Showing posts with label Books I have Known. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Books I have Known. Show all posts

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Days of 47 - Pioneer Day 2010

19th century wood cut of a Mormon pioneer wagon train from one of my favorite old books, Wife No. 19 or A Life in Bondage, (published and printed in 1875), by Ann-Eliza Young... Brigham's rebellious wife.

Micro Historique

In the middle of the nineteenth century, Protestant bigotry and oppression forced tens of thousands of persecuted Mormons to leave their homes and find freedom outside the borders of the "land of the free". The
forced exodus sent the indefatigable Latter-day Saints on a mass-migration, (nearly their entire population), halfway across the North American Continent. On July 24, 1847, that huge undertaking came to fruition when Brigham Young, and a company of Mormon pioneers entered the Great Salt Lake Valley. The 24th of July has been a celebrated day in the territory since.

The Parade

Since 1849, a festive parade has been held on 24th of July to commemorate the enduring pioneer spirit of everyone who has put his/her shoulder to the wheel, and worked to establish a kingdom in the tops of the mountains... and beyond.

People begin arriving as much as a day early to stake out a good spot to situate their lawn chairs, where they can have the best view of all the floats. On the day of the Days of 47 Parade, tens of thousands of western-appareled, US-flag-waving spectators line the parade route. Forget about driving in downtown Salt Lake on July 24th. Most of the downtown area is inaccessible, and police roadblocks seem to be everywhere.

Personal Experience

When I was a courier for Pony Express back in the 80's, I was responsible for the downtown Salt Lake route. I recall that on the 24th, there was no way that I could get my van to the majority of the destinations there, especially those located on Main Street, (the parade route), so I parked as closely as I could, and used my skateboard to shuttle parcels to and fro. It was actually rather effective and efficient, and I didn't have any difficulties getting parcels delivered to the few business that remained open on the official state holiday.

Two videos in celebration of Pioneer Day

I discovered this amazing video by Baby Bam Bam Bumkin on You Tube. Most folks will think that it's pretty silly, but Baby does make some pretty insightful comments... and it's pretty dang funny too. My favorite float is the "Tree of Life" bearing fruits in the form of graven images of past and present Latter-day prophets, and Mitt Romney, of all people.

The second video is something I threw together last year, and is somewhat thematic. I was worried about all of the expired and old prescription medications that had accumulated for decades in my aging parents cupboards, so I decided to take on the task of cleaning it all out. It was really quite shocking to see how many medications my parents had been taking over the years. There was even one still in the cupboard from 1978. I was happy that there weren't any narcotics, but all pharmaceuticals are dangerous and come with a list of terrible side effects. "No wonder mom and dad are in such bad shape", I though to myself as I removed one child proof lid after another, deep into the night. Contrary to my dad's view, medications can't be disposed of in the garbage because they are classified as toxic waste, therefore the whole shebang was eventually taken to the hazardous waste receptacle at the Tooele County Sheriff's Office, and disposed of properly, but not before I shot this video. I wish I had taken more pictures, especially of the containers... there must have been fifty of them... probably more.

Happy Pioneer Day!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Chemistry, CHAOS and Masonic Music

Winter 1987
I had been engrossed in my new book for quite awhile when I became conscious that in addition to reading, I had also been listening to Mozart's Masonic Music* on the stereo, along with AM talk radio personalities discussing politics. The TV was also on... a PBS program about chemistry. I chuckled to myself when I realized the irony in the fact that I was reading, CHAOS - Making a New Science**

* Mozart wrote this music for use in the Masonic Lodge.

** One of my all-time faves! Mine is a first edition - first printing. Bravo Mr. Gleick!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Into Hot Air or How Daddy's Boy Put the CHRIS in CHRIStmas

Every Christmas, Mighty Mo surprises me with something unexpected and wonderful. This year was no exception.

I didn't even know that
Chris Elliot had written a new book. I loved his masterful mystery, Shroud of the Thwacker* a few years ago, and have been anxious for more. Imagine my surprise when I removed the red and green wrapping paper to discover a signed copy of, Into Hot Air, the latest novel by Daddy's Boy, Chris Elliot. And, as if that wasn't enough, Mighty Mo included a first edition, first printing of Daddy's Boy: A Son's Shocking Account of Life with a Famous Father by Chris Elliot with rebuttals by Bob Elliot. I know what I'll be reading for the next few daze. I LOVE Christmas! And what could be better than a Chris Elliot Christmas?As I see it, Chris Elliot is more fun than a barrel full of junkies, and is ranked among my personal holy trinity of comedy, (Phil Hendrie, Jim Varney, Chris Elliot, irrespectively). A great bunch of guys.

Get a Life

Maybe by next
Christmas those evasive episodes of Chris Elliot's Get a Life could somehow become available on DVD. Get a Life was the best program on TV in years, and unfortunately, only a handful of episodes are currently available on DVD.


* The Shroud of the Thwacker is a kind of Dan Brown spoof that involves time-travel, Teddy Roosevelt and the Widow of John Lennon who happens to live next door to Chris Elliot. Guess who ends up time-traveling back to 1882 New York? You guessed it. Mr. Elliot himself, and he reports with uncanny description the events surrounding the mysterious Thwacker who has the city in a panic wondering who will become his next victim. A riveting read with a surprising outcome, the Shroud of the Thwacker is sure to please many. Everyone else will hate it.

In 2005, Mr. Elliot made a brief appearance and book signing at a local book shop in nearby Capitola. My son and I attended and I was fortunate to get my copy of TSOTT signed. At the end of Mr. Elliot's lengthy lecture about his book, he invited questions from those attending. I asked him
if he could be any animal, what would it be? His answer was obvious to everyone who has read TSOTT. Then, as if my question had been planned as a segue to what happened next, a group of people rose up from their seats wearing animal masks and began to sing a song from the "Zoo Animals on Wheels" episode of Get a Life.
"How do you like it when we stare at you?
It doesn't feel good, now isn't that true?"