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)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Brighton Hike

Yesterday I worked downtown from 6:30 to around 10:00 a.m. and then I headed home.  When I drove into the driveway, the Lovely Sharon was working in the yard so I decided to go for a hike  on my own at Brighton Ski Resort.  Brighton Ski resort is located at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon in Salt Lake City.  You Salt Lakers are familiar with the area.  I decided to take the one and a half mile walk from the Silver Lake area up the mountain to Twin Lakes. 

I was surprised when I arrived at the Silver Lake area to find it packed with people.  Young people, old people, toddlers , families - the area was just full of people escaping the heat of the city. A lot of people were fishing in Silver Lake.

After I got off of the boardwalk trail around Silver Lake, I reached the Twin Lakes trail and was glad to get on it and head up to Twin Lakes overlooking the Brighton Basin.  The hike has about an 800 foot incline.  I passed a few folks coming down but I did not see anyone else going up.  I had my cell phone, a trail map, a bottle of water and my camera. 

I was a little winded when I reached the top and I sat on a rock sipping water from my water bottle, admiring the beauty of the lake and the peaks on this beautiful blue sky Utah summer day. I could see Mt. Millicent and the ridge separating Big Cottonwood Canyon from Little Cottonwood Canyon.  For those of you not from Utah, Little Cottonwood Canyon is the canyon where Alta Ski Resort and Snowbird Ski Resort are located.

Here are a couple of photos from the Twin Lakes area.

Alta Ski Resort is over the ridge behind Twin Lakes.

Mount Millicent

Only a few traces of snow left

There were a few wild flowers out but not many.

I took a round-about route back down the mountain and saw a few small streams carrying water from the almost melted snow.

At the bottom of my hike I had a grilled cheese and ham sandwich at the Brighton Store.  It was a nice afternoon.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Pinups and Magazines

I like art from old pinups and old magazines.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Vince Flynn RIP

Sad news today.  This is from USA Today -

            Novelist Vince Flynn, who was diagnosed with stage three metastatic prostate cancer in 2010, but continued to write his best-selling thrillers, has died at the age of 47. Flynn died Wednesday morning at United Hospital in St. Paul. He's best known for his CIA page-turners that starred Mitch Rapp, a counterterrorism operative who made Flynn the darling of conservatives.

            He wrote 14 USA TODAY best sellers. Three reached No. 2 on the list: Kill Shot and The Last Man (both in 2012) and American Assassin in 2010. His publisher, Atria, says it's not yet known what or how much was completed on Flynn's next novel, The Survivor, originally scheduled to be released in October.

            In a 2012 interview with USA TODAY, Flynn discussed living and working with cancer: "The first 48 hours of my diagnosis were hellish," he said. "Things just seemed to get worse and worse. We (he and his wife) were sneaking around the house, whispering so the kids wouldn't hear us. It was horrible.

            "But, he said then, " I feel great now. ... We have this under control."

            He's survived by his wife, Lysa, and three children (a stepson, 16, and two daughters, 11 and 9).


A list of his Books

  Term Limits - Not part of Mitch Rapp series but a good foundation, as it contains some of the characters from the Mitch Rapp series that you will see again

1. American Assassin
2. Kill Shot
3. Transfer of Power 
4. The Third Option
5. Separation of Power 
6. Executive Power 
7. Memorial Day 
8. Consent to Kill 
9. Act of Treason 
10. Protect and Defend
11. Extreme Measures 
12. Pursuit of Honor 
13. The Last Man 
14. The Survivor
I was a big fan of Vince Flynn's and read all of his books. I am sorry Vince is gone.

Golf Clothes Make the Woman

The Lovely Sharon spends a lot of time in golf clothes.

Is she cute or what?

Monday, June 17, 2013

U.S. Open; Phil Mickelson Drives Me Crazy

The Lovely Sharon and I watched the US Open part of Friday and all of Saturday and Sunday.  What a great and exciting tournament.  I watch it every year.  I wanted Phil Mickelson to win.  He has been so close, so many times, I really thought that this was the year he would win.  It was Phil's birthday, it was Father's Day, he had played soundly all week. All these seemed to be omens for his victory.  And now, after three difficult rounds , Phil was in the lead.  But sadly, on Sunday, he faltered.  Watching Phil play, and wanting Phil to win, puts a fan on an emotional roller coaster.  He  hits great shots and then hits absolutely terrible shots.  He hits a 270 yard approach shot to four feet and then misses the four foot putt. 

On Sunday, he double bogey's the par three third hole and you think "that's it, he is out of it."  Then comes back with a birdie on the fourth hole and you think, "maybe he still has a chance".  Then he double bogey's the fifth hole.  He makes me crazy.

What does he do on the 10th hole? He flies one in from the rough almost 80 yards from the hole, a dunk, an eagle 2 and you now are back to the land of false hope. You think "the momentum has changed, the winds of victory have shifted directions, there is the smell of victory in the air for Phil". 

He hangs for several holes, without a disaster but then he comes to the 121 yard, par 3, 13th hole and you think, that he can really get this one close and he can  make another birdie on this tiny hole.  He can hit one of his five wedges to four feet and ram a birdie put in and cement a victory.  But no; he blasts it over the green, over a bunker, down a hill, into nasty 5 inch rough.  He now has an impossible shot and makes another bogey on a potentially birdie hole. Frankly I could hardly get out of my vintage leather chair after this hole (for purposes of this blog entry "vintage" means old with holes in it).  I was stuck. I was immobile. It was like being told you had three months to live and thinking "why bother".

Oh Phil, dear Phil, you are making us crazy.  I can hardly bear to watch.  I know you will do something great, something unbelievable and then, like a coffee cup teetering on the edge of the table, I know it will ultimately come crashing down, and it does.

I know you are heart broken, but after the tournament, you left for home in a private jet, your personal private jet with your own pilot.   The Lovely Sharon and I had to walk up from the Bud Cave to the kitchen and make dinner.  Yes Phil, we made dinner alright, but as we worked,  as we grilled the pork tenderloin, and as we husked the corn for corn on the cob, we had a bad taste in our mouths from your downfall.  A usual Sunday evening meal did not taste like it should have. The only salvation for us was sharing a bottle of Cakebread Winery Chardonay with our al fresco dinner and for our after dinner conversation. It helped.

Phil, I can hardly wait for next year's U.S. Open.  I know you will be in the hunt,I know next year will be your year.

Friday, June 14, 2013

A Paragraph About Spring in Paris

The Lovely Sharon and I went to Paris last autumn.  We loved it.  I love reading about Paris in the 1920's  and the 1950's. I just started reading a non-fiction book called The Tender Hour of Twilight, "Paris in the 1950's, New York in the 1960's, A Memoir of Publishing's Golden Age" by Richard Seaver.  I love the opening paragraph of the book.   Here it is, read it slow, read it a couple of times and let your mind picture yourself sitting at the outdoor cafe drinking coffee:

One sparkling late May morning in 1952 when, after endless weeks of dreary, unrelenting winterlike weather, the sun had finally wormed its way through the stubborn gray blanket that had been clinging to Paris, I was sitting on the terrace of the Cafe' Royal at St. Germain des Pres, pretending to read the paper but really watching the world go by, a constant stream of locals and a trickle of tourists - the latter so obvious they could have been picked from the crowd even by the familiar cyclopean beggar who went, appropriately, by the name of Petit Jesus, bowing scraping low at the church door across the sqaure, his floppy beret extended to welcome the occasional oblation -- the Parisian girls suddenly out in full force, piquant and pert in their flowered smocks and blouses, their swirling skirts and high-toned legs.  After seven drab months of hibernation, they had, seemingly overnight, emerged in full flower,a medley of primary colors, proclaming that winter was finally, irrevocably over. Each colorful passerby, floozy or Flora, just waiting to be plucked.

These magic words paint a color and interesting picture of busy Paris morning.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Off the Beaten Path

 A few years ago I was driving on the Pony Express Trail in Utah's west desert and came upon a herd of antelope.  Here are a few pictures I took:

I also came upon someone's home from yesteryear

There are interesting things to see when you get off the beaten path

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Just Some Photos

Kristina Hendricks eating water melon

 I love photos of San Francisco

I took this one
I don't know what this is but I love the colors

I took this one in Idaho


Wednesday, June 5, 2013


  From the Salt Lake Tribune

Famed Wasatch peak officially renamed Pfeifferhorn

Outdoors • Mountain name honors Wasatch Mountain ski pioneer Charles “Chick” Pfeiffer.

In 1939, after Charles “Chick” Pfeiffer was found dead in his Salt Lake City shoe shop, his friends climbed the Little Matterhorn to remember the mountaineer who died with his ski clothes on.
It was then that the Wasatch Mountains’ iconic 11,362-foot summit became known as the Pfeifferhorn. It has been called thus ever since by pretty much everyone, expect the official keeper of geographic names.

Little Matterhorn “had become irrelevant, but these things die a slow death,” said Alexis Kelner, the Wasatch Mountain Club’s historian and a member since 1957. Pfeiffer finally got his due last month when the U.S. Board on Geographic Names officially renamed the peak in honor of one of the Wasatch’s legendary figures.

Pfeiffer was the man when it came to Utah skiing in the Depression. As president of the Wasatch Mountain Club in the mid-1930s, he helped run the club’s famous lodge at the head of Big Cottonwood Canyon.

“He organized a lot of outings to broaden skiing and popularized it. He deserves a lot of credit,” Kelner said.

As a result of the change, this pyramidal peak in the Lone Peak Wilderness, dividing the Little Cottonwood and Dry Creek drainages, will no longer appear as Little Matterhorn in the National Geographic Names Information System database. Future USGS topographic maps and online map applications will identify it as what all Wasatch explorers have long called it — the Pfeifferhorn.
Here are some photos of the peak that I found on the internet.


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Golf a Cruel Game

There is nothing like it, golf I mean.  I have never been that good and have gotten progressively worse over the years.  When I first met the Lovely Sharon, we both around a 10 handicap. I have gone to the 16-18 handicap range and she has gone to the 3-6 handicap range. She is very good and I am very proud of her.  I would rather play bad golf than have her play bad golf.  I am expected to play bad but she is expected to play good golf.  If I hit a good shot, its a surprise.  If she hits a bad shot, its a surprise.

Sometimes the golf gods play with you by letting you play above your ability for a one round or for a week or perhaps for a somewhat longer period of time.  We foolishly start thinking that yes, we are as good as we are playing.  Our talent has been only hiding but now our real golfing ability has finally come out in the open. Wrong; this is a merely a short lived period where the golf gods allow you a  little more line (fishing line) where you swim freely and think you are getting away.  You don't fully realize that you are a goner.

Here are some comments on the game:

Golf is so popular simply because it is the best game in the world at which to be bad. ~A.A. Milne

Golf is like a love affair. If you don't take it seriously, it's no fun; if you do take it seriously, it breaks your heart. ~Arthur Daley

Golf is a fascinating game. It has taken me nearly forty years to discover that I can't play it. ~Ted Ray, Golf - My Slice of Life, 1972

The number of shots taken by an opponent who is out of sight is equal to the square root of the sum of the number of curses heard plus the number of swishes. ~Michael Green, The Art of Coarse Golf, 1975

Golf is a lot of walking, broken up by disappointment and bad arithmetic. ~Author Unknown

It's easy to see golf not as a game at all but as some whey-faced, nineteenth-century Presbyterian minister's fever dream of exorcism achieved through ritual and self-mortification. ~Bruce McCall

I guess there is nothing that will get your mind off everything like golf. I have never been depressed enough to take up the game, but they say you get so sore at yourself you forget to hate your enemies. ~Will Rogers

The reason the pro tells you to keep your head down is so you can't see him laughing. ~Phyllis Diller

Yesterday, in The Memorial Tournament, Tiger Woods shot 44 on his front nine.   There are many photos out there when a pro golfer was looking for his ball in a tree. Remember Sergio?

Well I have to shower, I have a morning tee time with the Lovely Sharon.   I am pretty certain I will play great.