Sunday, October 31, 2010

An Education

Some undisclosed time ago, I was discussing movies with a girl. I can't remember where or when I was talking to this girl, nor can I remember who she was, where she was from, or what she looked like. Such details, though, are unimportant. I only remember talking to her about movies, and that in the course of our conversation she asked me what movies I liked. I listed a few of my favorites - all incredible films that have inspired and impressed me in life. Her response: "Oh, wow... you like really emotionally heavy movies."

I laughed.

Tonight I watched "The Education of Charlie Banks" - a movie that the girl would have described as "emotionally heavy." It made me think deeply, which I love. The main theme I took from the film was that you can't be too quick to judge people. Yes, I know this is something we're all taught from childhood, but the movie doesn't just throw this idea at you like a paper airplane. Instead, a master craftsman carefully pieces together a magnificent, miniature model that encapsulates the idea in a way you never grasped before.

I highly recommend it. And I'd continue with other thoughts I had, but it's late. I need to work in the morning.

One more closing thought: I judged the girl that night for having shallow taste in movies but, in retrospect, I should reconsider that notion.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Pumpkinator

When it comes to carving pumpkins every year, I try to challenge myself and exercise my creative side. Last year, I had a blast working on the Kanye Pumpkin, but this year I wanted to surpass the coolness and do something that looked a little better. As I brainstormed for ideas on what to do, I considered Bob Ross (but passed because I wasn't sure he was recognizable enough) and Barack Obama (but passed because it's probably being done by carving enthusiasts everywhere.) What I finally decided on was this guy:

That's right. What pumpkin carving could ever be more bad ass than Arnold Schwarzenegger as "The Terminator" ?

I decided that with the pumpkin I had, doing the whole picture would be impossible, so I cropped in and greyscaled his portrait to get this. You'll notice I had to do a little editing on the left side due to where the gun was all shiny and such.

After following the same steps from the Kanye Pumpkin project, I carved him out to become what you see here. It doesn't look very good... until you throw a candle into that bad boy and turn off the lights.

Behold. The Pumpkinator.

It doesn't match the picture exactly. In fact, I think he looks a little more like Frankenstein than Arnold. But I'm still SO happy with the way it turned out. It's such a challenge to carve these things, but I LOVE it. I enjoy discovering what works and what doesn't, refining my technique, and admiring the result of my efforts.

Happy Halloween, everyone!


Monday, October 25, 2010

Anorexia Win

Playing scrabble tonight. Used up all of my tiles spelling the word "anorexia." Major points.

Pretty sure it's the only time you can consider anorexia a win.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Autumn Time

Things I love about Fall... pumpkins and red leaves...

...BYU football... evenings...

...quiet mountain sunsets...

...and Halloween parties.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I bought a brand new baby...

Sometimes, when I have really strange dreams, I dictate them into my iPhone so I don't forget about them. This dream is from December 6, 2009 - almost a year ago. I had completely forgotten about it till last night when I rediscovered it...

Dreams are weird. :)


Monday, October 18, 2010

Tranquility in an Ink Factory

This is mesmerizing....


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Yellowstone and Beyond...

More pictures from our road trip this summer. :)

Tyler contemplates the scenery at Yellowstone Lake (or Lake Yellowstone... whatever it's called)

Billings, MT. Loved the geometric form in this industrial complex.

Pictograph Cave State Park in Billings, MT - An incredible rocky cove filled with Native American pictographs.

You can see the pictographs on the rock wall in the background in light red. Some jack-head archaeologist thought cleaning the rock by sandblasting would improve the pictographs but ended up erasing most of them.

The main purpose of our driving under big skies was to see the location of the Battle of Little Bighorn, or what we affectionately refer to as "Custer's Last Stand." Custer's grave is marked with black.

As you gaze upon this monument, and out at the plains that lay before you, I want you to play the theme song to "Dances with Wolves" in your head. It's peaceful.

The gravestones were placed at the exact locations where the bodies of soldiers and Indians lay dead. It was a solemn, contemplative experience. This bird has no respect for the dead. Shoo, bird. SHOO!

This deer and its friend hung out just outside our hotel that night.

The next day we headed out to Devil's Tower, WY. I love the way these longhorns lie there with the birds on their backs. :)

This means something....

That afternoon we drove into Rapid City, SD and made our way into the black hills to see Mt. Rushmore. Trust me when I say that the black hills are easily the most intriguing, mysterious mountain range I've ever seen. I desperately want to go back and hike.

Close-up of the forefathers. This is a fantastic experience and well worth the driving time. I highly recommend it.

Parting shot of the Mt. Rushmore monument.

This little guy said goodbye to us just as we were leaving.

Another monument being built is that of Crazy Horse. It's insane how big this is.

This is what it'll look like when it's finished.

Reason #17 for why I love the Black Hills: gorgeous bridges.

Is there anything more delightful than watching bear cubs play? :)

On the way back we traveled through Wyoming, which wins the "most boring state for road trips" award. It's seriously so plain. It's like driving across Tilda Swinton's face. There were a few bright spots - one of which was this ghostly abandoned schoolhouse.

There is something peaceful and terrifying about giant windmills. I love places like this. Small win for Wyoming.


Thursday, October 14, 2010


This vacation happened months ago, but I never got to putting the pictures up. I'm sorry for that, but I figure they're better now than never, right? They're really fun pictures. Yellowstone was so beautiful.

First, a warning for all you naughty little children that like to run around in national parks where you're not supposed to run. Hank thought he was such a big boy! He wore his big boy hat and his big boy vest and was showing off for Suzy when a cauldron straight swallowed him whole. Nothin' left but a bunch of "hank stew."

One of the remarkably beautiful - yet deadly hot - pools of geothermic wonder that litter the park. Seriously, though, just a few degrees cooler and BEST. HOT TUB. EVER.

Bison (buffalo) are plentiful in the park.

Baby bison are adorable!

Some of my favorite geothermic features were the painted pots - pools of bubbling mud that belched and popped like a vat of thick, chocolaty pudding.

Tyler and I pose with a little geyser.

Love the texture in this wood.

People all lined up to watch Old Faithful do her thing. (His thing? Yeah, I'm not sure, either)

I tried to pay a little boy to run out next to the geyser so you'd get a sense of scale for how big this is. His mom (completely oblivious to good photography) didn't like the idea and gave me the stink eye.

Show's over, folks.

Don't you want to pat that fur?

Yellowstone Falls. Such a magnificent, fearsome force of nature.

These shallow, ruddy pools were literally boiling. I remember really liking the noise they made, but can't remember now what it sounded like.

You think that lock and chain are to protect the tree from us? Hah! You, my friend, aren't very familiar with petrified trees, are you? That thing is a bloodthirsty killer...

Unnamed waterfall with car for scale.

One of my favorite pictures from the trip. This pelican stood about two and a half feet tall.

As we were leaving the park, we spotted a moose and her calf on the side of the road. We turned around just in time to shoot this picture. Don't worry, the car in the background is stopped and both made it across the road safely. :)

I hope you liked the pictures! I'll post more from that road trip soon (namely, Little Bighorn and Mount Rushmore.)


Monday, October 11, 2010

Baby Alexa Rae Cann

So, I'm officially an uncle for the first time. :)

My brother, Steve, and his wife, Ashlyn, had their first baby - a daughter named Alexa Rae Cann - at around 4:00 this afternoon. I was able to come down this evening to see them and took a few photos.

My only regret is that I didn't get a picture while Steve was holding her. He was too busy tending to Ashlyn, though. Good boy, Steve. :)