Monday, December 10, 2012

November in New York, 2012.

All dressed up in Brooklyn Heights, less than a mile from the World Trade Center. Going for a circa 1915 look.  

Out in Dutchess County again. I love it here! These are the ears of Beau, aka George (recognize him Briony?). My sister Elise imported him from Ireland years ago, now Cari has him. 

How cool is this? That's me up there on Listo, an Andalusion stallion. 

Cold, tired, and very happy. 

The Oregonian: John Freeman, with Listo (Rex in the back). 

Lunar Lilly, at seven months. I named her. 


Thanks Cari!

My sister, Cari Swanson, and I photographed in Prospect Park, New York City.

Driving horses at Windrock Farm, Dutchess County, New York.

Beginning on Thanksgiving day, at my sister's farm in New York, we practiced driving teams of horses over the next five days. I rode quite a few too. Got some amazing shots. All iPhone photography by Utahredrock, or Cole (the two shots of me). Love this black and white one.

Me driving:

Some great shots of the Nebraska boys (and an Oregonian):

Monday, November 26, 2012

Jim Bierly: A giant moves on

We lost a good one. Jim Bierly, a giant in my life and a friend of my family’s from before the time I was born, died yesterday at 87.

Jim fought in World War II, came home to Ohio and ran a manufacturing business. His daughter will carry on as head of the business. He had four kids.

For twenty years, on every single trip I’ve made to my hometown in Ohio, I’ve seen Jim and his wife Karen. Every trip.

He was one of those guys that you just liked. Solid, good-hearted, dependable. He was always there. He lived in an old Ohio farmhouse that he remodeled 10-15 years ago. I remember going there in the early seventies as a small kid for parties. In particular I remember going sledding there with at least a dozen other kids, I was one of the youngest at that scene.

Four or five years ago, when I went home for Christmas, my mom and I spent Christmas Eve with Jim and Karen and a couple of other people. It was a cold night, but nice out. We all headed outside with our drinks and had a huge bonfire. It was one of my best Christmas Eve’s ever. I can still smell the smoke.

How do you describe a person in a few words?

It was his time to go, but it’s so hard to believe. He was just always there. For years.

I can hear his voice in my head, but I can’t find words to describe it.

Tonight my mom described him as one of her favorite men. 

His first wife, Helen, died of cancer when I was young. She and I share the same birthday. This may have been before or after my dad died, I don’t remember, it was around the same time--probably after, circa 1972. She was the first person I knew who knew that she was dying. She was an amazing woman too. I remember her strong spirit and her positive energy. Jim also had that positive energy. He wasn’t a pushover kind of a guy, but his kindness is what I’ll remember the most.

Jim's body started to give out on him a few years ago, but his mind and spirit remained strong until the end.

Jim’s wife Karen is also a great friend and is an equally large presence in my life. My heart breaks for her.

Jim was a giant.

Goodbye my friend.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute at Greenbuild in San Francisco

Bill McDonough speaks at this morning's press conference:

Institute president Bridgett Luther appears on the video at the booth.  This creative work of Jeff Bagley and his team is a big hit here among a group of people who know the difference between average and excellent:

The back of the booth:

Not easy to see, but photos scrolling through with people holding the 'I Prefer C2CCertified sign'

The main tower, the work of Mike Ross!

Jonathan Powers from the White House (left) and Lane Burt from the U.S. Green Building Council--the host of Greenbuild:

It's time for you to prefer too!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

First valley snow = a bracing commute.

In my new era of carlessness there have been various milestones I've anticipated with some concern, yet none have proven (thus far) to be a big deal.

Yesterday I had my first colder weather wet commute on my bicycle.

Today I had my first commute in the snow.

My "commute" is by design quite short. Just over a mile. With proper clothes, it's really no big deal. The only thing missing this morning was goggles. Ironically my new steam punk goggles arrived yesterday, and I tried them on just this morning. It didn't occur to me that I should wear them to work (how cool looking would that have been?), but they would have served me perfectly.

Instead the sleety snow pelted my eyes. The wet dirty street water assaulted me from below (no practical fenders on my commuting bike).

Yet I arrived at work warm (except for my hands), dry, and a little invigorated from my foray into the natural world, a place that most Americans shield themselves from as much as possible.

I highly recommend going carless. These mini-adventures alone are well worth it.

Photo from Duk Miller taken this morning in another part of the Salt Lake Valley. Snowfall was similar in my neck of the woods.

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Lance Armstrong piece of history.

I've been semi-obsessed with the downfall of Lance Armstrong. It's a bummer. I believed his story. I believed in him. I loved his book. All lies. Here's his bio, as it appears today on his website, I figure it's only a matter of time before this disappears from the web:

Lance's Story (aka his big lie)

If scripted by Hollywood, the story would be dismissed as trite melodrama: A deadly disease strikes a promising athlete. Despite desperately thin odds, he manages not only to beat the affliction but also to return to the sport and win its top prize, not once but a record seven times. Unbelievable, except it's true.
But the story doesn't end on the finish line at the Tour de France. His experience made him a part of a cancer community, and motivated him to unleash the same passion and drive he does in bike races to the fight against cancer.
Since he made history in 1999, he has won the tour six more times, and has become one of the most recognizable and admired people of this era.

A priceless photo, also from his website (post continues below photo):  

A cheat or not, this guy's an athlete. This is a photo from last month. I love it, because a) it shows a very good looking man and b) you'd have to have an ego the size of Texas to feature this on the front page of your own website. Though if I looked like that I might use it too. 

This morning the stripping of his titles became complete when the international body overseeing cycling chose not to challenge the August sanctions of the U.S. Anti-doping Authority (USADA). I spent some time over the past 30 hours editing his fast changing Wikipedia bio. You can see the version from today here

I am fascinated by this Armstrong train wreck. The hubris. The bigger than life nature of it all. And I am disgusted by him and his lying. By all accounts it's now clear and irrefutable that he was a bullying ringleader of an elaborate scam and he didn't hesitate to lie to the world about it, repeatedly and aggressively. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fall in Utah's Wasatch Range, 2012.

En route to Desolation Lake from Big Cottonwood Canyon. 

On the summit of Mount Timpanogos.

Utah's Mount Timpanogos is the second highest in the impressive Wasatch Range. These are images from the summit on September 16, 2012.

Scott and Bernard. 
Scott, Jim and Jake.

Bernard, rock, and clouds.  
Jim and Bernard. 

Wrangler Jim Lives!

In 1985 I was a wrangler at Colorado Trails Ranch in Durango, Colorado. While I am a decent horseman, with thousands of hours in the saddle, at least 90% of that time was in an English saddle. All the same, I have my western-looking chaps, and this is my current cowboy hat. I got the duds out for a gala and posed for some photos ahead of time. The black and white is from that shoot. The color photo was taken after ascending Mount Timpanogos on a 7.5 hour roundtrip hike on September 16, with about 4,000 feet of elevation gain from trailhead to summit.

Posing in my backyard. My decrepit garage has a nice old barn look to it. 
On the summit of Timpanogos. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Breaking blog silence.

Over four months since my last post. Sorry to keep the world waiting. So, what’s up?

Consumed—with transforming an old house
Slowing—the renovation process
Intrigued—by new people
Stressed—about the finances of transforming a house
Elated—that it’s fall in the West
Engaged—with a client I’ve worked with since May, their mission, and their amazing team
Guilt ridden—because I don’t spend enough time getting Jake outside
Experimenting—with life without a car, a temporary experiment by design, but one I will extend as long as possible
Struggling—with what to accept and what not to
Grateful—for friends and family, especially Jake
Happy—to be healthy and living in Utah.

Photographed yesterday in Salt Lake City. 

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Thank you President Obama

Today President Obama announced that he supports marriage equality for same-sex couples.

Wow. The President of the United States, taking a stand on such an important, and still divisive, cultural issue.

This is especially important for the millions of people who struggle with their sexuality because they live in a society that gives them mixed messages. We are social animals, and even if we'd like to believe it doesn't matter, for millions of people it does, understandably, matter what other people think.

I don't know why, and I don't especially care, but some of us are born with an attraction to people of the same sex. I had to accept that fact myself and learn to understand that there is nothing wrong with it. It took me until I was almost 28 (I am 45 now) to be able to accept it. I still meet gay people who are my age that can't accept that they're gay, even though they've been gay their entire lives.

When people can't accept who they are, and when they feel society will reject them for being who they are, bad things happen including entering into relationships that are not appropriate. Nothing is more destabilizing to the institution of heterosexual marriage than forcing people into relationships that aren't appropriate for them. And it's unfair for couples who are not heterosexual to feel like society will never condone their relationship and that it will deny them the responsibilities and legal protections of marriage.

It's OK to be who you are. That's the message that I take from those famous words penned by Thomas Jefferson (below) and it's what I take from President Obama today.

Thank you Mr. President!

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

Jim Breitinger
Salt Lake City

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

The walk to work.

This morning I walked to work. Along the way, and a ten minute walk from my house, is the center of Mormondom: Temple Square. It's a beautiful collection of buildings and gardens, and it's at the heart of Salt Lake City, which itself is predominantly non-mormon.

The church office building and the temple:

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Briefly a tourist in New York.

Yesterday I got to see some of my favorite people from my meteorite dealing/Airstreaming days. They're doing a show in Brimfield, Massachusetts.

This morning I left Windrock Farm (seeing the new foal before leaving), took the train into New York City (which took 3 hours instead of 2 due to "signaling problems at Grand Central). I made a pilgrimage to One World Trade Center, which officially passed the height of the Empire State Building a few days earlier. I walked around for a few hours, saw my friend Kim, then took a series of trains to JFK.

I didn't get on any flights so had to get a hotel room (I could have gone back into the city and stayed with friends, but it seemed like too far to go).

Here I am, watching Mad Men, and hoping to get on the first flight to Salt Lake in the morning.

A few photos from today:

Windrock Farm welcomes a new filly!

Out of RJ, here she is, less than 10 hours old and born in the nick of time for me to see her prior to heading home. 

She was born under the full moon. Her name: Lunar Lilly. 

Windrock Farm is my sister's farm in New York. 

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Cari's home for May.

We moved Cari yesterday from the hospital after two weeks. She's now at a nursing home recovering and should be able to go to her house at the end of May or in early June.

Here she is with most of the Derby party crew earlier tonight, just after the Derby:

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Bored at the hospital

We did a little posing today at the hospital.

There's not much else you can do here. Cari is now getting out of bed a little each day.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Sunday morning.

Her second Sunday at the hospital and her first morning in her room after eight days in the trauma unit:

Westchester Medical Center, Valhalla, New York.

On Friday, April 20, 2012, at approximately 7:00 PM Eastern, my sister Cari arrived at Westchester Medical Center via helicopter and was admitted to the trauma unit. This is the trauma 1 hospital servicing her part of New York. Earlier that afternoon she was crushed by a horse she was riding. The mare reared up and fell backwards with the full weight of her body smashing Cari, breaking her pelvis in four places, cracking a vertebrae, and a rib.

The trauma unit is in this new wing of the hospital. Her room was immediately above the red entrance sign. The photo is taken just beyond the helicopter pad. 
Eight days after being admitted, she was moved to an older wing. Her room is on the fourth floor just to the right of the flag in this photo. 

The hospital sits on a beautiful campus. My mom and I took a walk on April 29 when we took this photo. 

Monday, April 30, 2012

The support network.

Cari has a strong network of friends and family. We've rallied to her support. Being in a modern hospital seems to require personal advocates.  At the very least having them nearby makes the stay more manageable and bearable. For the first 7-8 days Cari was very much out of it because of the heavy dosage of drugs she was on to deal with the extreme pain.

Rex Peterson, Cari's partner, and her close friend Alex Tuller, have made many trips, three hours of driving roundtrip, to support Cari. Rex was the original member of the overnight crew. As of day 10 Cari has not spent one night alone at the hospital. 

Susie Hout Baker, an old family friend who's originally from our hometown in Ohio, lives less than twenty miles from the hospital in Connecticut. She's been a huge support. This photo is from Saturday, April 28, just after Cari was moved out of the ICU into the regular part of the hospital. 

Sandy, Lisa, Simon, Mary, Claire, Flo, Vanessa, Dean, our mom and our brother John all have spent time with Cari in the first ten days after the incident. 

Countless others have sent their love and support. It's all appreciated!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

To New York.

Today I am headed to New York to be with my sister who's been in a bad riding accident (horseback).

Taking off from Salt Lake City and ascending above the Great Salt Lake before turning east.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Thanks everyone.

Last night I had my "house is ready for its close-up" party.

About 40 people came: a very cool and eclectic group of people including people I've known since the 1990s and some I've met this past year.

The house is a work in progress but is very much livable. I am hoping to be there for a long time, but you never know. Very house poor at the moment!

Most memorable moment: Clint disappearing into the attic, after dark, and returning to the party with a pile of papers from the 1890s. Coffee collecting cards and other miscellaneous items.

Friday, April 20, 2012

One of those calls.

Salt Lake City

A routine afternoon at my office, interrupted by one of those calls. “Jim, it’s Rex. Cari’s been in an accident . . . .”

Cari’s my sister. The call came from her partner who was with her at the local hospital near her home and horse farm in New York. She’d been crushed by a horse—a full body slam with a 1,500-pound mare landing on her. She was about to be taken by helicopter to the nearest trauma 1 hospital sixty miles away.

It was about 3:50 PM Mountain Time. It wouldn’t be until nearly 9 PM Mountain until I got more information. Nobody could travel with Cari on the helicopter so Rex and her friends had to drive. Even after they arrived at the hospital there was no word on her condition.

I couldn’t help but think the worst as I sat on my back patio with my dog Jake and alternating beers and cokes, idly playing with my iPhone, texting friends in New York, and having brief phone conversations with family and friends.

The general theme: “We still don’t know anything.”

Finally, word came back to Utah—she’s breathing and in the ICU. A sigh of relief. Her condition was still mostly unknown, but she was alive.

Our family has been through this a few times with other traumatic riding accidents. It was clear that this was one of the more dire incidents, but we still awaited word on her actual condition.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

A temporary new fence.

You can see the decrepit old fence 12 feet behind the new one I just put up to keep the yard secure for Jake.

Hopefully I'll find the resources to replace the other one this year, it provides privacy to the back yard.

Jake's area is in front of the new fence, not a "dog run" between the fences (as if). It's his yard.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Images from opening day, City Creek Center, Salt Lake City, by Jim Breitinger.

These are images from the new City Creek Center, which opened yesterday in Salt Lake. I am not a big shopper, but I am thrilled with this addition to our city. It's beautifully done. Over 90 shops and restaurants, including Tiffany and Nordstrom. Over 1.5 billion dollars spent. New residential towers. Stunning views of the LDS Temple and Temple Square (I am not LDS, but appreciate what the Mormon church has done to establish SLC as a cultural center--even if the culture is a little vanilla). 

It's spectacular and only a ten minute walk from my new house. 

iPhone images by Jim Breitinger/Utahredrock. 

Woman and LDS Temple:
Crowds along the revived City Creek:
Boy and fountain:
Night scene, City Creek, spring 2012:
View just to the south from new condo at City Creek Center:
One of the fountains at night:
Lights at Nordstrom:
Painting of NYC at Tiffany's:
Street performer:
Couple and friends in front of Tiffany's:

Water dancing:
The old ZCMI facade revived as part of Macy's: