Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tanner Park, Salt Lake City

O.C. Tanner was an amazing man. I've written about him in the past (I might have to find some of those pieces). Tanner was a successful Utah businessman who gave back to his community. One of those gifts was a piece of land in town that's a park now. It's an ideal place for urban dog parents to take their pups off leash.

Jake and I just returned after a romp in the park. He's one happy boy. Me too.

Update, October 2010: Just saw this post. It turns out I knew nothing about this park, but have since learned--more than I want to know! The park I go to is not Tanner Park, it's Parley's Historic Nature Park. The land wasn't given to the city by Tanner, the city bought most of it from UDOT. To my chagrin--as my other posts demonstrate--SLC Mayor Becker is trying to take the park away. I didn't know that when I wrote this initial post.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Meteor over Utah!

. . . and I missed it. But a friend of mine saw it along with thousands of others. Now the hunt is on for rocks from space. I'll be listing news reports below. Too cool! Will there be any new meteorites from my favorite state?

Look at this nine second video:

November 18th coverage from the Salt Lake Tribune.

More from my friend who witnessed it: He said the entire Salt Lake valley lit up like it was daytime--the event occurred around midnight. He said he briefly thought it was the apocalypse.

Here is a more detailed news report:

November 30th update:

According to Seth Jarvis of Clark Planetarium "it entered the atmosphere at about 50,000 miles an hour."

"With the Colorado video and a spectacular mountaintop video from western Utah, they triangulated a new target zone. The space rock evidently traveled north to south and exploded 35 miles high, 120 miles west of Salt Lake. If any of it reached Earth, it was likely south of Wendover, near the Utah-Nevada border in the rugged Deep Creek Mountains." Read more at

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Meteorite Men premiere

Originally posted May 12, 2009

With Geoffrey Notkin just after his new show Meteorite Men premiered on the Discovery Science Channel. This is one of the two Brenham meteorites they found while filming in Kansas. This meteorite has olivine (peridot) gems in it.

Photographed in Tucson, Arizona on May 10, 2009.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Berlin +20, proud to be an American

Yesterday the West celebrated one of its greatest triumphs. After 44 years of oppression, the Iron Curtain dissolved twenty years ago. The events in Berlin and throughout Eastern Europe in 1989 did not occur simply because an East German bureaucrat misspoke. No, they were the result of the strong moral position that the United States took beginning in the Truman Administration and carrying on through the early days of President Bush the First.

John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan were the most colorful of the Cold Warriors. Their respective visits to Berlin in 1963 and 1987 are important mile markers of a long and brutal Cold War. Another great American effort must also be remembered. President Truman oversaw the most dramatic effort to preserve the freedom of West Berlin when he supplied the city with food and all other necessary supplies during the Berlin Blockade by the Soviets in 1948 and 1949. An entire city was kept alive by airlifting in every necessary supply to sustain life.

During the Berlin Airlift alone 71 American and British airmen lost their lives. It took courage to stand up to the Soviet bullies in the 1940s and it took commitment and vision to continue that stand for over four decades.

Americans, and other westerners whose nations supported our policy of containing communism to its 1945 borders in Europe, have much to be proud of. Yes that day in Berlin twenty years ago was a long day coming and it was no accident. It was one of the primary goals of U.S. foreign policy for almost half a century. Not only were German families split in two, but all of Eastern Europe suffered for two generations under the grip of Soviet Communism. Coming after two generations of war in the first half of the twentieth century, Eastern Europeans paid a heavy price for politics gone awry between 1914 and 1989.

All of this amounts to more than just historic facts. American efforts to contain communism in Europe represent the best of our country. In history nothing is inevitable. There are many possible outcomes and the future is impossible to predict.

Below you can see my friend Mirja Riester, who grew up near the intra-German border in West Germany, discuss the fall of the Berlin Wall:

Monday, November 09, 2009

They're back. January 20th.

Don't miss new episodes of Meteorite Men with my friend's Geoffrey Notkin and Steve Arnold.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Back home in Zion

After seven years of wanderings, I am back in Utah.

I arrived in late August, but tonight Jake and I returned from a week-long trip to Phoenix. The main purpose of that trip was to empty our storage unit.

I don't have too many worldy possessions left after downsizing again and again over the last ten years, but I have a few. Mostly everything is in plastic bins and I am not even sure what I have at this point.

All of my stuff went from my Phoenix storage unit to my Salt Lake storage unit. It will be roughly six months before I actually unpack.

It is so good to be back in Utah and I am pysched for winter and some serious skiing.

The decade with no name

More on the decade that is about to end: