Recently Read Books

  • A Delicate Truth- John Le Carre (fiction)
  • Perfect - Rachel Joyce (Fiction)
  • The Expats - Chris Pavone (Fiction)
  • An Event in Autumn - Henning Mankel (Fiction)
  • Winter in Madrid - C.J.Sansom (Fiction)
  • The Brothers - John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles - non-fiction
  • LIfe Among Giants - Bill Roorbach (Novel)
  • Empty Mansions - Bill Dedman (non-fiction)
  • Woodrow Wilson (non fiction)
  • Lawrence in Arabia (Non-Fiction)
  • In Sunlight and In Shadow by Mark Helpren (Fiction)
  • Lesson in French - Hilary Reyl (fiction)
  • Unbroken- Laura Hillenbrand (Non-Fiction)
  • Venice, A New History- Thomas Madden - (Non- Fiction)
  • Life is a Gift - Tony Bennett Autobiography
  • The First Counsell - Brad Meltzer (Fiction)
  • Destiny of the Republic - President James Garfield non-fiction by Candice Millard
  • The Last Lion (volume III)- William Manchester and Paul Reid (non-fiction, Winston Churchill)
  • Yellowstone Autumn -W.D. Wetherell (non-fiction about turning 55 and fishing in Yellowstone)
  • Everybody was Young- (non-fiction Paris in the 1920's)
  • Scorpion - (non fiction US Supreme Court)
  • Supreme Power - Jeff Shesol (non-fiction)
  • Zero day by David Baldacci ( I read all of Baldacci's Books)
  • Northwest Angle - William Kent Krueger (fiction - I have read 5 or 6 books by this author)
  • Camelot's Court-Insider the Kennedy Whitehouse- Robert Dallek
  • Childe Hassam -Impressionist (a beautiful book of his paintings)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


The Lovely Sharon and I love books stores and libraries.  If you are interested in libraries, checkout the most beautiful libraries in the world at:

  I particularly liked the library in Austria. It looks a lot like my library in the Bud Cave except in the Bud Cave, I have frescoes of the Lovely Sharon in white robes and wings painted on the ceiling.

The Salt Lake City Library is a beautiful structure.  Here is a photos from Kevin Delaney:

Happy Reading

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Photos of Venice

Several years ago the Lovely Sharon and I went to Italy together.  I was looking at some of the numerous photos  took.  Here are a few from Venice:

I watched this eldery man in San Marcos Square for a few minutes.  He appeared to be overwhelmed by the sights

A table for two

The Lovely Sharon Shopping at the Square

My Girl

Church from the Sea

Beautiful Venice

Educating Saudi's

15 of the 19  terrorists involved in the 9/11 tragedy were Saudi Arabian (yet George Bush had us invade Iraq, go figure).  As we all know that fateful day had serious impact on our lives in so many ways, only one of which is the significant burdens on travelers and the costs of such burdens. Ever since 9/11,  I have harbored a certain resentment against Saudia Arabia.   The online Wall Street Journal has an article about  how more than 66,000 Saudi Arabian students were studying in US colleges and Universities this past year. It is an interesting article. I really am undecided as to whether I think this is a good idea or a bad idea. I see merit in both sides. If educating Saudi's in the US will help change the culture in Saudi Arabia, it might be a good thing.  I don't know.

One of things that I think about is the difference in what the US allows Saudi students to do while in the US compared to what I suppose the Saudi's would allow US students to do if studying in Saudi Arabia.  Here in the US, Universities are offering to provide space for Mosques to Saudi students and to provide acceptable food service.  Here in the US, the Saudi's are free to dress, worship and eat as they want- in a Western manner or abiding by their Islamic requirements.

I doubt this would be the same for US Students studying in Saudi Arabia.  The following was in Wikipedia:

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an Islamic theocratic monarchy in which Islam is the official religion. Although no law requires citizens or passport holders to be Muslim, almost all citizens are Muslims. Non-Islamic proselytism is illegal, and conversion by Muslims to another religion (apostasy) carries the death penalty. As of 2010, there had been no confirmed reports of executions for apostasy for several years.In February 2012, King Abdullah ordered[ Hamza Kashgari to be arrested after three Twitter messages of his were interpreted as insults to Mohammad.

Religious freedom is virtually non-existent. The Government does not provide legal recognition or protection for freedom of religion, and it is severely restricted in practice. As a matter of policy, the Government guarantees and protects the right to private worship for all, including non-Muslims who gather in homes for religious practice; however, this right is not always respected in practice and is not defined in law. Moreover, the public practice of non-Muslim religions is prohibited. The Saudi Mutaween or Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (i.e., the religious police) enforces the prohibition on the public practice of non-Muslim religions. Sharia Law applies to all people inside Saudi Arabia, regardless of religion.

 The US State Department's website contains the following:

To ensure that conservative standards of conduct are observed, the Saudi religious police have accosted or arrested foreigners, including U.S. citizens, for improper dress or other alleged infractions, such as consumption of alcohol or association by a female with a male to whom she is not related.

I suppose that is the difference between the US and Saudi Arabia.  We give citizens and non-citizens alike essentially unlimited freedom while a US student cannot have a beer and a bacon sandwhich in Saudi Arabia or walk down the street in a pair of cargo shorts..  I suppose this is true in Iraq and Afghanistan as well.  It makes you wonder why we have spent trillions of dollars and subjected so many soldiers to death and devasting physical and emotional harm during the last ten years. Will there be a democracization of these countries?  I doubt it.

 Check out the article and consider for yourself if you think this huge influx of Saudi Arabian students is a good thing or a bad thing.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Things I am Not Good At

I think I am a pretty good lawyer.  I am quick to analyze a problem and come up with a couple of courses of action for resolution.  I think I am pretty good at expressing complex ideas in writing. The other day it occurred to me that other than the practice of law, I am not really good at anything else.  It is almost depressing to think about all the things that I can't do, don't know how to do or that I am just plain bad at. Because of the vast number of these things I cannot prepare a complete list of Can't Do's but a number of them easily come to mind.

-  I love golf but I am not very good.  I will never be very good.

-  I absolutely do not know how to sew a button on a shirt. With the Lovely Sharon and I living apart in the winter, sewing a button on a shirt is a helpful skill.  A couple of years ago, one of my law partners sewed a button on my shirt cuff for me at the office.  Usually, I just take the shirt to the laundry and ask them to sew it on for me.

-  I have no clue how to repair or replace an in-ground sprinkler valve.   Our Salt Lake yard has a fair number of valves and undoubtedly each year there is a problem with one or more of them.  They won't go on, they won't shut of, they leak.  When there is a valve problem, I hire someone.The valve repairmen's hourly billing rate is greater than my billing rate as a lawyer.  I should have gone to sprinkler valve repair school.

-  I cannot properly clean a window.  I can use windex and paper towels and spend a significant amount of effort and time working on the window but at the end of the project, the window still has streaks.  Truthfully, sometimes when I am done cleaning a window, the window looks worse than when I started.

- I am not good at putting the round plastic smoke detector cover back on the smoke detector after replacing the batteries. We have a zillion smoke detectors in our house. There is always one of them that needs the batteries replaced.  Once the batteries are low they start chirping. Every couple of minutes the offending detector emits a chirp.  The initial problem is to figure out which detector on the three floors of the house is actually the one chirping.  You would think it would be easy to locate the detector that needs attention but its not. Once I narrow the chirping sound down to a couple of detectors, I have to look at them as the chirp is sounded to make certain this indeed is the one that needs to have its batteries replaced.  It is odd but I need to look at the detector at the same time that it is chirping in order to make certain this is the correct detector.  Just listening does not seem to work. 

Then I have to get the kitchen stool and climb on it, remove the cover from the detector, take out the two - nine volt batteries, replace the old batteries with new batteries, and then push the new batteries and their attached wires back into their designated recessed slots. The last step is to replace the cover. 

You would think the cover replacement step of the process would be an easy thing right?  Wrong. I look at the edges, grooves and slots of the cover and I look at the edges, grooves and slots of the part of the device afixed to the ceiling and try to figure out which slot goes into which slot and which groove goes into which groove and which edge matches up with which edge.  I make a decision, insert the cover into the ceiling component and twist it. I let go of the cover with my hands and it is hanging off of the ceiling in a cockeyed manner, appearing to be seconds away from a total disengagement and a drop to the floor.  I then unscrew it and try again.  Usually it takes me about 4 attempts until I get it right.

- I am not very good at, or in any way care about, dusting.  If the Lovely Sharon asks me to dust something, I do it.  I try my best to be effective at the dust job.  Inevitably, after I dust something she looks at it and then she dusts it again.  I for one think it would be a more efficient use of our joint time if we skip my part of the dusting.  I seem to just move the dust around, sometimes turning it into something that looks more like mud than dust.  She actually seems to be able to remove it.  (I am pretty good at vacuuming).

- I cannot put the components of a TV home theatre system together.  In the old days. you bought a TV, big or small, you got it home, you plugged the power line into a wall socket and you either screwed in a cable or an antenna line to the back of the set. You turned the TV on and voila, instant entertainment.  Today,  you have the TV, the cable box, maybe the high definition cable box, the blue ray player, the amplifyer/receiver, seven speakers providing surround sound, Ipod docking station and who knows what else.  You have 5 or 6 differnet instructions manuals, one for TV and one for each device. If you really read the manuals there seems to be conflicting instructions in the different manuals.  You have 6 different remotes, none of which seemed to be related to the others so then you have go buy a seventh remote, a universal remote which comes with its own instructions.  You have to install wires and cables from each device to one or more other devices in such a manner that they actually work.

A new step in the installation process came up last week. You have to calibrate the TV.  I for one never heard of calibrating a TV until last week. We just bought a larger HD TV for the master bedroom.and Sharon told me that maybe we should have it calibrated, that it only cost $200.  I had no clue what she was talking about.  We buy a big new expensive TV, it gets installed for an installation fee by professionals and now we have to consider having it calibrated?  To me this is like buying a new car and having to pay extra to have the gauges and dials on the dashboard properly work. I got all worked up about the concept of calibration and she told me to calm down.

I am convinced that a normal American male cannot, within an 8 hour period, or maybe ever, put together a TV home entertainment set up unless they are in the business of doing that. 

I currently have so many remotes that I sometimes cannot make anything happen.  Each TV in our house seems to require different steps to accomplish the desired task.

In our Palm Desert home, almost everytime I want to watch TV, I have to ask Sharon to turn everything on.  I don't know what I do wrong on that system but I always end up on an analogue setup instead of a digital setup.  We have a digital system not an analog system so once I am on analog set up all I see on the screen is a green background screaming at me "you are on analog stupid and you will never see anything until you are back on digital".  This is when I call out for Sharon to come and get the TV going for me. She comes to me, gives me a "you are a complete moron" look and gets everything properly going.

 Last night we wanted to watch a DVD in the Bud Cave. The Lovely Sharon, who is usually pretty good at remotes and such, had to ask me to get the DVD going.  I had to use three different remotes in order to do so.  We had to turn on the TV and the receiver with one remote. I had to use another remote to change the receiver from cable input to DVD input. I had to use still another remote to activate the DVD player.  Finally, after a good bit of time we watched Part One of Season One of Downton Abbey. 

PS Another problem with this whole remote business is that I do not always leave the remotes in the same place so it becomes a scavenger hunt just to find the damn things.

One thing I am good at is appreciating the beauty of things around me such as the the view of the first hole of the South Course at Ironwood Country Club.

I hope you are better at things than I am.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Rain and Rudy

I am at my law office on a Friday morning and its raining.  I did not realize it was raining until I heard the sound of rain against my window. In surprise, I looked up from the contract I was reading and saw the city streets below wet from rain.  Its been a dry summer and rain is appreciated.  It made me think about where I liked to be when it is raining.  I suppose I have several such places, depending upon the season or even the time of day.

In the few times in Utah when it is raining in on a summer evening, around dusk, I like to sit on the covered portion of our deck in an easy chair with my feet resting on an ottoman. I like to hear the thunder and I even like to be a little nervous as the lightning streaks across the sky.  There are two of these easy chairs on our deck with a single ottoman between them.  I like it on a summer evening when the Lovely sharon and I both have our feet on this single ottoman, side by side, with coolness in the air and the sound of rain on the roof.  The sounds of birds and insects have been silenced, no sounds of lawn mowers from the neighboring houses. The only sound is the rain.  The rain pouring out of and over the rain gutter is compelling to watch as it twists and moves in different forms and shapes. Are these shapes random or is there some systematic reason they twist and turn as they do.

For me the coolness of the air is invigorating and feels good against my skin. After the heat of the summer, it feels good to shiver from the cool air.  I know before we sit in our easy chairs, the Lovely Sharon will grab a blanket out of the ottoman and will cover her entire body from her chin to her toes and all I will see of her is her blond hair and lovely face.  She will almost be lying down, scrunch down in the chair with her legs straight out on the ottoman with her feet pointing straght up under the blanket.  On these occasions our conversation is quiet with long pauses between comments as we listen to rain and thunder and watch the rain fall. Inevitably Sharon will look at the decorative lattice work hanging from the patio roof and will say "we need to paint it".  She has said this for about three years and my response is always the same; "ok".  I bet one of these I will actually paint it.  Maybe within the next two years.Maybe a little more.

We have a rubber plant on the deck, which sits next to my easy chair. We named the plant Rudy and he has been with us for  at least 5 or 6 years, maybe longer.  A few years back Sharon said Rudy had  come to the end of his useful life and it was time to get rid of him.  I complained and argued and tried to convince her he still had plenty of life left.  Nonetheless I took him out to the trash bin and sadly dropped him in.  The next day he was back on the patio in his usual place.  Sharon, whether in an act of remorse, or reconsideration, or just to pacify me, had gone to the trash bin and removed Rudy brought him back to the deck.  That was at least three years ago. After that Rudy seem to flourish, no doubt realizing how close he came to being discarded.  During the winters we bring him in the house.  This year he did not seem to get through the winter as well as in previous years.  He lost a lot of leaves and he still is looking meager.  Sometimes he appears to be just a stick in the dirt with a few green leaves glued on.  The Lovely Sharon has not said much about getting rid of him this year so I am pretty certain he has at least another year with us.Maybe the coolness of this morning's rain will rejuvenate Rudy.  As I get older, I wonder when I will be reaching the end of my useful life.  Maybe that is why I want to keep Rudy around, to somehow reassure me there are plenty of miles left on me.

I am not certain why today's rain made me think about sitting with Sharon on the deck, but it did.  Now back to my contract.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Robert Biale Winery, Napa Valley

The Lovely Sharon and I spent last Saturday in Napa Valley.  We have been to Napa several times together and I have been there a number of times on my own. Our last trip to Napa was in October 2009.  We left San Francisco around 9:30 or so and arrived in Napa around 11:00.  The day was beautiful, sunny and warm. After checking in to a hotel, we headed out to our favorite winery, the Robert Biale Winery.  Biale specializes in robust red wines, particulary Zinfandels and Petite Syrahs.  The Biale website recites a short family history:

For over seventy years beginning in 1937 the Biale family has grown Zinfandel and a variety of produce on their farm located on the outskirts of the town of Napa. A large population of white leghorn chickens once produced a steady supply of eggs that a young Aldo Biale regularly delivered around town to customers. Most of the Zinfandel grapes were sold to Napa wineries but some grapes were reserved so Aldo could make homemade wine for family and relatives. In 1953 Aldo met his future wife Clementina while on a trip to Italy where his mother, Christina was from. Aldo and Clementina were soon married and began raising their family in Napa in 1954.

The Biale Zinfandel tradition began in the old days of Napa. The Biale family is one of the countless Italian immigrant families who chose Zinfandel as the best variety for growing grapes in early California, but by no means was Zinfandel limited to Italian immigrants: Swiss, Spanish, German, and Portuguese immigrants among others adopted Zinfandel- a grape whose origin we have now traced to Croatia. Hearty, reliable, and productive, Zinfandel was an ideal choice for California’s early no-nonsense grape farmers like Pietro Biale. Through farming expertise and ever more-careful winemaking, Zinfandel is now taking its rightful place among the pantheon of the world’s most respected and captivating wines.

We consider our Zinfandel to be the ideal expression of this flavorful California variety- with regard to precisely where it is grown. Zinfandel shows distinct differences in character from site to site like no other grape variety and the fact that the old vines themselves are deeply rooted in original vineyards make them among the greatest expressions of terroir in the world. (Terroir being the unique taste profile of a specific place) Intensive hand-farming, extreme thinning and careful selection of only the fully ripe “black” clusters make for very small yields per vine and give our Zinfandels their distinct personalities and rich, hedonistic style.

When Sharon and I were last at Biale, in 2009, we met the Biale family matriarch, Clementina and bought one of her handmade "funky chicken" aprons.  Its a red apron with cloth chickens sewed on it.  It looks great on me.

On Saturday we spent an hour or so at Biale, sampling a variety of rich red wines. Biale is a small intimate winery and when you are tasting wines there you are having real wine conversations with the staff and other guests enjoying the wine, the scenery and the conversation.  You are not fighting dozens of others who have descended like a herd from a tour bus.  This year we met Steve Hall the wine maker, the beautiful Augusta and young Mr. Easley who poured for us and instructed us on what we were tasting. 

I love the descriptions of particluar wines. Descriptions that make the wine sound like something from an artist's palette or a gourmet chef's kitchen.  Descriptions that are the essence of poetry. Consider the following descriptions, each of a different Biale wine:

Vibrant purple color, spicy aromas, juicy blackberry and red raspberry fruit; baking spices: anise, clove, juniper berry, white pepper, and cinnamon; relaxed tannins and bouncy acidity.

Deep, softly-layered, long and decadent. Raspberry, peach, blackberry flavors with walnut liqueur, and just-baked pastry aromas. Fine-grained texture, layered, elegant, finishing with nuances of espresso, licorice and warm stones.

Black cherry, warm raspberry, currants, plum, walnut husk, black tea, and graphite run wide and deep.

Wouldn't I love to respond to someone's question about a wine I was drinking with " well it has a deep, softly-layered, long and decadent. Raspberry, peach, blackberry flavors with walnut liqueur, and just-baked pastry aromas. Fine-grained texture, layered, elegant, finishing with nuances of espresso, licorice and warm stones."   Instead I say something really dumb sounding like" its good, really good. I think I will buy a bottle". But the result is the same, an expression of appreciation about a wonderful taste.

We bought a mixed case of wines, two bottles each of six different wines.  We also bought a magnum of Bravo Aldo, a one time production by patriarch Aldo Biale who passed away in 2009. This was not just a purchase of wine but  a purchase of heritage.

Like all married couples, the Lovely Sharon and I have things in common as well as stark differences of opinions, likes and desires.  One of things that we together enjoy is wine.  Not just drinking wine, but talking about wine, reading about wine, visiting vineyards and browsing through wine stores, looking at lables, ratings and prices.  So a short trip to Napa and another visit to Biale was a treat for us.

(Photos from 2009)

Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That's all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
 (William Butler Yeats)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Colorado Shooting

When will we, as Americans, say enough is enough and get rid of "Assault Weapons".  Do it now. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I love San Francisco

I love San Francisco.  I have probably visted the city 100 times, may be more. I have been there for holiday, just for fun, for business, for seminars and for the combination of those reasons.  What is  about San Francisco?

I love its beauty
I love its architecture
I love the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge
I love the bay and the ocean that surrounds this pennisula
I love the restaurants
I love the vibrancy of the City
I love the different neighborhoods, the financial district, Nob Hill, Russian Hill, and the others

One on of my favortite walks in the world is the walk down Columbus Avenue starting at the Pyramid building, ending at Fisherman's Wharf.  This walk takes you through North Beach and its many restaurants.  You walk past the famous City Lights Book Store and the St. Peter and Paul Church.  When you get to Lombard Street you can look to your left up the hill and in the distance see cars navigating the tight curves of the "crookest street in the world".

I like Union Square, with its hotels, fine shopping and watching normal, weird and unusal people sitting in, standing by or walking through the Square.

I like to make a last minute decision to jump on a cable car that has room for at least a couple of more passengers and ride a few stops even though I was not going that way.

I like to have an early evening drink at the Redwood Room Bar in the Cliff Hotel.

I like to have cocktails at the Top of The Mark in the Mark Hopkins Hotel on Nob Hill.  I have watched the sunset from the Top of the Mark, sipping  a cocktail while the day turns into night and millions of lights come alive in the City. 

I like to walk down Maiden Lane meandering through the small shops. One of my favorite places for fettucini and scallops was the Ironhorse Restaurant on Maiden Lane.  In the, late 1970's and the early 1980's I ate there at least a dozen times.  Sadly, it closed it doors and now only exists as a warm memory in my mind.

I like to walk the Marina Green

I like to walk down Union Street poking my head into each shop.

I like to have lunch at the Garden Court at the Palace Hotel.

A few years ago, the Lovely Sharon and I walked acrossed the Golden Gate Bridge on a cool, sunny and windy day.  Holding hands, looking at the views and feeling in love.

As I write this I can hear in my mind Tony Bennett's classic:

The loveliness of Paris
Seems somehow sadly gay
The glory that was Rome
Is of another day
I've been terribly alone
And forgotten in Manhattan
I'm going home to my city by the bay.
I left my heart in San Francisco
High on a hill, it calls to me.
To be where little cable cars
Climb halfway to the stars!
The morning fog may chill the air
I don't care!
My love waits there in San Francisco
Above the blue and windy sea
When I come home to you, San Francisco,
Your golden sun will shine for me!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My Pal Gordon

Gordon is 60.  I cannot believe it.  That means that I will be 60 in a couple of months.  Gordon has been my dear friend since 1988.  Its sounds like a joke but we met in October 1987 in Disneyland.  Each of our families had purchased our tickets and we were waiting for the gates to open.  Gordon saw that I was wearing a Hidden Valley Country Club logoed golf shirt and he came over and told me he was also a member of Hidden Valley.  The next spring, we talked on the Hidden Valley driving range.  He, Doug, Guy and I formed the Staker Group golf gang and some 24 years later, it is still a vibrant men’s golf group at Hidden Valley.

We have been to Scotland together, we have played countless rounds in Palm Desert, we have played in St. George, Utah, and we have played in numerous tournaments either as partners or in the same foursome.  Last  week Gordon, Dennis and I played Talon’s Cove golf course on Thursday, the Lovely Sharon and I attended his surprise birthday party Friday night and Gordon, Jeff and I played Glenwild Golf Club on Saturday. So on his 60th birthday week I spent three straight days with my pal Gordon.  What a treat.

When you golf with a fellow for 24 years you get to know him. Gordon is the kind of man you want as a friend.  He is kind, helpful, fun and easy to be with. When you travel with someone you know how important it is for your travelling companion to be easy to be with. Rarely does he say anything negative. We could all aspire to be more like Gordon. 

We have shared laughter, joy, tragedies, and tears together. We embraced on the Swilcan Bridge on the 18th hole at St. Andrews, standing with our arms around each other’s shoulders while our caddies took our photo.  We walked through the Royal and Ancient Clubhouse together. We cried over the death of a dear friend.   We have shared family joys and heartache.

Golfing great Bobby Jones said the following about friends:

Then it occurred to me to speak of my interpretation of the words ‘friend’ and ‘friendship’ which are amongst the most import in our language, and yet so often loosely used. Friends are a man’s priceless treasures, and a life rich in friendship is full indeed. When I say, with due regard for the meaning of the word, that I am your friend, I have pledged to you the ultimate loyalty and devotion. In some respects friendship may even transcend love, for in true friendship there is no place for jealousy. When, without more, I say that you are my friends it is possible that I may be imposing upon you a great burden than you are willing to assume. But when you have made me aware on many occasions that you have a kindly feeling toward me, and when you have honored me by means at your command, and when I call you a friend, I am at once affirming my high regard and affection for you and declaring my complete faith in you and trust in the sincerity of you expressions

 Gordon is my friend and I am his and as a result my life has been better.

Black & White Photos

I like photos. I like to take photos, I like to look at other peoples photos. I download and save photos from the internet. Sometimes I keep them on my computer for a long time, sometimes only a day or two. I like the mood that black and white photos create. Here are some black and white photos that I found on the internet. I don't know who took them so I cannot give them due credit.

There is plenty of room

Paris waiter

Helping to turn the cable car around in San Francisco

Street musican
 Unknown beauty

Unknown beauty

 Robert Mitchum

Young love at the drive-in


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Nude Recreation Week

I read a lot of on-line newspapers and magazines.  Sometimes when you see the title of an article it makes you to just have to click it to hyperlink your way to the article.  Sometimes when you get there, it is not what you expected.  Today I was reading the Wall Street Journal on-line and I saw an article that took me to another article that took me still to another article where I happened upon an article entitled "The World's Best Ten Nude Beaches".  Sounds like something a redblooded American male would click on just to check out in the middle of reading this esteemed financial newspaper; RIGHT?  So I did. With great curiosity and great expectation I made the fateful click with my beloved mouse.

When I clicked the headline I was by magic taken to the Travel Channel website.  At the Travel Channel website, I was taken to a general topic called "Nude Recreation".  Sounded promising.

At Nude Recreation, I learned it was currently "Nude Recreation Week".  I confess that I had no idea that it was Nude Recreation Week  I knew when it was Memorial Day and I knew when it was Flag Day and I certainly knew when it was the Fourth of July but I was blindly unaware that it was in fact Nude Recreation Week. Obviously a short coming in my education at the public schools in Salt Lake City and my higher education at the University of Utah.

Unfornuately I worked Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and did not participate in Nude Recreation, or for that matter, recreation of any sort. Further, apparently no one at my law office was actually recreating during working hours so there was no clue at work that it was Nude Recreation Week.

The Lovely Sharon played golf in Ogden, Utah with lady friends on Tuesday and Wednesday and they are playing in Ogden again today and tomorrow in a tournament.  Consider the following logic.

  • Golf is recreation and if
  • This is Nude Recreation Week and if
  • The Lovely Sharon and her lady friends are golfing four straight days this week in Ogden, Utah (one hour north of Salt Lake City)
  • The Ladies are participating in the festivities of Nude Recreation Week.
  • RIGHT?  
I am somewhat reluctant to ask the Lovely Sharon about the details of her golf activities of this week. One can only imagine.  Maybe the imagination is better than the reality.

 Ok, now back to Article.  So I traveled throught the hyperlinkasphere  being directing to my final destination, the Article entitled, "The World's Best Ten Nude Beaches".  At my computer in the Bud Cave curiosity was in the air.  Do you know what I found?  A written description of the  World's Best Ten Nude Beaches in G- Rated travel brochure language.  They might as well been describing pineapple plantations on the the Hawaii island of Lanai, or the Rock and Roll Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, or the Whitney Museum of Art in New York.  A disapointment to be sure.  BUT THEN, I saw another title  and a hyperlink to still another article that tantalizingly read "Photos of the World's Best Ten Nude Beaches".  Apparently, I had finally hit pay dirt. 

With great anticipation, I clicked on the title, and with thanks to former Vice President Al Gore as we all know invented the internet, at the speed of light I traveled to "Photos of the World's Best Ten Nude Beaches".

Do you know what I found there?  Pictures of Beaches. Not pictures of fabuously beautiful naked women frolicking on those beaches, just beaches. Sand, oceans, sometimes a nearby mountain but just beaches.  No nude women recreating on those beaches.  Just beaches. That's it.  Beautiful beaches they were but nonetheless  they were just pictures of beaches except for a couple that were taken at such a distance that you could not actually identify the apparently nude people as human beings.  Here are some of the actual photos of the World's Best Ten Nude Beaches:

No even close to what I expected.  I am heading back to read a business news story in the Wall Street Journal.  Wait! It just occured to me that I am playing golf this afternoon at Talon's Cove Golf Course on the shores of Utah Lake. I am playing in a foursome of four out-of- shape men near 60 years of age.

OKAY consider  the following logic.

  • Golf is recreation and if
  • This is Nude Recreation Week and if
  • Myself and three other old, overweight white men are golfing today at a lakeside golf course

 Never rmind.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Important Questions, Answers and a Picture of a Water Lilly

Why are shirt cuffs requiring cufflinks called “French Cuffs”? Here is a proposed answer from

Glass buttons appeared in the late 17th century as a gaudier but lower-cost alternative to diamonds. During the 18th century, a new jewel material—glass paste—made of ground-up glass and resembling faceted gems, came into widespread use. Paste became a popular material for covering cufflinks and buttons. The English fashion spread to France, where it became popular among the nobility. In 1788, the first known record of the word “cufflink” appeared.

In the late Napoleonic period, Faberge perfected kiln-fired enameled jewelry, and began exporting it around the world. In 1845, the French claim to the double shirt cuff was laid with Alexandre Dumas’s novel, The Count of Monte-Cristo, which describes Baron Danglars’ elegantly adorned cuffs: “...the owner of so splendid an equipage must needs be all that was admirable and enviable, more especially when they gazed on the enormous diamond that glittered in his shirt, and the red ribbon that depended from his button-hole.” It has been said that the turned-back sleeves of Dumas’s characters inspired French tailors to begin making doubled-over, or “French” cuffs. The National Cuff Link Society, however, cautions that it may not be the shirt’s true origin. Regardless of which country invented it, the French cuff has remained popular for 150 years as a vehicle for cufflinks.

I must say I did not know there was a National Cufflink Society

What are the origins of the term ’dormie (used in Golf in Match Play)? According to

Historically, the term dormie is derived from the French/Latin cognate ’dormir,’ meaning ’to sleep,’ suggesting that a player who is ’dormie’ can relax (literally, go to sleep) without fear of losing the match.

Where does the word ’mulligan’ come from? According to

There is considerable debate about this topic, to say the least. There are several clubs and several people who have staked claims about the origin of the term ’mulligan.’

The story most widely accepted focuses on a gentleman named David Mulligan who played at the St. Lambert CC in Montreal, Canada during the 1920s. There are several versions of the David Mulligan story.

Mr. Mulligan was a hotelier in the first half of the century, a part-owner and manager of the Biltmore Hotel in New York City, as well as several large Canadian hotels. One story says that the first mulligan was an impulsive sort of event—that one day Mulligan hit a very long drive off the first tee, just not straight, and acting on impulse re-teed and hit again. His partners found it all amusing, and decided that the shot that Mulligan himself called a ’correction shot’ deserved a better named, so they called it a ’mulligan.’

Story two: Mulligan played regularly with a group of friends at St. Lambert, and in the morning he drove to pick up his golfing buddies. The road into the club was reportedly bumpy and windy and just sort of generally poor, with bridge of bumpy railroad ties. An extra shot was allotted to Mulligan, the driver of the car, on the first tee because he was jumpy and shaking from the difficult drive.

Story three: this story again identified a specific moment, citing a day when David Mulligan showed up late to the course, having scrambled to get out of bed late and get dressed and get to the course on time. He was frazzled on the first tee, hit a poor shot, and re-teed.

Another version of the ’mulligan’ story comes from the Essex Fells CC in N.J. This story is one of the latest, and may therefore be less credible. According to this version, the term was named after a locker room attendant at the club named John A. ’Buddy’ Mulligan, who worked at the club during the 1930s and was known for replaying shots, particularly on the first tee.

If a Mulligan was named after a man named Mulligan then a shanked shot into the trees should by all accounts be named a “Headman”.

A Lovely Paragraph:

"IT WAS A MORNING when all nature shouted ‘Fore!’ The breeze, as it blew gently up fom the valley, seemed to bring a message of hope and cheer, whispering of chip-shots holed and brassies landed squarely on the meat. The fairway, as yet unscarred by the irons of a hundred clubs, smiled greenly up at the azure sky; and the sun, peeping above the trees, looked like a giant golf-ball perfectly lofted by the mashies of some unseen god and about to drop dead by the pin of the eighteenth. It was the day of the opening of the course. . . .”

--From “The Heart of a Goof,” by P.G. Wodehouse

A Water Lilly from the South Course Hole No. 14 Lake at Ironwood Country Club in Palm Desert. (I took this photo several years ago).

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Salt Lake Farmer's Market

I woke up yesterday morning before 5:00, which is my usual schedule.  I made a cup of coffee and turned on my computer and read the normal news sources that I always read.  I started thinking about what adventure could the Lovely Sharon and I engaged in on this beautiful Saturday.  Sharon did not participate in this contemplation since she was asleep in her bed and I was down in the Bud Cave.  A good idea popped into my mind- we should go to breakfast, go to the dowtown Salt Lake Farmer's Market, and then meander through the new downtown City Creek Center shopping mall.  I had been to the mall once but since it only opened in April, Sharon and not ventured downtown from our Sandy home. It occured to me that this would be an enjoyable and different day for us.

I was still out my computer, writing yesterday's blog entry when the Lovely Sharon trodded downstairs to the Bud Cave, wearing a short black robe over her jamies, with tosseled morning hair.  I told her my plan  and she agreed that it sounded like a good idea.

After we were both showered, and dressed we started off for the International House of Pancakes.  I think all Saturday adventures should start at IHOP or some equivalent.  I am pretty certain that before he sailed to the new world, Columbus and his crew stopped at IHOP for a short stack with sides of scrambled eggs and linked sausages. If you read the histories of Lewis and Clark, they are replete with descriptions of their breakfasts at IHOP before trekking off to discover the American West.

After IHOP we headed downtown and arrived at the Farmer's Market around 9:30 or so.  The Market covers and entire city block and is filled with tents and booths, with musicians playing their instruments in strategic locations throughout the Market.  The Market was already packed by the time we arrived.  It felt more like a street fair than a shopping experience, but plenty of people were buying fresh produce, cheese and other locally grown foods.  There were also many booths where jewelry, pottery, paintings, photograpsh and other items were sold.

We bought some pottery from a Park City artist and we bought some dragonfly jewelry from a local artist.

We sat in the shade on plastic chairs and watched chefs from three local reaturants compete in a culinary competition, cooking with fresh ingredients on small propane cook tops.  They were all on a stage perfoming like musicians for an interested audience.

I loved seeing the musicians, old and young playing for coins

As we were strolling through market we came across a young man with beautiful owl

We had a wonderful time at the Farmers Market.   If you have not been to the downtown Salt Lake Farmer's Market, you should go.  It is truly an enjoyable experience.

(The Lovely Sharon)

We finally made it to the City Creek Center for a couple hours of strolling through the shops.  By the time we returned home, we both needed naps.  It was  a lovely day.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Lost Generation

I have always been keenly interested in post-World War I Paris. The city was filled with American, Canadian and European artists, painters, sculptures, and composers who, for one reason or another, descended upon Paris, practiced their craft and interacted with each other.  Gertrude Stein coined the label “the Lost Generation” to refer to this group of authors and artists.  One of the primary attractions for the Lost Generation to Paris and other parts of France was the exchange rate between the dollar and the French Franc.  In short, the dollar could buy more in France than it could in the USA.  I think other attractions was the beauty of Paris and the fact that the Lost Generation was a large and lively group, that worked together, dined, together and drank together.  They helped each other and they were sometimes jealous of each other.  In the last year I have read 10 or 12 books about the Lost Generation and Paris of the 1920’s.  It is interesting to read different versions of the same event written by different people who were witnesses to, or part of, such event.
To read some of the names of the Lost Generation group (a loosely defined group at best) it amazes one that all of these then, or later, well-known artists and writers were in Paris at the same time, interacting with each other.  Names such as Hemmingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ford Maddox Ford, John Dos Passos, Sherwood Anderson, and T. S. Elliot.   Picasso was there. So was Cole Porter.

The story of Gerald and Sara Murphy as socialites, artists and friends of the writers and authors of the Lost Generation is a truly interesting story. Sara’s father was wealthy and Gerald’s father was the owner of the Mark Cross Company.  The following blurb was from an interesting article written by Wendy Goodman and published in the July 12, 2006 New York Times Magazine:

Gerald and Sara married in 1915, eleven years after that party, and became the kind of couple that seems invented for fiction: worldly, artistic, bohemian, glamorous. Years later, their friend F. Scott Fitzgerald would use them as the model for Dick and Nicole Driver in Tender Is the Night. They spent the twenties living on the Riviera with their three children. They bought a house in Cap d’Antibes, remodeled it, and named it Villa America. Gerald painted and exhibited in Paris at the Salon des Independents in 1925, and had a posthumous retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in 1974, and the couple entertained their luminary friends: Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Jean Cocteau, Cole Porter. But in 1933, when Europe began to roil and their son Patrick was diagnosed with tuberculosis, they came back to the U.S. and Gerald ran the leather-goods company Mark Cross, which his father had founded.

Gerald Murphy and Picasso

The Murphy’s story is a compelling story.  For a short essay about them go to:

If you are interested in this time period, Paris or the Lost Generations, some of the books I read are as follows:

            A Movable Feast                                              By Ernest Hemmingway
            Everybody Was So Young                               By Amanda Vail
            Memoirs of Montparnasse                               By John Glassco
            That Summer in Paris                                       By Morley Callahan
            Tender is the Night                                          F. Scott Fitzgerald
            The Crazy Years, Paris in the 1920’s               William Wiser.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Finally Some Rain

June, and the first few days of July; in Salt Lake were hot and windy.  The entire state seemed to be battling fires causing skies to be smokey most days with the smell of smoke permeating the air. Our patio deck seemed to have ash on it all month.  I suspect that with such a hot June, the rest of the summer may be hot as well.  Finally, after more than 30 days without rain, we recieved rain yesterday.  I would not call it a soaking but it rained (more like a dirzzel) for several hours cooling the temperatures from near 100 earlier in the week to the low 60's; providing some relief for a parched earth.

I am not certain why but we have had a lot more deer in our yard in the last month than normal.  Usually the deer are walking in or through our backyard.  On July 4th, there was a young deer, not a fawn but not an adult, eating the Lovely Sharon's flowers just off of our front porch.  I was watching him for a few minutes through the window and called Sharon to come look.  When she saw the deer through the window, she took off like a lightening bolt opened the front door and commanded the deer to not eat her flowers.  The deer, knowing who was boss, took off for safer environs.

We had a nice and safe 4th of July.  We played golf with friends Barry and Nanette, and afterward we went home and ate left over Chinese food and watched two movies in the coolness of the Bud Cave.  After the movies the LOvely Sharon and I watched  fireworks and music from New York on TV.

As most people do, I think about our country on the 4th of July. I think about freedom, I think about soldiers, sailors, and marines putting life and limb at risk, making ultimate sacrifies.  I appreciate them.  I admire them. I am thankful for them. 

I love America.  I love the way it looks.  I love that by and large people want to help their fellow man.  I love that we can complain about our leaders.  I love that we can petition the government for change. I love that we can argue over politics and policy.  I love that I can read whatever I want. I love that I can hang up on telemarketers .  I love America.

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Different Stuff

This blog entry has no theme, no consistent topic, its just different thoughts, ideas and basic stuff.

1.   A couple of weeks ago I was at the grocery store with the Lovely Sharon.  We were each depositing various items into our shopping cart.  Sharon put a package of sandwhich ham slices in the the cart.  I thought that the all beef bologna looked good for sandwhiches for the next week.  I put a package in the cart.  The Lovely Sharon, saw what I did, she walked to the cart, picked up the bologna, looked at it and took it back to the refridgerated shelf and put the bologna back with its brother bologna packages.  I was offended and asked her what the heck she was doing.  She responded with "processed meat is not good for you".   I said ok but I was thinking, I have eaten bologna my entire life., I am almost 60 years old and how harmful could a couple of bologna sandwhiches be?  I did not make a big deal out of it.  However, two days later when I arrived home from work, I discovered the Lovely Sharon had gone to the store again and to my surprise, she had purchased a package of hotdogs.  I picked the hot dogs up, looked at them, read the lable and asked Sharon if it did not occur to her that hot dogs were processed meat similar to bologna.  She responded  with "the hot dogs are  all beef".  I countered with,"the bologna was all beef". She said it was different.  Go figure.

2.  I just read a headline on that read "Head found in park belonged to Chinese Student".  It made me wonder if the head that was found was the head of th e Chinese Student or the head of another person that was owned by the Chinese Student.  Think about the words - "head found in park belonged to Chinese Student".   What if the headline read "Bicycle found in park belonged to Chinese Student".  There would be no question that the bicycle was an object owned by the Chinese student. So, "head found in park belonged to Chinese Student" might be mean one of two things.  You decide.

3.  I like the art of US impressionist  Childe Hassam. Frederick Childe Hassam (October 17, 1859 – August 27, 1935) was a prolific American Impressionist painter, noted for his urban and coastal scenes. Along with Mary Cassatt and John Henry Twachtman, Hassam was instrumental in promulgating Impressionism to American collectors, dealers, and museums. He produced over 3,000 paintings, watercolors, etchings, and lithographs over the course of his career, and was a founding member of The Ten, an influential group of American artists of the early 20th century.

4.  My favorite magazines:  New Yorker, Vanity Fair, The New Republic.

5. Last Saturday, the Love Sharon and I had a barbeque at our house. Our guests were two Mormon Bishops and their wives, a retired Jewish Rabi and his wife and a Catholic Monsignor.  Each person is a dear friend of mine.  We had to figure at what to serve.  No pork for the Rabi and no wine for the Mormon Bishops. It was a lovely and wonderful eveinng with a lively conversation. I am blessed to have such a diverse group of friends, all are truly wonderful people.

6.  I love America.  I love our history. Happy Independence Day.