"Things new or at least fairly recently so."



Saturday, May 01, 2010 |

I'm not so sure that things will work out with Bloggenpucky's continuation in situ, so here's a link that I'll make sure does the trick for those of you who want to keep following this loopy saga:

One of these quick days I'll have something figured out, whether it's via a new URL or this customary Bloggenpucky address. One way or the other, this site will remain at least an archive for everything from 1 May 2010 back to the good old days of 2001.
Thanks, y'all!

Monday, April 19, 2010 |

I've been screwing around with this blog for about nine years now. It's been a great outlet from time to time; this movable feast has served as screed, journal and family bulletin board for almost a quarter of my life.
I haven't written much for a long while, partially because of personal issues and cursed laziness, but also for the past month or so because I've been thinking about how to save the blog. Blogger is changing services and eliminating key elements for those who use separate servers for content. I'm one of those people, and have been for about seven of those nine years.
To tell the truth, I can't really figure out how to get Blogger to behave in such a way as to preserve the format and content of my blog and then migrate it to some other mechanism to keep things going with continuity and the same addressing and archives. I haven't the time or, really, the gol durn energy to wade through all of the technical crap involved.
So what will I do in the next eleven days to fix the problem?
I don't know. As with so many aspects of my life these days, I might just ignore it and let it slip into the obscurity it probably deeply deserves. I have complete backups of the writings and thumbnails up until last summer, and I might be able to cobble something together to preserve the remaining bit for the family in some form.
I'm still not happy, though. I've put a tremendous amount of energy into this weblog, both in photos and in verbiage, over the years. I've provided a bit of information and quite a few photos for the web and Google results pages for the better part of a decade. Now, unless I happen upon a miracle or a bunch of time off to the side of the road, my seven hundred some odd entries will become broken links and then disappear from the intarwebs.
It might be for the best of all that this odd little sand painting becomes dust in the wind before I had planned. It doesn't matter much when cast against the walls of ruined temples. Nevertheless, It is my current public contribution. I'll try to do something about it, but if nothing else, these last few posts before Mayday might become the muffled squeaking swansong of Bloggenpucky...

Friday, April 09, 2010 |

Please, let someone look at this and have some sort of 'aha' moment. Not a life-changing or God forbid, a philosophical conundrum, but at least a moment of clear hesitation and self-reflection...
Tea Party Jesus
Nothing's perfect; nor is this site in its wide-ranging satire of 'Tea Party' brand conservatism. It is a bit sickeningly funny, to me, though.
(Warning: Some offensive Christian-spoken language.)

Sunday, April 04, 2010 |

Happy Easter, y'all.

Friday, March 19, 2010 |

Some of the kids out this evening as the sun set; north wind at about five to ten miles an hour, temperature about 45 degs. Man, but they were having fun.
I told them they'd better split some wood because winter hasn't relinquished the nights here yet.

Sunday, February 21, 2010 |

Another stormy Central Utah weekend. Did some going over of student's papers, ran to the post and back, and today I'm milling about and puttering over this and that. The visual stim is getting old and gray, kinda like the winter's influence over my brain and perception. I know things are fine, but I'm just a little worn out with making old things new.

Saturday, February 20, 2010 |

The 'lympics didn't always bother me like they do now. I loved to watch them and hear the stories of athletes who passionately sacrificed in often very humble circumstances in order to compete in the games "just for the sake of the Olympic experience." Of course, many were going for the 'gold', but more often the spotlight was on the overall human experience.
These days, I see more fashion and Hollywood-style glamor than a bunch of young people getting along and competing for the joy of it all. More often than not, I see rich people exercising entitlement in order to get what they want. It's always been a political forum where certain people vie for superiority and more power on the world stage, but it seems that the games are almost completely taken over by the elites.
That's more than just no fun, but fairly distasteful when compared to the original and still professed ethos of the games. It's doesn't have much to do with amateurs doing their damnedest to be the best they can be, but almost entirely about how to become rich and famous.
Big surprise, I know.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010 |

Creative acts don't always have to be spontaneous.
I read a book once called 'Zen Seeing, Zen Drawing'. One of the points I remember most poignantly was the importance of pushing through stasis to a flow of creativity. I'm not much of an artist if compared to people with spontaneous and passionate talent, I reckon, but that doesn't matter if I am true to a spirit of self-actualization. I do enjoy the process of creation, drawing, sculpting, painting, making or whatever else I can get myself to do, but I also love the realization that I've been able to lift myself from stagnancy to a semblance of hope that I can commune with the world at large and perhaps even another person through my works.
My work is very draining. I spend from ten to twelve hours a day pushing myself to help people who don't want to be helped and students who want make someone else more miserable than they feel, so the dynamics of hope and energy for making can be daunting. It works itself out spontaneously sometimes, but most of the time, it's like I described. I have to push it until I feel like I want to do it. It's not easy; like I said, I don't feel like I'm a natural at this point in my life.
Each day is a fight to remain authentic, to be connected to what I feel is the fount of humanity. I think most people have lost knowledge of that connection, let alone the connection because of the ubiquity of struggle for money and comfort. I think it's important for some to go against the grain on this one, no matter how much crap we get from society-at-large.

Sunday, February 14, 2010 |

Certainly don't choose the winner in politics very often; don't really much root for anything but the underdog for manifold reasons, but the single 'lympic hopeful I had this year made gold! Good on 'er.
Man, but she's good on the bumps. I couldn't ever get those down.
Well, that does it. Enough celebrity-watching for me.

Sunday, January 17, 2010 |

First desert scurry of the winter, believe it or not. Not many words fer to share right now, deeply glad to be alive and heading through, though.

Sunday, December 27, 2009 |

Family photo for 2009-
A bit hurried as the sun retired for the evening; I forgot how to use the danged timer on the camera after doing all of the individual photos. Not the best exposure nor even very well focused.
Nevertheless, the sentiment is still the same. The Burninghams wish you the very best of New Years and anything else you've been wishing for...

Friday, December 04, 2009 |

Miya's birthday today.
Two years old.
She's our baby...

The Friction of Grains Sunday, November 29, 2009 |

On the consenting injured tip
Of a madly colored, though feeble crayon,
We enacted a game of chance
And the final days are upon us.
The cell doors are sprung,
the backs of the public buses all turned to beds
All buzzing with the activity of honeysuckles and orchids and prickly pear
Streets paved with rancid butter and bean husks
Smaller than those that nourished us during winters and springs in not long past;
Our gardens plowed and gutted, roots and vines displayed as trophies for inspection
By arts councils, tallied by crooked pens.
And though the number of eggs hatched
Naturally corresponds with the number of those fertilized,
I keep my sleeves fully extended against the promises of my neighbors and
My eyes on the sweeping hand of father time.

Sunday, November 15, 2009 |

The roof is, for the winter at least, finished.
It's a deeply satisfying realization that we don't have to worry about the drippy leaks or amount of heat pouring out into the dark nights.
It wasn't a simple labor, nor was the price in work, stress or money easy to take in the moment. If it weren't for friends and family who helped, it wouldn't be even a project finished, or for that matter, a thing began. Seriously. And that makes it even more gratifying. Besides, it's so nice to be warm and dry.
'Twas a cold morning. It got down to nine degrees Fahrenheit as the sun came up, so I thought I'd go out and reacquaint myself with the temperature of things to come. Moshe was happy about the turn of events; then again, he's always happy when I take him out and about.

He's been part of our family for almost ten years now. Just a big, half-blind old puppy, really.

Thursday, November 05, 2009 |

I went to a nutriceutical presentation at the behest of a friend last night. It looks to me a good product with, perhaps, a huge potential for health and curative benefits. The friendly people who were there to present the product and ideas were certainly sold on the product, and while I was aware of the (in Utah) inevitability of some connection to multi-level marketing, I went to the presentation to find out a little more about the contents of the wee can. Again, I came away duly impressed with the quality and potential of the product, but I was surprisingly fascinated with watching the salespeople switch between heartfelt and amazing testimonials about the merchandise and ‘the tremendous and ground-level opportunity for growth and income potential in this group’.
In this case, it’s hard to not come away with some amount of interest in distributing the stuff, if for nothing else the ingredients and quality thereof. I’ll probably give it a try even though it’s fairly expensive to see if it can help a few of the things I’m trying to fix or stave off in the future. But Get Out There and Hustle It? Nah.
I have a deep and abiding desire to not sell things. I know all of the arguments of the salesman: “You sell yourself to your boss every day!” or “You might as well sell something you believe in to people you care about rather than being poor and miserable the rest of your life, think about the number of people you could help if you just had some more money from selling (insert product or service here).” Then there’re those more personally directed, “You sell yourself and English to your students every day!” EVERYONE’S a salesman, no? It doesn’t really work for me.
The money from this fine medicine will circulate many times over after the sale is completed. The financial pyramid will ascend to the sky (or at least to the peak of the mansion on the roof of some numbers-oriented person in Utah Valley) and the money will swirl and work its transformative magic, but I really don’t see much in the way of real benefit in it for me. We have what we have and will rely on my own lame ability to provide a teacher’s service or product to those who can see the merits of my person or manner in exchange for paltry sums and lame excuses for the lack of more offered. If I have something that I’ve specifically done or made, I might sell that, but something that seventy other people ‘above’ me have sold and will profit from through a well-oiled, slippery multi-level hype machine? I just can’t bring myself to get enthusiastic about it, no matter how truly quality the people making the pitch are.
Perhaps I’ll miss the boat on this again. I’ve done that many times over for varying reasons. At least I’ll survive a little longer with my ideals and principals intact, and I’ll live another day to search out that little thing that might connect me more closely with God and others who might be willing to cooperate in making my family and the community more livable and perhaps more happy from day to day.

Saturday, October 31, 2009 |

The closest I may ever come to that halcyon and much vaunted ideal is my wife, Drie. She is an angel; a person who sees the world through eyes that see well. Much of what she does is for higher purposes, and what she works for and achieves is designed expressly for durability and the soul's prosperity. She listens to other's dreams and contemplates distances, points and dimensions that might fulfill them.
I woke early this morning; perhaps I sensed the light of the yellowed gibbous moon as it sank toward the conglomerate range to the west of our high desert valley. I must have dreamed in the manner that I walked yesterday; my mood turbid and shifting between melancholy and choler. Yesterday morning,I received an invitation to join an online petition to impeach 'Barack Hussein Obama', with the usually unnecessary appellation 'Hussein' repeated within his name over and over in the piece like a depraved wizard's cursing incantation under the headings of angry looking, pixilated screengrabs from video of Obama. The website described the 'high crimes and misdemeanors' committed by the sitting president and other, as a vitriolic conservative pundit called, acts of "malevolence toward this country, which is unabated."
Malevolence. Synonyms would include hate, maliciousness, spite, spitefulness, grudge, and venom. Unabated. 'With undiminished force, power or vigor.' Them there are strong and fighting words, folks.
I would argue, and without much in the way of need to present empirical, specific evidence, that those words do not fit, in any way, the situation as it stands. Such words simply stir strong emotions, especially those of people who are frightened or experiencing hardship because of events and situations beyond their control or comprehensions. People who do love their country, right or wrong, hot or cold and have done much in their estimation to preserve or promote what they see as her freedoms or purposes.
That's the purpose of these manipulating and in my view, evil-purposed individuals.
Yeah. Evil. I said it. But did I say 'evil individuals'?
There is a difference between purpose and the individual. As human beings, We naturally seek an equilibrium where we are the center of the universe, where we feel the ground solidly beneath us, where we are solid, central and stable. I do not fault these people for promoting what they might rightfully see as a status quo or dare I say, political correctness? I do strongly condemn their tendency to twist words, situations and ideas to portray what they wish to project on the minds of those who want, in their minds, what's best for this nation.
I am no fan of Barack Obama. I was no fan of George W. Bush. I voted for neither of the two main candidates in last year's latest folly of an election. But what is happening right now is the continuation of a process that will tear this country to shreds when there are ravening beasts circling the fold of this country. Whether those who would destroy seek to do so politically, economically, socially or militarily, I do not know, but all are possible in the current global environment. These who sow such twisted propaganda and vitriol as are on this impeachment site are contributing to what they least desire.
The end of America.
I can go at length into what I see as distortions of fact or principal within the arguments I read on the site and have heard from the mouths of dear friends, but suffice to say, they are emotional distortions that have rational explanations. Even if I don't agree with execution or reason, I can see reasonable and political rationale for most anything presented by the conservative opposition.
I don't like the direction that this country is headed. I haven't liked the way the country is headed since I was a youth. I saw the inevitable end of each stock market gamble and real estate speculation that's come around the bend for some years now. Am I claiming some sort of occulted knowledge or metaphysical seership? Certainly not, I only know when people are getting gain to the determent of their neighbor, making money from nothing or building on a foundation of financial dust. I understand the basics of 'capitalism' and know that no value or principled service or product is being produced by the current American economy, and that most of us are grasping at worse than straws to find stability and security in the current financial market that has been handed to us as salvation both temporal and cultural.
If the situation is dire, or the enemies within, why is it so difficult to surmise that the threat might come from both sides of the political fence, and that threat might not be 'malevolent' necessarily, but simply terribly misguided, as I see this ridiculous impeachment movement is?
What will happen if we keep thinking and acting in this vein, where our neighbor is seen as the enemy or another to simply soak money from?
I have to surmise that this is one of the most influential ways that we have we turned this supposedly enlightened world's direction toward such an inhospitable political and social hell.
And one hell of a hell it will become, if we keep on like this.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009 |

“You ought to take Asher up to see the leaves,” Drie mentioned one day a couple of weeks ago, "the boy is really enjoying the transition and looking forward to winter. He knows his birthday can't be far behind." We were well into the project of putting a new roof on the house and the process of playing catch-up in getting ready for the winter that approaches. Yeah, the predictable happened. The colors came and went for the most part before I was able to take the youngest boy out to see a few of the leaves before the bulk came down in the last couple of storms that came through. I saw it coming, and I wasn’t able to prevent it.
Did I have some time to put into the deed? Yep. Could I have made it happen? Sure. I remember thinking about it a couple of times, once when I was out on a project to get some stupid errands finished and another when I decided to instead get some work done on the computer that could have waited until the evening. I remember the two instances and the errors in logic that developed, and I remember them clearly. The roof was too important and the worry it created, right or wrong, made it hard to carve out a place for some of the pleasures and duties that I usually carry out during this season.
Others, like a whirlwind trip to Yellowstone, followed its well-worn course almost out of a force of habit. Or perhaps it took priority out of the terror that I experience in facing the frozen and wintery near future at the doorstep. Even the (still) unfinished roof couldn't eclipse the (perceived) import of the Yellowstone trip.
Ah, habits, fear, and fleeting perspective. Let's not forget the allure of beauty, either.
I have many like situations in my life; as a teacher, a friend, a husband and as a father. So many needs and so many dependents counting on me or what I do; I sometimes don’t understand where the time, energy or ability to make conscious and considered decisions that will have the best effect on the most important people in my world. At other times I understand the line of thought well. The expediencies and immediate emotions carve deep ruts and reactions that far outweigh the lasting perspectives that endure.
The reasons and philosophies behind my actions would fill a book. A confusing and convoluted volume indeed, but a book nevertheless. Each of us have a novel inside of us, or so the philosophers and publishers say; I believe it as I watch my children and students wrestle with the ideas and information swirling about them. They are building the ramparts of their minds right now, carving doors and windows to the beauties and stimulants that surround them, and creating the keys that will give access to those openings. A person’s philosophies and prejudices become the defenses and bridges of the personality whether or not they are correct or good. This process would constitutes at least a book for each of us if recorded at a fraction of the time and thought it takes.
The world is a wide and wild place. The stories that live and lurk inside our hearts can only illuminate our world if we give them the air and breath of voice. And only with that voice can we understand ourselves, both our strengths and follies, and perhaps it can allow others to understand the reasons for our collective and individual ways.

Thursday, October 08, 2009 |

Pulled out of the Spring City Council race. Maybe I'll give it another whirl in another four years.
Maybe not...

Wednesday, October 07, 2009 |

'Round Cooke, they have some odd perceptions of the tourists. Here, they're depicted as outsized hamburgers, betopped with white Stetsons while reclining on beds.
Lots of luck to be had here, as well.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009 |

October '09.
Found by Ryan.
Lit by the sun and sky.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009 |

Humans and wolves.
Oh yeah- money, livelihoods, those who don't need to worry about money and those who just don't much freaking care about it.
Judging from this century and a half old battle, it's pretty obvious why it's hard for the human race to get along. We're widely diverse in method and perspectives and it's near impossible to bring any two poles to any sort of agreement.

Friday, August 14, 2009 |

Time is getting pretty short; school starts the week after next and I have plenty to do before I start teaching the boys where I'm running the education program this year.
This sort of trip is what usually happens at this time of year; quick outings to the Thousand Lakes as the countdown to autumn becomes more apparent.
There were plenty of trucks headed south with atv's and trailers in tow today. Tomorrow is the first of the hunting season, the general bow hunt begins. Never know quite what to think as this sort of thing happens; people are so crazy about these things nowadays. The 'typical' American male worries hell out of me, in many ways.

Thursday, August 13, 2009 |

There's another drill rig in an odd spot, this one right off of Skyline drive west of Miller's flat Reservoir (just west of a very special spot to me, a creek we call Endowment Run). There's a significant amount of outbuildings and the rig, right out on the end of a ridge.
Strange behavior and frustrating placement. I wonder who put this one through on National Forest land.

The ridge it's on, just short of the cirque at the north east end of the horizontal ridge.

Sunday, August 09, 2009 |

From the Parade magazine in today’s Sunday paper:
Q Why are my tax dollars going to pay a poet laureate when nobody reads poetry? - Jeff Kawabata, Omaha, Nebraska
A “It is difficult/ to get the news from poems/ yet men die miserably every day/ for lack/ of what is found there,” wrote the great American poet William Carlos Williams. (We hope you’ll look him up!) While it’s true that not many people read poetry, they’d probably get a lot out of it if they gave it a try. The current U.S. Poet Laureate, Californian Kay Ryan, earns all of $35,000. But fret not: Her stipend is funded from a private endowment, not tax revenues.


The weather has been fresh and new these past few days, with temps at night around 45f and days no higher than 75. What a sweet blessing.
Up to the Huntington, Ryan and I arrived at streamside to this sight.
Frost on the sweet peas; my toes were a bit nipped as my breath coalesced into steam in front of my face.
The fish were fair resplendent as we fished and reflected on the fast approaching fall and still steadfast summer.

Friday, August 07, 2009 |

John Hughes, the icon of eighties iconoclastism and conflicting materialism, died of a heart attack yesterday morning. There is a mountain of articles by often maudlin and always reminiscent soon-to-be middleagers like me available on the web, but I really liked this one in its analyses of his film's allure and lasting influence on many of my generation.

Friday, July 31, 2009 |

With the clouds threatening rain while only delivering wind and a wee shower, the path to the well stem beckoned us onward and up the canyon. It was delicious blend of dust, greenery, wild raspberries and mountain heat that made this walk one to well remember for the four of us.

Sunday, July 26, 2009 |

The 24th occasion was a rousing success with activities and joy had by all.
The outing began with a visit to the Living Planet Aquarium in Sandy followed by a visit to the old homestead of Marla and George.
The Parade was as friggin' hot as it ever is, and the fireworks were an uproarious diversion on the hill.
We hung about in Bountiful on the 24th itself, and enjoyed visiting with George, Marla, my sister, Heather and her groom and children, and my sis-in-law Wendy and her two in tow.
On the way home, Tyler treated all to a ride in his (well, not really his, as his is in the shop getting an overhaul) engine and some water spraying at the station in Rose Park.
It's amazing how much running around can be squeezed into a thirty two hour period, but the kids can do it without flinching.
They sure can sleep soundly, too, when it's all finished.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009 |

A little more evidence of the grandstanding, profiteering, imageineering, and quasi(?)-fascist complexion of law 'enforcement' in the U.S.
Sherrif Joe Arpaio in the New Yorker.
Imagine what Adolph Hitler could have done if Goebbels had the kind of resources Arpaio's PR office has at their disposal.
While it is a tribute to our form of laws and government that the brand of abuse that Arpaio exercises isn't more prevalent or overarching, his ilk isn't the minority from what is evident in politics and enforcement these days.

Monday, July 20, 2009 |

T. Herman Zweibel has sold The Onion to the China-Men!
The Yu Wan Mei Amalgamated Salvage Fisheries and Polymer Injection Group has announced the acquisition.

Just one of the quality products made by this conglomerate:

Taste Stick
Kids, you want a stick that has your favorite tastes attached to it. From lychee to trout, to even Chinese boar, there are more taste options than stars in the sky! Apply with caution to your tongue and then enjoy the tastes.

I, for one, welcome our almost obviously inevitable Sino-overlords!

Sunday, July 19, 2009 |

While I in no way approve of the consumption of celery by human beings, these two were having such fun fixing to do just that, that I had to snap a picture of this particular activity.

Monday, July 13, 2009 |

I had great help with trenching out in the yard today.

I appreciate your readership and hope this bit of verbiage brings you, if not joy, at least a smile or two.

Copyright ©2006
Adam P. Burningham

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