Taylor discuss the nuances of battlefield strategy.

Jake with his laptop and coke and my computer. There were only six of us, but it was great getting the guys together for some nerd gaming action. It was very nice to see Jake, too!

Later that night, we had the wives and children together for a barbecue. I failed to take any pictures at the barbecue - which failing I now lament - but was able to get some pictures of the Rockband session afterward!

We took our song ("More than a Feeling, by Boston") very seriously.

Jackson (Jeff and Amy's son) was bustin' moves left and right!

Steve throws down his drum mojo while Levi (Brandi's husband) rocks out in back.

As the lead singer, you are called on to play the tambourine (I like to say it's cowbell) by tapping on the microphone. "We need more cowbell!"

The girls totally wasted us. (As a side note, however, I will mention that they were playing on easy, while we were playing on hard!)

Brandi really put her soul into those vocals, and Amy played that Axe like a rock goddess. I was truly blown away.

Did we have fun? I think Corianne's expression says it all...

On Sunday we went over to Shannon and Andrew's place to eat with them and play with their cats. I've previously posted about the cats on my sister's blog when I was house-sitting for her and Andrew. Those cats are a riot! :) Pumba posed for me in the shot below...


I snapped this shot coming home from their place. It's out in Herriman.

This one, too.

That's all!